So I watched a webinar today and was surprised how 'people' talk about the increased reach of mobile as a productivity benefit.
I'm not saying that mobile isn't a benefit in terms of any time anywhere access, great battery life, instant on etc. etc. I like to think of productivity as what we provide as developers and designers:
- Taking a process from 5 screens to 1
- Removing tree style navigation
- Visualize data so the key information is easily understandable...
Really in IT thats our job in many ways, to turn data into information. Filter the millions into the few so users can see the wood for the trees and make business decisions based on good information.
Productivity can also include integration. The simple link from your IBM i system on your mobile device to the phone, so you don't have to dial the customers number. Same goes for Email, Skype, Navigation and Mapping, even note taking apps like Evernote (which I'm drafting this blog post in).
Productivity on mobile could be optimizing for the form factor and for touch.
Productivity is about thinking how people use the device and your data and putting the two together in a compelling way.
I saw some rubbish about people using mobile devices just to look up info - while this may be true for a smartphone it's not how many many people use tablets for example. They are firmly in the world of content creation and should be treated as such.
Just as a test to see how well people can work with a device take any average 15+ year old kid and ask them to type on their smartphone some words, now you try and do the same on your PC keyboard, tried it? Well the result is scary, my friends daughter Emma who is 16 can type faster on her Blackberry than I can on a PC keyboard!
So to sum up when you look at using mobile for your company, app reach is a benefit but use the word productivity to add real value into the systems you deliver.
I suppose what I am saying is think big, it's OK to deliver incrementally but ensure before you get going you have some real compelling extra value. It's there to be had, if your stuck with what the value is, drop me a line and let me prove to you what the value is in mobile.
Here is a graph showing the usage of mobile at the moment, you know what I can't see is "Your IBM i applications" lets change that!