Opportunities for Innovation in the Age of Mobile
It’s been over a year since PandoDaily quite correctly trumpeted the beginning of the end for Web 2.0 and the beginning of the Age of Mobile. Desktop sales continue to decline whilst people continue to spend progressively more time in mobile apps than they do online.
The emphasis towards mobile is also creating opportunities for innovation and evolution in enterprise software. There is a growing expectation that users should be able to perform the functions they can do on a desktop app just as well on their mobile devices. If the current mobile user experience isn’t as good as (or better than) desktop, you’ve found an opportunity for evolutionary development.
In terms of innovation, the benefits and drawbacks associated with mobile accessibility provide new opportunities for innovative solutions. At Thoughtified we built ManagePlaces, a Web-based workflow management software application, to serve a growing number of mobile workers wanting to work on documents on location using their mobile devices. The software allows users to prioritise their workload based on their location. Using the geo-location referencing ability inherent in any mobile device, we’ve turned working away from the office into an opportunity to use their location information to work more efficiently and have any information relevant to where they are, available readily.
ManagePlaces takes advantage of geographic data collected through mobiles to create an innovative way of working. It’s true to say that location data makes mobile applications more valuable in new ways. “What's clear is that location is not about any singular service; rather, it's a new layer of the Web,” wrote Pete Cashmore, founder and CEO of Mashable, in CNN.
But opportunities in the Age of Mobile don’t stop with things you can do with a user’s coordinates. Think about the change from desktop to mobile interactions and you’ll soon find a plethora of differences that could be opportunities for business.
● Improved geo-spatial awareness.
● Increased security threats to mobile.
● Changes in interface interaction (touch screens).
● Cross-platform restrictions (whenever you copy and paste from one application to another on a desktop, remember its much harder to do that on mobile – would a dedicated application be the solution?).
Of course the demand for mobile accessibility within a particular application’s market needs to be there; if it currently isn’t, the trend towards mobile suggests it soon will be.
Have you noticed a shift towards mobile in your industry? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below.