Mobile first no longer enough for CIOs: Report

The mobile trend in the enterprise is no longer a mere technology innovation, but rather a fundamental shift in operating models, according to a recent report from management consulting firm Deloitte Consulting.

“The explosion of smart phone and tablet adoption in the consumer world cannot be denied,” wrote Mike Brinker and Shehryar Khan, principals at Deloitte, in the report Tech Trends 2013: Elements of Postdigital. “Mobile initiatives have popped up in almost every corner of business – looking to untether the workforce, engage customers more effectively and re-shape business-as-usual.”

They said that CIOs are “scrambling” to meet the growing demand to deploy and promote mobile applications.

In 2012 the enterprise mantra became “mobile first.” However, while many organizations are only beginning to incorporate smart phones and tablets with existing operations and processes, Khan and Brinker said businesses should be focusing on identifying opportunities to use mobile technology to transform operations and processes.

“It’s not noteworthy that your enterprise has great mobile apps, it’s noteworthy if you don’t,” they wrote. “As you move past experimentation, make sure you avoid getting stuck on ‘mobile first.’”

Organizations, the two said, should keep their eyes on reinvention “based on the new reality of ‘mobile only’ (and beyond).”

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The two analysts identified four factors that are defining the future of mobile:

Convergence: Mobile technology will anchor people’s digital identities and provide a centralized, connected hub of information, entertainment and services that is always on and spans people’s personal and professional lives, according to Brinker and Khan. Mobile technology is now present not only in smart phones and laptops, but also cars, radios, cameras, digital health records, manufacturing, 3D printers and others.

Ubiquity: Mobility will soon be embedded in almost everything that people interact with. This provide the ability to sync almost every activity across multiple devices. For instance, a person could read the new on a bathroom mirror, continue to hear the news via text-to-voice from the car during the commute to the office and finish up reading the news on a pair of eyeglasses during an elevator ride to the office.

Transparency: Computing interface has evolved from point-and-click to touch-swipe. In the very near future, voice, gesture and location-based services will become the primary ways of interfacing with devices and systems.

Augmented reality: Augmented reality technology is moving out of computer games, the military and scientific environments and seeping into mainstream enterprises. “What you can read, hear or feel is delivered based on how you gesture, move and talk – sensitive to location and context, with information you need or want in a format that can adapt to the environment at hand,” according to Brinker and Khan.

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