A CFO once said to me when we discussed mobility; “I don’t want an IT-project, I want a business development project”. I love this sentiment. He was tired of delayed mobility projects and the risks and costs for software integration. Being mobile must take center stage for business to remain competitive”, he said. Or as Eric Schmidt, CEO Google stated last year; “If you haven’t got a mobile strategy, then you haven’t got a future strategy”.
The fact is that mobile is not about the future it is here and now, both in our private and in business lives. This trend is a great opportunity for ERP vendors like IFS and all the users of our technology. In 2008 there were 1.2 billion users connected to the Internet via laptops and 0.4 billion through smartphones. By 2014, there will be more smartphones (1.8 billion) used to access internet than laptops. Statistics from a Cisco study predict mobile traffic will increase by 78% until 2016. At this time, 8 billion devices worldwide will be connected to the Internet.
A few years ago, you received the coolest technology gadgets from work. That’s not the case anymore. Nowadays we’re all buying more advanced devices at home. This phenomenon where technology first emerges in the consumer market and later spread into the business is called consumerization of IT. One output from this trend has been the rise of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) in large organisations. BYOD is a business policy where employees bring personally owned devices to their place of work and use those devices to access company resources such as email and business applications. This has demonstrated that choice and style are important to employees, who want to use the latest technology. IT-departments sometimes term it “Bring Your Own Disaster” as it might not be as secure as corporate managed equipment.
However, talking about BYOD is limited to the device. If a company wants to transform their business, mobility is more than the hardware used. It’s how you live your life flexibly – accessing the information you need on the job and at home.
I’d like to coin a new phrase – BYOB
(Bring Your Own Behavior), which is equally as challenging to IT departments as BYOD. This is where employees are used to mobile solutions in their private life, and push IT to utilize similar functionality for business use. This trend is great for IFS as an ERP vendor and for businesses, ultimately resulting in faster and smarter business decisions.
Today, successful mobile devices and services have two things in common; they are intuitive to learn and fast to use. If you don’t understand how to complete a task in a few seconds, you will download and try another app. If it’s too cumbersome to execute the task, you will do the same. This drives the end-user requirement for best in class user experience.
BYOB (Bring Your Own Behavior), addresses a wider perspective including how we live our life being constantly online, both in business and private. The smartphone/tablet, social media and apps have been driving this change in people’s behavior and expectations. We are getting used to social media functionality where you can share information with people in the same community. Collaboration is critical and natural in a business context too. Sharing information or asking people for advice is made simple.
Bring Your Own Behavior has great impact on the way you want to use your business application. An ERP solution can be seen as unfathomable as the Internet when it comes to the volume of data. To find and analyze information, faster and smarter, while being on the move, is a competitive advantage. Access to critical information and industry experience through your community of colleagues and partners is business critical. In the earl stage, we all learned to use consumer apps for fun, but now you see an increasing number of professional apps hitting the market.
At IFS World Conference in Gothenburg, starting on Monday, we will launch a number of new IFS Touch Apps that make our customers more productive and competitive. But as important, these business apps make it easier and so much more enjoyable to use IFS Applications while being on the move.
I believe that BYOB will be a big driver for business transformation. What are you experiencing?