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How Mobile Computing is redefining Modern IT May 5, 2013

Posted by bkrugman in Modern IT.
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While I am not sure what the impact of mobile computing will be within the corporate business model, I think that mobile computing has been and will continue to redefine how businesses interact with current and potential customers.  You can already see the mobile impact in the way that a lot of business like food trucks and other small business currently collect payments.  Allowing small businesses to leverage mobile technology to perform different tasks like payment collection is just the starting point for how mobile computing can redefine how Modern IT currently works and operates.

 

Within the Deloitte University Press article, The Mobile Chasm [1] they mention a few more ways that traditional businesses are changing the way that they work with customers.  One of the coolest ideas mentioned in the article is about how Whole Foods has integrated a Kinect sensor to interact and track customer movements throughout the store and provide them with audio communication.  This is a prime example of how a company can integrate multiple interfaces in a customer-facing application.  By providing an interface like Whole Foods’ interface, the store is able to provide some feedback and potentially alter the purchases that a customer originally went into a store for.  How I see something like this being used would be if the cart recognizes that customer is looking at pasta and using a Windows 8 device to scan different items.  After a customer scans a box of pasta the cart can suggest items that are on sale or items that tend to be purchased with pasta.  Also by using the customer purchases Whole Foods is building a large database that can be used to alter sales and different promotions within the store.

 

Some of the same points that were made within the Deloitte article were also supported by Mia Klaus’s article, Mobile Application Development and Retail Business [2].  In Klaus’s article she makes a strong argument to support the increasing desire by customers to have greater control over various decisions. Customers can see what items have been purchased in the past or what items on a grocery list they might be interested in also buying.  This provides another highlight to how pushing information to a customer can modify a variety of decisions and sway them toward a product or service.  With mobile computing becoming so engrained in the culture of companies, they can alter and develop new ways to keep their products in front customers and promote products to new customers.

 

A different approach to how Mobile Computing is changing the Modern IT is through different areas like Social Media.  Social Media is accessible within multiple different medians, but is increasingly becoming accessed more by different mobile devices whether they are mobile phones or tablets.  The article by Mr. Hachis [3] provides some examples of how companies are using both Social Media and mobile devices to promote their products through focused advertising.  When you look at social media venues like Facebook, Google+, and Twitter they are large sources for not only specific customer data, but also for things that the company cannot fully control like customer experience.  If a customer has a bad experience with a product or service the negative publicity can overwhelm a company and make it very hard for them to recovery quickly.  By allowing customers to have such direct input into a company through these new mobile methods companies are trying to improve all aspects of the company including the normal IT functions like site interaction, availability and performance.

 

The final way that Mobile Computing is causing Modern IT to be redefined is by the cost associated with purchasing the hardware that is used for Mobile Computing.  MXComputing [4] has some good points; if Mobile computing wants to maintain the growth rate and availability that it currently has been experiencing there needs to be some big changes in the cost of the equipment needed.  This is a lot like the issues that PC makers dealt with when laptops were first being introduced and accepted by the customer base.  I think the overall cost of different mobile devices are actually in a better place than they were about 10 to 15 years ago when laptops started to gain a lot of traction.  I think that the main reason why mobile devices are in better shape in regards to price is because the hardware that is used to create mobile technology is reaching a point where it can be reproduced at a fraction of the cost that it would have been a few years ago and that the hardware industry is pushing for smaller hardware.  When you look at some of the mobile devices that are currently available you can now find cell phones that are about as powerful as a lot of different desktop and laptop machines.  While the price for some of these devices is currently still a little high, as MXComputing noted, they are coming down in price. Once the price drops the adoption rate of the mobile technology will increase, which causes the companies that are late to the mobile party to put more resources into the various areas that are touched by Mobile technology.

 

In conclusion, Mobile Computing is causing current IT organizations to not only adjust the development practices, but also to find areas where they can help maintain and improve the customer perception of the business.  With prices of hardware eventually dropping to the point where there will be almost 100% adoption globally, companies need to put focus on ensuring that the mobile experience is universal across the different platforms.  Also, it can be very worthwhile for companies to invest in architecture that can help them leverage data that is collected by mobile technology to focus their advertising efforts to enhance and expand the company’s current market share.

 

References

[1] Briggs, Chacharon, Khan, and Brinker, The Mobile Chasm,  electronic publication, Deloitte Review, Issue 12 available at http://dupress.com/articles/the-mobile-chasm/?coll=2650on February 22, 2013

[2] Mia Klaus (2013, March 25) Mobile Application Development and Retail Business [Online] Available: http://www.articlesbase.com/software-articles/mobile-application-development-and-retail-business-6519372.html

[3] Mr. Hachis, Mobile Computing: The Impact of Social Media [Online] Available:  http://hachis.org/mobile-computing-the-impact-of-social-media.html

[4] MXComputing, Effect of Cost and Market Price In Mobile Computing Development [Online] http://mxcomputing.com/technology-market/effect-of-cost-and-market-price-in-mobile-computing-development/

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