Mobility: smartphones; the modern-day Swiss Army knives

This year the global smartphone market is expected to grow by 49.2% (IDC). The opportunities of this tremendous growth are huge. The challenges for IT managers and CIOs are well-known. Two recent surveys show how important smartphones are becoming in people’s lives. Welcome to the mobile alter ego.

A first report, by ExactTarget and called “Mobile Dependence Day” looks at the adoption and usage of smartphones in the US but it also clearly shows how multifunctional smartphones (and soon other mobile devices) are and how consumers are using them for various purposes.

As the report says, the smartphone has become a modern-day  Swiss Army knife. The consequences for marketers and business are clear. It’s not only about interacting with customers in a multi-channel environment but also about working in a multi-purpose environment.

Furthermore, this multi-phenomenon, impacts every aspect of the way we do business, not just marketing or communication. After all, our employees and entire business ecosystem are customers as well.

The mobile alter ego: why mobility is a priority for everyone

MediaPost, reporting on the “Mobile Depence Day” report by ExactTarget, even takes it a bit further when author Jack Loechner writes “Smartphone Is The Alter Ego”. Mobility as an extension of ourselves.

However, what else can you conclude if you read in the same post that a survey from Prosper Mobile Insights shows nearly 53% of smartphone owners state they are using all the functions of their smartphone, adding “it’s their life”.

Over 30% of respondents use all basic functions of their smartphones and a few applications, the same survey found. Only 16.7% use their smartphones “only” for calling, text messaging and email, Jack Loechner writes.

The ExactTarget report provides plenty of numbers, data and usage patterns of the US smartphone market and user.

However, probably the last sentence of the MediaPost article, this post is based upon, says more than numbers: “mobile is not a channel, but a series of platforms that allow for on-the-go communications”. Let me add that it’s not only for communications but for business, reading, banking, scanning barcodes, and even shopping as well.

If smartphones are the modern version of the Swiss Army knife and even our “alter ego” today, imagine what the mobile revolution will bring tomorrow.

No wonder that mobility is a top priority for CIOs: it is, in fact, a top priority for everyone.

The ExactTarget report can be downloaded here (registration required).


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