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The mobile enterprise: 'when'. not 'if'

By , ITWeb contributor.
Johannesburg, 26 Oct 2012

Mobility may be the biggest change driver ever in the way businesses are run, say experts.

Speaking at the MicroStrategy Mobile BI executive forum, presented in partnership with ITWeb, in Rosebank, Jim McNicol, director for Worldwide Mobile Practice at MicroStrategy, described mobility as a “tidal wave of change, hitting every business, at every level”

“It’s not about ‘will you get involved with mobile?’ It’s about ‘when will you get involved with mobile?’” McNicol said.

Added to this, he said, social media is transforming the way people interact and the way businesses are run. “If mobile opened the door, social media is the sledgehammer that busted it wide open. Now everyone is connected,” he said.

MicroStrategy SA country manager Mark Bannerman described mobility as the first new technology with the ability to be truly transformational. “Smartphones and tablets are changing the way business is being done and how people interact,” he noted.

He highlighted the power of mobility to deliver immediate information and research to anyone, anywhere, which presents new opportunities and revenue streams.

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Local businesses are taking this trend seriously, he added. “Now, 80% to 90% of our client engagements relate to mobility,” Bannerman said.

McNicol noted that mobility means a dramatic shift in how the IT department functions. “Mobility is allowing for much shorter release times – it allows for short, iterative releases and continuous delivery.”

Carlos Celestino, head of business intelligence (BI) and technology at Nedbank Business Banking, highlighted the bank’s own BI and mobility journey. Among the challenges, he said, were sourcing the right skills and the richness and volumes of data the bank had available. “You must decide on the relevance of the data to be used. It is pointless having massive amounts of data – the data must enable context-specific insight that is actionable,” he said.

Celestino said Nedbank now had one BI platform for its Business Banking division, which has allowed for faster rollouts and a standard approach to tools.

Ralf Keul, MicroStrategy’s director for sales and engineering, EMEA, highlighted MicroStrategy’s mobility tools at the briefing, noting that with its single platform, mobile app development is simpler, faster and more cost-effective.




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