Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Mobile Commerce, Speed, Operational Tempos and the Real-Time Enterprise, Part 1

In a recent survey of eighty IT and business professionals, 73 percent responded that having optimized mobile applications and user experiences was “very important to critical” to their company’s future success.  In the same survey however, 78 percent reported their mobile strategies and plans were inhibited or limited by their existing IT environment. These results reveal a critical gap between the requirements for success and the reality of the obstacles enterprises are facing. Overcoming these challenges is the strategic imperative facing large enterprises today.

Enterprises understand that digital transformations being driven by mobile technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT) are changing their industries and markets. Consumer behaviors are changing at speeds never before seen, which impacts how businesses operate and bring products to market. These rapid changes are forcing enterprises to change their strategies in R&D, manufacturing, distribution, marketing, and sales. They are being forced to reconsider budget priorities and plans. They feel uneasiness. They are concerned with their ability to remain competitive, to understand real-time market trends, and to be agile and flexible enough to respond in time. They do know, however, that mobile technologies, sensors, and information management are at the forefront of these changes and are key components of any plans and strategies.

As organizations begin developing mobile strategies and implementing mobile apps, they quickly realize that simply developing and deploying basic mobile apps, infrastructure, and frameworks are not enough. They must push further and implement a real-time enterprise to remain competitive. This real-time requirement is at the root of many additional challenges. Eighty-four percent of survey participants reported they have IT systems too slow or incapable of supporting real-time mobility, which negatively impacts mobile app performance and user experiences.

Jonathan Gabbai, Head of International Mobile Product at eBay, recently reported almost half of eBay’s transactions globally are now touched by mobile.  Users conduct product research, create wish lists, and complete transactions using mobile applications. With so much business now depending on mobile device, application, and website performance, the user experience must be outstanding in order to be competitive. An October 2014 Harris Poll survey found that 37 percent of U.S. smartphone and tablet owners now favor mobile shopping over in-store shopping, and Google reports that 79 percent of consumers now say they use a smartphone to help with shopping.  These numbers alone should move mobile technologies up the priority list of any business.

Although an increasing number of shoppers prefer the convenience of mobile shopping, they still remain hard to please. Forty-six percent of mobile shoppers say they will leave a mobile app or mobile site if it fails to load in three seconds or less, while 80 percent will leave if the mobile app or site is buggy or slow.  Consumers’ expectations on what defines a good user experience are changing fast, but seem always to begin and end with speed.

Continue to Part 2 and Part 3 in this series.

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Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Senior Analyst
Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work Cognizant
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.