Smartphones here, smartphones there, smartphones everywhere!

Posted on: 02/24/2012
According to a recent New York Times article based on Forrester’s research, 1 billion people will own smartphones by 2016 – that’s roughly one in seven people on the planet. The article goes on to discuss how businesses must to be ready to use mobile devices to engage with customers in order to compete in the global economy.  
The Yankee Group projects that mobile commerce will reach $1 trillion over the next three years. If both estimates are realized, that equates to about $1,000 of mobile commerce per person over the course of a year. Participating in that evolution could have a very significant impact on a company’s bottom line.  
The challenge for an organization then becomes preparing for the multitude of current mobile platforms including iPhone, Android, RIM (Blackberry OS), Symbian, Windows and a host of other operating systems, and those to come. The thought of building separate platforms for all systems is nothing short of daunting.  
Trying to retrofit a "mobile" solution into an existing digital platform and strategy could simply become overwhelmingly for but the technologically advanced enterprises. If you think about it in terms of building a house, it would be like the architect coming into the project after the blueprints have been approved and the foundation has been poured. Sure, maybe he or she can move a few walls around, but the core foundation of the house is intransigent.  
We advocate thinking in the other direction. How can you build a foundation to support mobile users and the content they will want to see/buy/share on any platform? How can you build it to be flexible enough for future technologies?  
They key is to build a platform with a malleable core so that your company can easily adapt to the changing mobile environment. By building a foundation that is robust and scalable, data can be indexed and delivered to multiple devices, which will have a big payout in the long run. This  
foundation should include provisions for user generated content, rich media and data across multiple databases.  
We all know that mobile is here to stay and will only get bigger. If your company is not engaging in the mobile platform, then be prepared to be left in the dark while the rest of the world is completing more and more transactions on their mobile devices.
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