Mobile computing to transform business

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Nothing but management mindset stands in the way of a massive shift to mobile enterprise computing in SA.

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More information about the MobileBiz conference which takes place on 28-29 July 2010 at Vodaworld, Midrand, Johannesburg is available online here.

So says Yaron Assabi, CEO of Digital Solutions Group, who adds that earlier concerns about the security of mobile enterprise computing are now redundant, as technology has blocked any security holes. This leaves nothing but mindset as a barrier to companies rolling out mobile computing solutions for their staff.

While larger companies may be reluctant to change, Assabi points out that small to medium-size enterprises (SMEs) are traditionally earlier adopters of changes and new trends in any market.

But companies of all sizes should not ignore the benefits of mobile computing, he says.

“As markets become increasingly competitive and saturated, not to mention South African companies competing for international business, the demand for time is far too great to continue restricting employees from remote accessibility, and to ignore the benefits mobile computing has to offer.”

Assabi says mobile solutions are cost effective because they're designed as an extension to business systems, and simply enhance accessibility and immediacy in dealing with day-to-day tasks.

“It's unequivocally beneficial,” he says. “Having employees who are in constant contact and have access to the necessary information despite their location carries obvious competitive advantages.”

These benefits include faster turn-around times, improved customer latency, better customer satisfaction and possibly cost optimisation, he explains.

Device of choice

“Additionally, mobile is fast becoming the dominant way in which people communicate, on both a personal and professional level, and will be the device of choice with a reflection on lifestyle, mobile data, Internet, and likewise services.”

He says smartphones have had the largest impact on the market in the shortest timeframe, with the success of the iPhone underlining this. “It has forever changed the way wireless vendors think about consumer behaviour, and what is possible on a mobile device.”

Assabi concedes the mobile phone may never be a full replacement for the desktop or laptop or netbook. However, the range of applications and what users will be capable of doing on mobile devices has revolutionised strategic planning and product roadmaps through the wireless world.

“More importantly, the success of third-party applications, as shown by the iPhone app store, has demonstrated the importance of developing a robust network of third-party developers,” he says.

Cost buster

“Given the immediacy of mobile technology - in that it is always with you - mobile computing has the potential to produce faster turn-around times and improves accuracy.”

Assabi adds that an enterprise range of solutions can now be made accessible for field and remote workers leveraging a cloud computing and SaaS model.

“If implemented and managed correctly, this kind of mobile accessibility can be a real boon to productivity and cost optimisation.”

He highlights it can eliminate 80% of the ownership costs, as cloud computing implies there is no need for operational management, audit and compliance, security, disaster recovery, maintenance activity, a database, data centre or hardware.

“The only element the customer is paying for is custom services and software. The deployment of a solution in the cloud is therefore also five times faster as the vendor easily manages the change management required.”

Assabi will speak at the ITWeb Mobile Biz conference on 28and 29 July at Vodaworld, Midrand. The event focuses on the financial, security, and IT implications of implementing a mobility strategy.

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