The analysts are all pinning their research badges on the Big 4. Not the consultancy outfits but the four trends that are supposed to disrupt the fabric of business and enterprise for the next few years: Cloud, Big Data, Mobile, Social. So today I’m going to play Who Wants to be a Mobillionaire and go 50/50 on these and lose two straight off.
Cloud: let’s face it, it’s just another term for the outsourcing of your IT responsibilities and infrastructure. Given that most American’s view Cloud as fluffy white things in the sky it really has a long way to go to mature into a cohesive and well understood strategy so its disruptive effect just isn’t really quite there yet. Coupled with, frankly, confusing and sometimes more expensive licensing options there will come a time when Cloud vs On-Premise will become the CTO’s main headache as much as Outsourcing vs Insourcing was for the COO 10 years ago.
Big Data: on it’s own it’s not disruptive. It’s lots more data than you’ve ever had to deal with before and the only thing disruptive about it is that it’s going to distract you with too much noise if you don’t have the analytics to handle it. I’ve written about plumbers and paradoxes already so it’s already well covered.
So we have Social and Mobile left. If I were to ask the audience everyone would vote for Social but thankfully I don’t have to go with the majority, I’m playing the game here so I’m picking Mobile and here’s why.
Social has the power to connect operational resources in ways never imagined a decade ago, it has the ability to create fluid business architectures that are based on networks not hierarchy, connect an enterprise to its customers for a greater experience and relationship, thrust trust and transparency to the top of the agenda where profit and revenue once sat. But…..but…..
Mobile is the platform that enables this all. Mobile is the content delivery device. Mobile is the glue, the connector. Take the example of FourSquare. You wander around and check-in somewhere, handy tips are displayed, you collect points, rewards are offered. But how is this delivered ? From your desktop ? By email ? Good god no. It’s a mobile device that you use, instantaneously pushing and pulling content and context in (as near to) real time. Can you imagine using Foursquare via email ? (yet another reason why email is no longer required in any of the ‘Big 4′ technologies of tomorrow)
If you enable your workforce with Social why do you feel the need to chain them to the desk to achieve anything ? The desktop is a relic of another age and should be ditched as quickly as email should. In fact, prediction: the quicker you lose the desktop as your method of completing work the quicker email will disappear. Surgeons and Doctors using tablets to diagnose and record patient notes is just the beginning and there’s not a social layer in play here.
BYOD if applied strategically rather than a half-hearted attempt to appease the shop-floor masses is going to reap massive benefits and a Mobile development platform like Apperian’s EASE is a step in the right direction.
When Orange rebranded to Everything Everywhere is was almost there. Mobile is Everything Everywhere for Everyone. Mobile allows people to be productive anywhere, allows them to be connected both on a professional and personal level any time, any place. It’s the new Martini Effect.
There’s one other thing. Mobile right now is being used just as a collector of information for advertising on a social application level but it can achieve so much more.
Do you remember the scene from The Dark Knight where Batman reveals to Lucius Fox that he’s turned every cell phone in Gotham into a receiver to catch The Joker ? What do you think your devices are made up of. Think of just one of the components……processors. They sit idle right now, silently ticking over waiting for you to initiate the next action or app. Now think of just how big a distributed network of processors that makes if everyone ran an app in the background, quietly churning data in and out to crunch disease data, space information…. once the network carriers release their grip and stop throttling us with data caps that’s when the real power and disruptive influence of Mobile will take off.
Social may be the darling of the future of work right now but it’s a Mobile strategy that’s going to push the enterprise innovation envelope even further.
I’ve made my decision, the audience holds it’s breath in anticipation, watching the man who went against the consensus and waits for the correct answer….
This post was written via an iPad on the train and uploaded with the WordPress app.
Follow along on Quora
Is the world ready for mobility? We would love for you to follow and contribute to the discussion on Quora.
Follow and contribute to this discussion on Quora