Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Work and Mobile

Yesterday I was at momo#7 and although it was very interesting afterwards I figured out that this was beyond my borders of enterprise 2.0. At this moment in time mobility is more a consumer oriented movement and less a work related issue. Yuri van Geest hit this issue on the spot, although I suspect this was unintended. He mentioned that mobile has to be about fun and games and not about work. Implying that work is no fun. But I guess reading his twitter stream that he had lots of fun at work ;-) And all of us would agree that work had to be (more) fun!

I see two applications of mobile in the work area. The first is the use of consumer apps in a business setting. Booking a train on a mobile app (I did this on my way to momo), making a hotel reservation, using google maps on the iPhone to get to an appointment, etc. There are tuns of stuff people do in a business setting aswell as in a private setting.

The second application I see is the mobile access to the enterprise information systems. The most obvious is email, which is already used by lots of businesspeople. I already saw a salesforce.com iPhone app to use this piece of business software on a mobile device. I can access our sharepoint portal through my mobile, using a specific mobile URL. One of the design principles for web 2.0 is about the multidevice aspect. Webapps should be made for multiple apps including mobile to make more use of your app. I think that the same principle applies for enterprise 2.0, and that there is a great future for this principle!

So you see I am in discussion with myself on this topic! On the one hand moblie is more about consumer market than the business market but the chances are there! The topic of value in mobile is even harder in the business market. How can a company make a business case for using mobile devices and apps in a business context? Productivity and responstimes are likely to be better but to what extend? I am using an iPhone and I got the feeling I am more productive on the road, but find it hard to quantify this. On the other hand budgets on ICT are a lot bigger in the business world, so that will make a difference.

I am guessing we will see more and more mobile apps in a business context and people will love them! For my point of view of enterprise 2.0, I will just see it as a channel and leave the further development of this interesting movement to others, like the terrific momo crew! But I feel this subject will be continued even in this blog...

2 comments:

Kars said...

Robert, I can't imagine businesses would not want their people to get away from their desks more. The less time they spend being "in the screen" the more time they will be able to spend actually working with colleagues (in a far more dis-intermediated fashion). Health benefits are potentially enormous too - we're just not built to be staring at a screen all day, pushing a bit of plastic across the table and disregards the rest of our bodies. I could go on and on like this, in fact.

Robbert said...

Hi Kars,

I agree to some degree. There must be business around who want this for their workforce or a part of their workforce. But I get the feeling some managers are still stuck in 1.0 world and are not ready for this sort of stuff. I would like to recommend to those managers to get their act together and start working in a 2.0 world!

But my point of the blogpost is that mobile is indeed interesting and applicable in the work environment but for now I see consumers apps and connectivity as the two mayor ones! And this stuff will make worklife better for sure.