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Comment: Mobile madness

Comment: Mobile madness

Businesses have some big decisions to make this year

Once upon a time I would see perhaps three or four stories about a mobile phones and mobile solutions a day – and that was from both our journalists and on the wires. In the last few years ago that has all changed. Without exaggerating I now see 20 or 30 such stories each day.

We are living – and working – in an increasingly mobile, unwired wireless world. And you’re kidding yourself if you don’t think so.

Statistics lend even more support to this conclusion: Cisco came up with a forecast recently that is as frightening as it is staggering – Mobile data is expected to grow 18-fold by 2016. It claims the amount of mobile traffic added between 2015 and 2016 will be three times the estimated size of the entire mobile Internet in 2012.

What all this means is that you are going to be increasingly bombarded with a vast range of so-called mobile solutions, mobile services, mobile plans, mobile-just-about-anything. And you will need some or all of these things sooner rather than later.

Forrester research analyst, Ted Schadler, said recently, “Mobile is one of those things that bites you from behind if you aren’t paying attention.”

He and other analysts urge CIOs and CEOs to get on-board now and start thinking about providing mobile services and apps straight away.

That’s easy enough to say, of course, but in a tightening economy both locally and globally, how many businesses are willing – or have budgeted for – an increased spend in the mobile arena? And, if they haven’t, the question becomes, should they reorganise the budget to factor in that mobile spend at the cost of something else?

Just to complicate matters, there is the massive cultural and business shift that is bring-your-own-device (BYOD). You just can’t ignore it. All the statistics we’re seeing point to tablets – if not taking over from PC (and some predict they will do so), at least splitting the desktop market. The security, networking and other concerns this introduces is another migraine in the making.

And then there’s the simple stress of trying to sort through the constant bombardment of stats, stories, press releases, opinions, and analysis coming at you from all angles. Where to go? What to do?

They are questions I can’t answer for any individual business. At ARN, we try and sort through the avalanche of information and only present you with the most relevant and we talk to people we think can at least start to answer those questions. But, ultimately, it comes to sitting down with the key personnel in your business and working out exactly what you want to do. And don’t be afraid to seek help.

It is a difficult time and a watershed moment. Change is coursing through the channel and what we end up with will both be fascinating to see – and the cornerstone for the next decade.

Mike Gee is Managing Editor of ARN mike_gee@idg.com.au


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