Wireless in a Wired World

wireless.gifEvery industry has been touched and moved forward by mobile technology in some way. Airlines, hotels, restaurants, gas stations, banks – they all discovered that leveraging mobility to approach old problems in new ways was satisfying in a number of ways. It improved companies’ brands, improved their bottom line, and often created a better experience for their customers. And the solutions are as varied as they are plentiful. There’s an article I saw recently, called “Best iPhone and iPad Apps for Jehovah’s Witnesses.” It is pretty clear that there is no shortage of mobility solutions out there for every interest.

That is the true problem – an abundance of “solutions” that the majority of us do not have time to adequately evaluate. In a vacuum, no problem. In the face of running a business, and in some cases, just surviving, it is a lot to take on alone.

A statistic that shows the kind of leverage we’re working with: “A five percent reduction in operating costs has the same impact to your P&L as a 30 percent increase in sales.” – Gartner Group Consulting

Mobile technology, in particular, has great leverage in the realm of operating costs. Why? By definition, the world of operations is a collection of moving parts. And in that world of moving parts, getting information, people and things to move more efficiently is the daily task. It also happens that this is mobile technology’s crowning achievement.

THE REAL WORLD, EXAMPLE #1

Tablets and Construction/Blueprint App in the field; mobilize new drawings 

A set of drawings was administered through the architect. As the project progressed and changes occurred, new drawings needed to be sent out as quickly as possible. Throughout the project, screenshots from the foreman with his concerns were sent back to office for design team review.

Result: Needed changes caught in time; avoided costly re-work.

A large part of my background is mobile technology. I wasn’t there at the dawn, but I was there as it has hit its stride; and it’s been a powerful, far-reaching stride.

To understand the real power of mobile technology, you must first understand the evolution of the personal computer. For many of us, it felt like we just woke up one day and computers were there. Everywhere. Greeting us in the same fashion as our morning cup of coffee and newspaper. Although, the newspaper may have had some legitimate gripes about this newer member joining the daily routine.

Personal computers, in their time, have become ubiquitous and they’ve proven to be a vital part of our everyday life. But why? It wasn’t always that way. Sure, falling prices helped usher in widespread adoption. And with that adoption, you found at your desk a powerful tool of creation. However, what made it truly vital wasn’t what you could create, but rather what you could share.

The “killer app” for the computer is – and always will be – interconnectivity. Spreadsheets and PowerPoints can only take you so far. What’s your effort really worth without the ability to share it? Welcome to the heart of the “data (sharing) age.” And you are just waking up – again.

Enter mobility. While the killer app for the computer is interconnectivity, the killer app for mobility is portable interconnectivity. Anytime, anywhere access to vital, business critical, actionable information.

Mobility isn’t just a smartphone, though. It can be a tablet. It can be a GPS plug-in u