The Emergence of the Mobile Internet
Mary Meeker, the highly regarded Internet research analyst from Morgan Stanley, is well known for her annual and data rich, Internet Reports. Now a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers she recently gave a state of the Mobile Internet presentation at Google. The presentation is an eye-popping look into how the Mobile Internet is growing at a much faster rate than the Desktop Internet did and how the industry expects the Mobile Internet will be 10 times bigger than the Desktop Internet. You can view the slides presented at Google here:
Here’s a summary of some of the Mobile Internet data provided in Mary Meeker’s and other analyst reports.
- In Q4 2010 the combined shipments of Smart phones & Tablets surpassed that of Desktop & Notebook PCs
- In 2010 mobile broadband subscribers passed fixed broadband subscribers
- Mobile Internet data traffic is expected to grow by 26X over next 5 years
- Mobile Internet devices expected to be 10X the 1B devices on today’s Desktop Internet
- The Mobile Internet is growing much faster than the Desktop Internet did
- The Mobile Internet will be much bigger than most people think
- One of the big growth drivers will be the Tablet.
Being part of an organization that helps clients reduce costs and increase productivity by moving paper or manual-based customer/employee/partner interactions to low-cost online interactions it’s easy to see what a profound and beneficial impact the Mobile Internet and the emergence of the Tablet will have for our clients.
The Rise of the Tablet
One of the market dynamics that is causing an increased focus on the Mobile Internet is the Tablet. No matter what your views are on Apple you have to admit that they have launched two wildly successful products that are now driving the Mobile Internet; the iPhone smart phone and the iPad media tablet.
In 2007 Apple introduced the iPhone which, depending on your perspective, either defined or re-invented the smartphone category and served as the spark that lit the fire for the first phase of consumer adoption of the mobile internet. Now the Apple iPad is about to do the same thing to the tablet market, with Google Android, RIM PlayBook and others in hot pursuit.
The first four quarters of iPad sales were 3.5 X greater than the combined first four quarter sales of the iPod AND the iPhone.
The longer term growth estimates for all Tablets indicates continued explosive growth. In fact iPad sales for 2011 may now exceed the industry’s highest expectations, as analysts see indications from component suppliers that Apple may sell 45 million iPad tablets this year. And for all you Android fans the future is equally bright, after a big iPad head start the latest Gartner projections have Android only 12 points of market share behind the iPad in 2015.
The industry analysts are also on board with
- Forrester Research estimating that one third of U.S. online consumers (82M) will own tablet by 2015
- Gartner predicting that there will be as many tablets in use in an enterprise as PCs by 2013
The enthusiasm for tablets is not limited to industry analysts and pundits. According to a recent Barclays Capital survey of more than 100 US and European CIOs there is strong interest in tablets and a corresponding willingness to purchase tablets for employees. Here are some of the key findings from the survey:
- 68 percent of surveyed CIO’s either already supported tablets or were preparing for a roll out
- 18 percent were interested in tablets but had not yet reached the testing or deployment phase
- Just 14 percent were not interested in using tablets at their companies
In many instances the interest in supporting tablets goes higher than the CIO. Because tablets have the potential to be hugely disruptive to the business models and markets of many enterprises, Gartner Group is advising their client’s the following:
“It is not usually the role of the CEO to get directly involved in specific technology device decisions, but Apple’s iPad is an exception,” said Stephen Prentice, Gartner Fellow and vice president. “CEOs and business leaders should initiate a dialogue with their CIOs about it if they have not already done so.”
The Consumerization of IT
The consumerization of technology describes a shift in innovation in which new technology emerges in consumer markets first and then spreads into business markets. The consumerization of IT refers to the adoption and use of consumer technology within the enterprise.
The consumerization of IT is driven by workers who are investing their own resources to purchase and learn smart phones and tablets to get things done at work and at home. Tech-savvy workers are now using the same powerful and widely available applications to stay informed, connected and productive in their professional and personal lives. Accelerating the consumerization of IT is the shifting definition of the “mobile worker” as today just about everyone is considered mobile to some extent, and enterprises are very motivated to make sure employees are just a text message away.
It’s clear the tablet is going to accelerate of the consumerization of IT. It’s also clear that tablets can deliver increased organizational flexibility, a more productive workforce, competitive differentiation, and in most instances significant cost reductions in operating expenses. You can learn how one of our clients, Overland Solutions Inc., exploited the power of mobile computing with Adobe LiveCycle ES, Adobe Flex and Adobe AIR to improve the effectiveness of their mobile workforce by reading our customer case study Enabling a Mobile Workforce.
The Impact on Enterprise IT
It’s clear that just as with the emergence of the PC the emergence of the tablet is going to have a profound impact on the business and operating models of every organization. That impact will occur in an organization’s B2C customer interactions and on their internal employee interactions or B2B supplier and partner interactions.
Impact on Customer Interactions
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that organizations are going to have to modernize their web site to accommodate the smaller screens and capabilities of Mobile Internet users.
The marketing and informational aspects of web sites should be updated to provide an acceptable user experience for mobile users. Keep in mind that in just a few years more people will be accessing your site from mobile devices than from desktop devices. For many organizations this website refresh opens up a new opportunity to market more effectively through the more precise personalization and targeting that can be achieved today.
It’s a certainty that the transactional part of your site – the part that allows users to open an account, register for services, file a claim, submit a request, or order products – will need updating. It’s likely you present users with a static PDF form to be printed on paper filled with a pen mailed or faxed back to your organization. There are two problems with this approach – high cost and an unacceptable user experience for tablet users.
- Cost: One of the highest ROI areas for tablets is automating any type of data collection process. Most organizations don’t realize that it cost about $9 to process a paper form while the cost of an electronically submitted SmartForm is about $.05. We have a client that provides outsourced data collection services for the insurance industry. They perform about 750,000 work orders annually and converting those work orders to SmartForms will reduce operating expense by more than $7M per year! The bigger point is that with such a large cost differential small changes have big impacts. Converting just a third of their work orders to SmartForms, reduces annual OpEx by an astounding $2.5M per year. If you want to learn more go to our blog entry What is Data Entry Costing You? and download the Avoka Data Entry Calculator to find out what paper or static electronic forms are costing your organization.
- User Experience: Its simple, tablet users are not going to use a pen to transact with your organization. If you can’t or won’t provide the convenience of online self-service they’ll simply click to a site that does.
Impact on Employee, Supplier and Partner Interactions
Tablets will rapidly replace paper-based processes, such as insurance underwriting, pharmaceutical sales, construction site reviews or any place in which users need to collect data, place orders, check inventory, get real-time information or provide real-time intelligence.
A simple way to think about it is anywhere you have someone walking around with a clipboard or using a laptop to collect information is an ideal place to use a low-cost, mobile tablet to automate the process, significantly reduce costs and streamline the process.
Make no mistake about it tablets are going to transform both business and consumer markets.
In just 12 months Apples iPad has redefined what mobile tablet computing should be – ubiquitous, affordable, fast, personal, fun, easy to use with access to nearly everything, anywhere and anytime.
In consumer markets tablets will completely redefine how entertainment and news can be more effectively distributed and how goods and services can be easily purchased. In commercial markets they will usher in a new era of customer, employee, and partner online self-service and unleash a wave of increased productivity and capability for mobile workforces.
Contact us to find out how you can deploy tablets in your organization to significantly reduce the costs and offer tablet users the online experience they demand.