Confused? You should be; before you move your legacy stuff on to the various mobile platforms – from mobile phones to tablets to next generation smartphones. Too many companies think mobility is only about mobile enabling their applications. It is not! It’s all about putting a specific business process in the palm of the employee’s hand when it’s needed, where it’s needed. And only that!
The consumerization of technology has already led to plenty of cloud applications being wrapped as apps for mobile devices, rather than offered as Web-based interfaces. The boundaries between what’s a web page and what’s an application may be dissolving with the advent of HTML5 and user interfaces like Windows 8 Metro. But as more of the world start to consume services almost exclusively through mobile devices, it’s less likely that users will ever type in a URL for a site.
On a recent trip to South Africa, I had the chance to meet and work with a number of well-established IT companies—and all of them had cloud on the agenda. How, what, when, and where were the questions I was asked. The first thing I said? “Look around―learn from your customers and look at what’s happening with private consumers.” Only by understanding user behavior among the consumers and the art of turning needs and pains into value propositions are you able to align functions and features.
I am convinced that mobility in South Africa and the rest of Africa will surpass the more mature IT markets in a few years. Mobile payment and the aim to have a cashless society will fuel the development of mobile apps. And using mobile devices for everything will become the de facto standard.
At the East Africa Outsourcing Summit in Nairobi on June 6, Kenya ICT Board CEO Paul Kukubo said, “The world is beginning to pay attention to the idea that, even in Africa, if you can solve African problems, you can create an IT product that is attractive to the rest of the world.” So true.
The African continent will be driven by user demand or pull, and since they don’t have the same amount of legacy platforms and applications to slow it all down, the rise of a new empire in mobility and mobile apps will emerge from here.
If you want to build new cloud services, including mobile apps, I urge you to learn more from what’s happening in Africa and even consider working “out of Africa.” Or at least to establish partnerships with companies in that region. You’ll be surprised how quickly you’re able to test and to market new services there, and then apply what you’ve learned and the best practices you’ve developed to your own territory. In turn, Africa can benefit from your business knowledge, management skills, and financial means.
And – if you don’t want to turn to Africa – just make sure you look at business processes and align your future IT development with what is needed at the palm of your employee’s hand and not how well you can mobile enable your legacy systems. That is true mobility.
An experienced sales, marketing, and business development executive, Anders is accountable for leading the strategy, execution, and management of results-oriented, business-transformation campaigns for cloud and the channel. Skillfully navigating the industry ecosystem, he leverages key relationships to establish mutually beneficial partnerships resulting in strengthened marketplace positioning and accelerated sales funnels. Anders is an internationally recognized SaaS, cloud, and channel industry leader, as well as a speaker and moderator.