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October 03, 2012

IBM ITEXPO Keynote: How Mobility is Revolutionizing Personal and Corporate IT Investments

By Peter Bernstein, Senior Editor

Wondering about what CIOs are thinking and doing about the impact of mobility on their organizations? In his keynote address at ITEXPO, Mike Riegel, IBM (News - Alert) vice president of Mobile and WebSphere Marketing, gave a packed audience a great view that is worth a close look.

Mobile is easy to understand but for the enterprise it really is different

Riegel started his presentation by stating: “Mobile is easy to understand, but all the talk about mobile has been focused on devices and apps. Reality is mobile is revolutionizing personal and corporate investments.  Graphics being a powerful way of visualizing what things like the term ‘revolutionizing’ mean. Below is a short walk through of Riegel’s main points to support both the importance of mobile in the enterprise and what enterprises need to do.”

The most interesting finding is the one that so many CIOs are already focusing on – the benefits being mobility-enabled can bring to their organizations. In addition, the first point about the number of devices should be put in context in that half of the world still does not have a personal communications device – i.e., lots of us have many of them.

Riegel then went on to note that 77 percent of CIOs in a McKinsey survey said they planned on allowing employees to use personal devices to access company data and applications – certainly a change from just a few months ago.

Another interesting finding in the presentation was in the following graphic:

As Riegel noted, all of these are non-trivial in terms of having a successful deployment of mobility in the enterprise, and while there are great solutions to each of these, they needed to be addressed holistically. 

He also shared research IBM does annually in their surveys of their global customers which found in rank order that C-levels are focused on in their consideration of technology purchasing: 

  1. Customers: Improving customer insights and means of engagement to increase loyalty and expand their lifetime value.
  2. Operations: Investing is business process automation capabilities to improve efficiency and effectiveness internally and across ecosystems.
  3. Sales: Making it easier and more cost effective for the sales people to sell and managers to monitor and enhance sales operations to be not just reactive, but proactive.

How does all of this, specifically extending the brand experience to customers via their mobile devices, translate into better monetization of customer interactions? The last graphic actual provides a glimpse as to why mobility incorporation needs to be and likely will be in your company’s future. 

In other words, the proof is in the purchasing, and while anecdotal because of how early we are in the tablet explosion, the findings are nevertheless instructive. Indeed, as Riegel pointed out, we are still early in the learning curve of just how disruptive/transformative mobility is likely to be on commerce.  

He noted that we are just learning how to create applications and services that monetize such things as:

  • GPS: for enhanced location-based capabilities.
  • NFC (near filed communications): for close proximity wireless transactions which will make smart devices the digital wallets and transactions platforms of choice.
  • Accelerometers: uses phone orientation for control, context and pedometer.
  • Microbolometer: works with infrared images, heat detection, can be used to find pets, empty parking spaces, short lines, and near filed communications (NFC) for point of sale wireless transactions to make your personal device your wallet.

At the end of the day, in line with the CIO priorities as to why they purchase new technology solutions and their making the customer the number-one focal point, fully embracing mobility in the enterprise is not a question of if, but how, when, where and why. Riegel concluded with a couple of thoughts about how to provide the best experience. Again, a graphic says it all:

The header on the above is important. It is really more than just apps and new skills, where in short supply are going to be required. The message for those of you with kids in college, who are searching for a career with legs, is that this would be a great place to start.

Getting one’s arms around what is entailed in each one of Riegel’s actions to take to effectuate best practices for a successful introduction of mobility into your company is not a checklist item, and all of them need to be tightly woven into a strategy with guidelines and milestones to achieve optimal results. 

In fact, a lot of the granularity that goes into each of those boxes is on display here in Austin and the subject of various panels, and there is still time to stop in and enjoy the show.

To find out more about IBM visit the company at ITEXPO Austin 2012. Happening now at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, TX, ITEXPO (News - Alert) is the world’s premier IP communications event. Visit IBM in booth # 1324. For more information on ITEXPO Austin 2012 click here.

Edited by Braden Becker
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