Gartner: Don’t have a mobile strategy, have a multichannel strategy

21st Sep 2012

“Mobile isn’t about devices or networks, it’s about business innovation.”

That’s according to Gartner analyst Nick Jones, who explained at the firm’s Portals, Content and Collaboration summit that the entire mobile world – smartphones, tablets, cellular connected machines, apps – is providing new opportunities for businesses.

He said: “The key issue to grasp is that there’s an opportunity to innovate beyond what your competitors are doing. Leaders such as Nike and Tesco are innovating significantly ahead of the mainstream and there’s still a few more years before everyone else catches up. Find those innovations and exploit them before your competitors do.”

Not everyone has a smartphone yet but Gartner predicts that by 2015, 90-95% of Western Europe and North America will own a device. Tablets also are growing and the market is becoming more complex. However, organisations must monitor not just what consumers are buying device-wise but also how they’re using them. 

“Mobile is a battleground for payment, media, social, location-based services, context and advertising,” said the analyst. All of these features complement and support each other, which is why many companies are trying to build a portfolio of these opportunities.

Turning to apps, Jones explained that whilst currently plagued with bugs and not particularly useful, apps will evolve and become more sophisticated, such as Tesco’s use of augmented reality within its virtual store at Gatwick Airport.

App stores, multiplatform app development tools, document sharing, mobile testing and html5 are the five key technologies that organisations must leverage to help support their mobile strategy.

Overall, he outlined six emerging trends in the mobile space that all businesses must consider:  

  1. Better user experience
  2. Multichannel strategies
  3. External integration: such as linking with Shazam
  4. Increasing sophisticating technologies: such as gamificaiton, indoor location, augmented reality, NFC
  5. Cloud partners: businesses will have to integrate with third party services to build apps
  6. Quality improvement

But, the smartest of businesses will be those that evolve out of a mobile strategy and into a multichannel strategy, concluded Jones.


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