It was reported last week that currently in the UK our communication habits are shifting to digital-based chat via Messaging/Texting/SMS as the most common form of daily contact between friends and family. In fact Brits are twice as likely to send a SMS than to dial a number or any other normal form of traditional contact. I believe this the sign of the times where mobile technology is now fully woven into out way of life. A life where we expect ubiquitous networks and always on information and an app for everything.
Nowadays it is headline news if there is a collapse or blip on a cellular network, though the majority of us also have landlines for calls and broadband internet access over them (with wifi available). For example, take the Blackberry outages over the last 12 months, which effected BES servers worldwide and last week locally in the UK where the O2 network suffered network problems. News clips and headlines reported consumer rage and despair as users could not get data (and voice) services. For those users was it like the whole world had collapsed around them? In both cases the network providers were fully aware of the inconvenience and did everything they could to rectify the problem as fast as possible.
It just shows the importance of mobile in all our lives (personal & professional) and the importance of access to our data anytime and anywhere… A phrase that comes to my mind, with respect to this, is… ‘Up a pole or Down a hole‘. This was used by my colleagues in the old iAnywhere company in Canada, over the last 10 years or more. Interpreted it means if you have no network access, due to being near high voltage wires above ground level or deep underground in a tunnel, the user (in this example it is aimed at a field service worker) should still have working apps that have crucial data stored locally and securely.
There will always be a time or a place that our Mobile Devices will not have a data connection, some because of external factors (man made or mother nature), some because of network disruption, some because of location (such as in sparsely populated areas) and necessity (take off/landing on an aircraft etc). So, is the knee jerk reaction I mentioned earlier, a fatal attraction to mobile or just a reminder to all of us involved in the many facets of Mobile, that we need to build for robustness and resilience?
Personally I believe the later, especially in the Mobile Enterprise!
Occasionally Connected… Always Available!