16/04/2012

Ben Weiner, CEO, Conjungo

It is practically a given that most organisations regardless of size or number of employees now have systems in place that allow unparalleled levels of communications (compared to even 10 years ago). All of this capability can be delivered via one device — the mobile phone or as they are referred to these days as ‘Smart Phones’.

It wasn’t that long ago that personnel had a PC (hopefully with inbuilt modem) and a mobile phone (hopefully with the ability to take into account and work on networks outside of the UK). These days, one device will do the lot!

The applications available for such devices is huge — the choice is massive and covers everything from email, call centre, customer service, marketing, e-commerce, and IT. In fact most generic applications available on a network or via ‘The Cloud’ can be accessed by Smart Phone apps.

Forrester, the analyst company estimates that the revenue from paid apps on smart phones and tablets was $1.7 billion (£1.05 billion) worldwide in 2010, the proliferation of "intelligence anywhere" apps will result in a compound annual growth rate of 82 percent through to 2015. (Report: "Mobile App Internet Recasts The Software And Services Landscape")

While this report may be from late 2011, the FT also concurs by quoting Forrester recently. The report goes on to state the availability of applications on Smart Phones and Tables is set to accelerate, so much so, that larger organisations will soon consider employing a Chief Mobility Officer.

So why the proliferation of this new technology? Naturally, there are generally two distinct markets, B2C and B2B. However, there is to a large extent an overlap. Most people use email for both personal and business purposes, likewise sat nav technology, and so no longer do we always need to separate our private lives from our business lives from a technology perspective. So, most applications that have been developed over many years for large companies are either available as an ‘app’ or no doubt soon will be.

The upshot of this, plus the availability of wireless hotspots and use of 3G, means that availability to reach data and information via The Cloud has led to a world where in the main such services are available to us 24/7. The benefit of this is mobility, portability, accessibility and lower costs and the potential to generate more business. So we have more time available to be more effective. Trouble is, there is a downside and that is it is becoming increasingly difficult to ‘switch off’ and this can have an impact on our home lives.

Ironically, the only time for me that I can actually get some R&R as they say, is on a plane, when I switch my phone to ‘Flight Mode’. I can’t send or receive emails, texts or make calls but of course I can still draft and read emails. As they say - “Catch 22”.


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