Guest Post: Mobility culture shock

by David Akka, UK md with Magic Software

Mobile is not just a fad technology, it will change business culture as we know it. Some executives see mobility  as a potentially destructive development that threatens security and control over enterprise data. Others perceive mobility as a tool for streamlining existing IT services and apps.  A third group recognises enterprise mobility as a strategic opportunity, that will change the business culture as we know it, creates a mobile unit, and puts a C-level person on top to examine new market opportunities, consumption trends and what competitors do.

Sadly, the third group is still a minority.  Most managers still don’t grasp how mobility will change business culture as we know it.

Underestimating the impact of new technology is nothing new. Many retailers took too long to adapt to the opportunity of online shopping.

In the 90′s very few businesses predicted that they would ship items anywhere; process returns sent by mail; and offer vouchers based on online buying patterns while securing the privacy of customer data.

“The three waves are mobile, big data, cloud computing”

However, those retailers that got onboard early flourished. To find an example, we don’t need to look any further than High Street.

Next, a leading retailer, embraced one online culture and from Day One was a leader in terms of their online clothes catalogue returns policy (you could buy the same trousers in four different sizes, try them at home, pick the one that fit and return the other three), and online loyalty programmes.

On the other hand, a leading UK food retailer, Morrisons, resisted adopting on-line commerce and insisted on focusing on old-fashioned values of fresh ingredients and shopping services.

While Next’s market-share kept growing until their online business is bigger than their bricks and mortar business, Morrisons kept loosing market-share.

Now, after years of resistance, Morrisons has finally got onboard and started rolling out online services.

Enterprises need to identify future technology trends and adapt in time so they won’t be left behind by the competition.

Business culture beyond Web 2.0 in the last few years is impacted by three main new technology waves.

These waves are mobile, big data, cloud computing plus new forms of customer engagement.

Data is one of the most consumed resources today on the planet.

Every day we create vast amount of new data; it is estimated that we have created 80 per cent of all the data known to human kind in just the last three years.

Big data will enable discovery of new correlations and can be used for real-time predictive analysis to provide customised offers in real-time as customers make buying decisions.

Cloud services make large amounts of data and processing available to businesses and consumers on-demand in a cost-effective way.

Cloud helps level the playing field between large and small companies increasing competition and making innovation of even greater importance.

Engagement, simply put, is the relationship between humans, machines, consumers, applications and services from game-like user interface, social media usage, location based services to multi-channel exposure.

Not only can we now send targeted information to mobile users based on their location, their latest comments on social media, employees can customise offers and upsell based on their last interaction with customer support, known inventory status, and even their emotion conveyed by the tone of their voice.

And not only can we communicate with people, today we can communicate with appliances, sensors and our TVs.

Mobile is where all these technologies intersect, providing an important tool for increased operational efficiencies, improved employee productivity, improved customer and partner satisfaction and innovation.

In addition to experiencing increased efficiencies, companies that adopt mobile technologies are less likely to be left behind by a more mobile-astute competitor.

With the power of big data, cloud computing and customer engagement being realised through mobile applications, the new mobile culture has just begun, and those that start early have a definite advantage.

With the power of big data, cloud computing and customer engagement being realised through mobile applications, the new mobile business culture has just begun, -a new way to deliver product and services to consumers, a new way to work in an enterprise and a new way to enable business to business commerce.

The market place is being shaped as we speak and many more new technology waves are ahead.

It is clear to many businesses that there is a lot to be gained from adapting to and adopting these trends.

After all, they are no longer just technology trends but social ones, in order to succeed in the new upcoming economy, businesses would need to change their culture as well.

Author biog

David Akka is the managing director of Magic Software Enterprises (UK) Ltd. David has been with Magic Software since 1998 and is considered one of the organisation’s foremost authorities on cloud computing and SOA methodologies.

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