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Disruptive Technologies: The Great Mobility Frontier

1 Jun 2015 by Shay Moser

Technology is constantly evolving — not unlike a living organism. It isn’t static. It isn’t constant. Which makes it disruptive. Businesses, even niche businesses, often forget to, or choose not to, evolve with technology and are turned upside down — because their products, their policies, their customer interface becomes, simply put, outdated. We live in a consumer-driven world, and we are often drawn to technology everything — from convenience to novelty. This is Insight’s Disruptive Technology series. We will be addressing how technology enters an industry and does exactly that — disrupts.

Most chief information officers (CIOs) come to a fork in the road, a deciding moment at their company when a major choice of options is necessary. They must change course from their beaten path and forge a new one — particularly when prodded by consumer adoption and constant innovation.

The Internet, mainframes and personal computing have all brought CIOs to the crossroads of intelligent technology (IT), sending other tools off into the sunset. Now CIOs see the next disruption on the horizon.

Enterprise mobility is the disruptive technology taking companies off the old trail and into new territory. Smartphones, tablets and other devices, as well as pioneering applications, increase productivity with functionality beyond office walls.

Saddle up, and let’s hit the trail to take a closer look at the freedoms and possibilities of the great mobility frontier.

Employee communication is far from the Pony Express.

Experian Marketing Services’ Q3 2014 Email Benchmark Report shares 53% of total email opens occurred on a mobile phone or tablet.

Improved access to e-mail, calendars, voice, video, documents and messaging applications boost employee-to-employee communication. Mobile videoconferences, and search and discovery are examples. And being able to log on to your business network out-of-office to work anywhere, from any device and cloud-based applications have significantly enhanced the advantages.

This goes for other responsibilities, too. Physicians can message their colleagues with privacy-compliant mobile apps about the complex patient after leaving the hospital. In the classroom, smartphones and other personal devices are increasingly being used for research, project interactions and to answer on-the-spot, instructor questions.

The Internet of Things’ (IoT) is a gold rush.

Organizations are starting to leave their familiar routes to charge into the IoT. Smart sensors are giving more objects the ability to communicate, resulting in new business models, improving business procedures, and reducing costs and risks.

Companies operating fleets of vehicles, for instance, can leverage IoT technology to monitor the current condition of each vehicle, perform vehicle diagnostics, alert when vehicles are outside their specified service area and much more.

Smart meters give companies more control over consumption of electricity and other utility services. There’s even IoT factory automation, robotics, supply chain management, sensor monitoring of product movement with real-time analytics and many other uses.

Customers join the caravan.

Mobile IT is good for more than productivity and cost savings. Mobility innovations are also bridging the gap between consumers and brick-and-mortar stores.

RFID (radio-frequency identification) tags and sensors are reaching new low prices, and this makes it economical for retailers to add these intelligent sensors to individual items or shopping carts. These sensors can monitor shopper visit patterns, dwell time and what items catch people’s attention. Tie those sensors to mobile applications, and now you have a complete picture of the actual person entering your store and their shopping habits. Imagine walking down the aisle of the grocery store, and the price on your favorite snack drops because you’re right in front of it. These things are possible with intelligent mobile app sensors and electronic pricing digital signage.

Starbucks is probably one of the most recognizable retailers to make this shift with the debut of its Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room. The Seattle-based location transcends from a traditional “coffee shop” into a coffee experience, as people can come and learn more about coffee variety, roasting details and purchase one-of-a-kind beans sold only in this location. More retailers will start to introduce these “experience locations” as a way for people to come in and learn something new while driving online or in-person sales.

Not only do customers want things customized to their tastes and a “shopping experience,” they trust online customer reviews of what other people think of retailers’ products and services. In fact, 78% of mobile searches for local business information result in a purchase. And this doesn’t only apply to B2C, as 70% of B2B watch online video specifically to do research for business purchases.

“By 2017, most enterprise applications will be mobile or have a mobile access,” according to Gartner. CIOs need to understand which mobile apps will drive successful customer engagement processes. A ‘mobile first’ strategy will be the core principle for implementing applications to support customer engagement processes.”

Mobility is the new IT frontier, and the race is on to fully harness the potential benefits. Will you be in it? If you haven’t thought much about mobility until now, we hope this article spurs you into it. Those who’ve gone before you have reached greener mobility pastures. The time is now to stake your claim of the mobility market. If it seems like a long trail, Insight can give you a ride to your mobility destination.

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