Recently, while thinking about several of the technology trends impacting mobility and mobile computing, my thoughts again turned to the one trend that I believe is driving all of the others. This trend has the potential to dramatically change the role of IT and IT leaders.
- Multichannel apps provide a consistent, engaging, and relevant user experience across multiple platforms that include not only smartphones and tablets, but also other devices such as smart televisions, gaming consoles, and, yes, even laptops and desktops.
- App atomization means delivering smaller applications that are often focused on one, or a few, related tasks. They are simple to use (the aspiration is that “no help, no doc” should be required), and are created either from scratch by deconstructing existing applications.
- Multi-persona technologies provide a consumer with the ability to operate a device under several “personalities” so they can, for example, protect their work data and applications from their personal information – and vise versa (BlackBerry’s “Two Emmas” video describes this concept well).
- Context awareness and sensing technologies that are abundant in today’s mobile devices can determine where you are, what is happening in your environment, and, to some extent, what you are doing. Developers have been doing amazing things even with the simplest of sensors such as using a device’s microphone to listen and determine whether people are close to one another, or even to diagnose illness by listening to the sound of a cough. And there are a host of aftermarket sensors that can be plugged into the mobile devices to extend this type of power and experience.
Those are but a few of the key technology trends impacting mobility and mobile computing. There are a host of others, such as open data that are making mobile applications even more powerful and valuable. Not to mention the advances in the mobile devices themselves. We really have moved past “feature rich mobile phones” and now have powerful mobile computing platforms which happen to be capable of placing a phone call. Though, to return to my original question, what does this mean? What do these things have in common?
Mobility is no longer a trend
It’s all about the experience. Mobility is no longer a trend. It’s a symptom. Today mobility technology is really about providing a compelling, engaging experience wherever the consumer or employee is, whatever they are doing. It’s about seamless, multi-channel transactions that can be started on a laptop at work, continued on a smartphone during a bus or train commute at the end of a workday, and completed on a tablet from a living room chair. It’s about the device figuring things out on behalf of its user and simplifying the experience for them. It’s about capturing customer’s interest “in the moment”, while they need or want a product or service. It’s about helping people when and where they need help. It’s about improving lives. And there are plenty of examples of these types of seamless, engaging, multi-channel applications today.
So what does this mean for today’s IT professionals and leaders? I believe it means the end of IT. Well, at least as we know it. I believe it that in order to capitalize on this trend IT teams must transition from being technology delivery teams to becoming experience delivery teams. We need to keep that end game of providing a seamless, engaging, relevant, simple, multi-channel, no help-no doc experience at the forefront. In order to accomplish this, IT leaders need to transition from being Chief Information Officers to Chief Experience Officers. And they need to bring with them their experience delivering well performing, secure complex systems so customers and employees who use these new, engaging apps are unaware of what happens behind the curtain.
“Love is in the Air” photo courtesy of stock.xchng
This blog is cross-posted at Pragmatic Cloud.
You can follow @GeorgeDWatt on Twitter.