Who wants to be a Mobillionaire ?

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.

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Categories: Disciplines, Disruption, Future of work, Information Technology, Mobility

Author:Theo Priestley

"I had more creative ideas from Theo in 6 months than I have had in 6 years from most people." Theo Priestley is one of the most recognised independent technology industry influencers and evangelists, ranking in the Top 100 thought leaders across Virtual/ Augmented Reality, FinTech, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Internet of Things and future trends. Theo has written insights for Forbes, Wired, The European Magazine, Venturebeat to name a few, and has been interviewed for many online publications including the BBC on his thoughts on technology and the future. A regular paid keynote speaker and panelist at conferences and events, Theo is engaged for his forthright views and isn't afraid to challenge conventional thinking and the marketing hype surrounding the industry when presenting, never pulling punches to get the message across on how technology can be applied to improve business and the customer experience. He has also successfully organised and run TEDx and Ignite events. Highly active across social networks, he sits in the Top 1% for social media engagement on Kred and Klout and is constantly sharing articles and his analysis that he feels his audience would be interested in. Theo is also active in the startup community, mentoring within UK and US accelerators and sits on a number of advisory boards. Former VP and Chief Technology Evangelist at a Top 25 European enterprise software company with a career spanning both innovation strategy and delivery of software and business change in Financial Services, and as an independent technology industry analyst. Follow Theo on Twitter @tprstly or connect here directly for constant insights on tech and marketing trends. • Top 1% Influencer on Kred (915) • Top 1% Influencer on Klout (70+) • 12,000+ Followers on LinkedIn • 13,000+ Followers on Twitter • Recognised Top Influencer in AI, Virtual/ Augmented Reality, Fintech, IOT and Wearable Tech, Big Data and Analytics.

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7 Comments on “Who wants to be a Mobillionaire ?”

  1. September 25, 2012 at 9:42 am #

    Great article Theo. The conversation around BYOD today, is dominated by security concerns as opposed to productivity gains. Which shows the immaturity of a very fast moving market. What we are seeing is that the security questions are quickly resolved by applying policy at the application level as opposed to the device level. A secondary but emerging concern is a company being exposed to private data on a personal device. The implications can be severe. Once past these issues, companies such as Cisco, that have a more mature mobile application management strategy, are focused on adoption, engagement and crowd sourcing of enterprise applications. Their entire focus has shifted to employee productivity and satisfaction. BYOD is here to stay and we’d like to see more companies move beyond security and start truly harnessing the power of a distributed, always on workforce.

    I particularly like your comment on harnessing idle processing power. There was TED talk on something similar. I’d like to see more innovation around harnessing the power of distributed and idle processors.

  2. September 25, 2012 at 12:28 pm #


    I fully support your premises: Clouds are just servers (nothing new there), Big Data has been around since the 1960’s and people still don’t know what to do with it and Social simply teaches business the importance of immediate collaboration without technical barriers. Mobility is the new frontier.

    I don’t think companies understand the importance of leveraging their existing structures to accommodate Mobility; however. Too many will try to create mobile versions of the static, rigid and choking enterprise systems that run their businesses today. Being able to execute your ERP on your phone isn’t the solution. Being able to execute innovative processes that increase productivity, accuracy, visibility and collaboration is the solution. This needs to be done without modifying, upgrading, replacing or integrating the legacy software. These applications were never meant to be bastions of innovation anyway and extending this model to a mobile work will only result in an equally ineffective solution that is now conveniently mobile.

  3. Max
    September 26, 2012 at 2:26 am #

    Where is “data in memory”? IMO that is a destructive technology beyond all the four.

  4. September 29, 2012 at 5:55 am #

    Theo, great article. I think you are spot on in your comments. Mobile is indeed the platform that enables this all. Mobile is the content delivery device, the glue, the connector. I think things will truly take off with mobile when Mobile Commerce takes off. And when Mobile Commerce takes off, Mobile Payments will follow suit. Why do I think Mobile Commerce will be a key inflection point in the mobile landscape? Because while companies are already beginning to adopt mobile applications to increase employee productivity, it is the adoption by CONSUMERS that will push mobile over the edge to mass market adoption. And consumer adoption of mobile must be driven by a compelling consumer NEED that is currently unmet. Put another way, it’s nice to be able to connect with your friends on social networking mobile application (e.g., a “nice to have”), but when you can make consumers’ lives easier by allowing them to do must-needed chores (like shopping for groceries, daily necessities, things on their To Do list, e.g., a “must have”), then that is when consumers will have the greatest motivation to change behavior and and become truly “mobile citizens”.

    Countries like China already have high mobile penetration due to high smartphone penetration and ubiquity of 3G networks and mobile applications. China’s mobile environment is already developed and well ahead of the U.S. It will be interesting to watch the mobile adoption path in countries like China to get insight into what the future of mobile will hold. (I address mobile adoption trends in China in my article: http://sinopundit.com/2012/07/internet-access-via-mobile-devices-overtakes-pcs-for-first-time-implications-for-your-mobile-strategy-in-china/)

  5. November 14, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

    Steve, so much of what you say here is spot on IMO. Especially, your comments about mobile and its potential. Once processors and other resources on mobile devices are clustered with other device resources on other form factors and apps emerge that can fully leverage them all, things will really get interesting. I call 2013 “The Year of the Super App.”

  6. November 14, 2012 at 9:35 pm #

    Oops! I meant to attribute my reply to the posting by Theo. Sorry Theo and Steve. It’s been a long day.

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