February 18, 2014

Why business should consider migrating to Mobile Applications

Technology is the biggest disrupter and it has been the biggest agent of change since past several decades. And believing that the tech rally is over may be a bit presumptive. In fact, the pace is going to be faster, and the pond is going to be bigger for technology led change.

In the enterprise software arena, every new decade brought a wave of migration from legacy to something new due to technology innovation (or disruption).

1990’s were moving form mainframes to desktop, or from black/blue screen to client-server driven graphical user interfaces/thick client applications. 2000’s brought the migration from desktop to the web – web2.0 enabled the new architecture and drove unprecedented growth in every industry. This decade (and may be longer) is about migrating towards mobile architecture. The new age is defined with social, big data, connected devices, cloud computing all catered to mobility at its core.

All past trends have been a great value add for businesses in terms of productivity, lowering cost, global distribution while creating newer products. The new age of technology is bringing far deeper improvements to us as a society — it is redefining quality of life, how we connect, learn and enjoy life. The changes is unprecedented and will impact not only businesses top/bottom line, but also impact rules of law, social interactions and human comfort.

These trends also provide unique opportunity to disrupt the market dynamics and/or create new business areas. The changes led by technology has impacted everyone and mobile trend is real and here to stay.

There are few key reasons why mobile is adopted by the business —

Ubiquity: Mobility provides even more intimacy with the end user – unlike web/desktop applications, mobile applications are inseparable part of the consumers. Based on data, average users are connected with mobile many times more than laptops and other computers.

New Architecture: Business have realized that some of their enterprise applications have become too cumbersome to upgrade to meet the need to market. Businesses are looking at Mobile architecture to leverage services from there enterprise systems and to connect and engage consumers in newer ways. Mobile is providing business new channels, but it also helps them reduce cost from existing IT investments and make their technology more nimble and agile to the market movements.

Unique features: Mobile devices enable many new features which were less prevailing with its predecessors. These features are — social, location awareness, cross-channel integration, and collecting new kinds of information about their products and consumers. As a marketing channel, customer engagement via Mobile is growing much faster while the other channels are getting lower results in response.

Mobile strategy is a hot topic and every business is engaged in developing their Mobile Strategy. I want to bring in my opinion based on my years of work in developing business application — ranging from client-server, web and mobile plateforms. I want to share things I have learned, common mistakes being made in decision making, and what I believe will unfold for business in future.

Why Mobile is Significant

The growing penetration of smartphones and affordable data plans has set the stage for business to leverage mobile devices and their context of use by building new applications. Here’s some reasons why your business must consider this as real opportunity —

Smartphones have become an indispensable part of our daily lives

  • Smartphone penetration has risen to 56% of the population and these smartphone owners are becoming increasingly reliant on their devices.
  • 67% access the Internet every day on their smartphone and most never leave home without it.

Smartphones have transformed consumer behavior.

  • Mobile search, video, app usage and social networking are prolific.
  • Smartphone users are multi-tasking their media with 82% using their phone while doing other things such as watching TV (53%).

Smartphones help users discover and connect with businesses.

  • 94% of smartphone users look for local information on their phone and 84% take action as a result, such as making a purchase or contacting the business.

Smartphones have changed the way consumers shop.

  • Smartphones are critical shopping tools with 77% of users having researched a product or service on their device
  • Smartphone research influences buyer decisions and purchases across channels. 46% of smartphone users have made a purchase on their phone.

Smartphones help marketers connect with consumers in a more intemate ways than before.

  • Mobile ads are noticed by 89% of smartphone users.
  • Smartphones are also a critical component of traditional advertising as 56% have performed a search on their smartphone after seeing an offline ad.


Google: Our Mobile Planet »

How new Internet standards will finally deliver a mobile revolution  »

Many good pointers and references »

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Prady is an UX consultant and advisor. He has helped many big organizations transform their business with modern technologies. He has helped building new products and modernize older technologies to help business grow. Prady been part of digital transformation of Sprint, Washington Post, World Bank, The Economist Group and many small & mid size firms. He advices clients on web, mobile & social media with strategies, product architecture and design.