A few years ago, mobility consisted mostly of voice calls on flip phones and laptops equipped with modems or Ethernet cables. When Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007 and the iPad three years later, it radically changed the stakes. Suddenly, a robust platform that supported data and apps existed.
Today, no CIO would dismiss mobility. Its footprint is huge, and it is fundamentally changing the way companies, educational institutions and government approach business. Nevertheless, the sheer size and impact of the mobile market–and how it intersects with the emerging Internet of things–hasn’t fully registered with many business and IT leaders. According to a new report from Deloitte, 2015 promises to be a transformational year.
Consider a few facts:
- Current smartphone owners will upgrade their phones in excess of one billion for the first time in history. The total number of smartphones sold will top out at more than 1.35 billion.
- About 10 percent of smartphone users worldwide will make an in-store payment at least once a month, compared to less than one-half a percent of about 450 million smartphones globally in mid-2014.
- The end of 2015 will mark the tipping point for the use of mobile phones for in-store payments around the world. The four prerequisites for mainstream adoption–buy in from financial institutions, merchants, consumers and device vendors–have been sufficiently addressed.
- More than 60 percent of the one billion global wireless IoT devices will be bought, paid for and used by enterprises. The IoT-specific hardware will be worth $10 billion. However, these devices will enable about $70 billion in services.
CIOs must recognize how fast things are changing and what’s required in this new mobile order. Today’s environment requires a complete reboot of thinking and strategy. As Eric Openshaw, vice chairman of Deloitte LLP and U.S. technology leader for Deloitte’s technology, media and entertainment and telecommunications industry practice in the Americas, explained: “We are entering an extraordinary period where consumer technologies are finding increased adoption in the enterprise space.”
The upshot? There’s an exponential increase in interest in mobility and the IoT, which could have a profound impact on the way business takes place, Openshaw said. “The amount of data we will see generated from connected devices will pave the way to measure interactions in a way not witnessed before. And, as a result, will allow organizations to understand customer behaviors and purchase patterns in a whole new light.”