Friday, March 15, 2013

New Gartner Report Says Mobility is Now Fundamentally Reshaping Mainstream Consumer Behavior

A recent Gartner report, from a survey of more than 8,000 global consumers, indicated that:

"Household adoption and spending on consumer technology products is shifting faster than expected in favor of gadgets and services that are portable or mobile and those that deliver networking capabilities and entertainment...The major change is that mobility is now reshaping mainstream consumer behavior in fundamental ways..."

Given the continued adoption of smartphones, the almost stratospheric rise of the tablet for web viewing, and new innovations in the works, mobile is the wave of the future and the future is now.

According to Nick Ingelbrecht, research director at Gartner, "Early adopters tend to leave the home laptop in the bag and are abandoning the home office in favor of the lounge room couch or bedroom to do online activities in a more comfortable environment using a tablet or smartphone. This early adopter trend is becoming mainstream consumer behavior."

Though the report was focused towards technology vendors who provide digital products and services (PCs, cameras, video gaming systems, etc...) the fundamental consumer behavior change speaks volumes to the absolute need for mobile strategy adoption across the business sector. Regardless of business size, target market or industry vertical, consumers and employees will be looking more fervently for businesses that cater to their on-the-go shopping, lifestyle, education, entertainment and work task needs. Organizations need to effectively deliver mobile websites and apps that cater to these needs sooner rather than later.

As the Garter report says, "technology and service providers are being faced with no alternative but to innovate for mobility." If they do nothing, they face a potential train wreck as consumers abandon gadgets, services and applications that do not fully support changing mobile lifestyles." This same premise applies to businesses at any level, but especially for enterprise organizations facing a broad BYOD mantra. Adopting a mobile strategy will be a key success factor for businesses across the board, as will employing the right tools and processes to execute valuable and well-utilized deliverables.

The adage, "if you build it, they will come" simply does not work in the mobile space. You need to build it well and in a manner that is timely and cost effective to support your business needs. When it comes to gadgets, consumers may jump on board and buy them, then ultimately drop them if they don't work. In the mobile space however, when consumers and employees are on their devices for work or play, if the content and functionality isn't there, they will immediately move on. This means decreased consumer revenue and worker productivity. I know I find myself working even more often, beyond the standard office schedule, if access to corporate systems and work tasks is more readily available.

"The shift to wireless access and portable devices represents both a threat and an opportunity to technology vendors." the Gartner report points out. The same holds true for businesses needing to deliver data-rich mobile solutions to their end users. In the wake of the rapid adoption of newer, more robust, consumer-friendly and cutting edge devices (think Google Glasses) businesses late to the mobile party just won't get a second invitation.

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