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Intelligent Mobile Commerce Apps, Digital Transformation, Robots and Speed

Brains behind Mobile Applications
In 2002, I was developing mobile applications for blue collar workers. These apps were not intelligent.  They were basically forms on handheld computers or PDAs.  Yes, they could be made to understand, based on data inputs, which form(s) should be presented next, but that was about as smart as they got.  In those days, mobile apps were mostly used to query a simple database and for field data collection and sync.

Today, mobile apps on smartphones and tablets are the UXs (user interfaces) for very complex and intelligent systems, many of which today depend on software robots for automation and speed.  On a side note, yesterday, while I was attending a M6 Mobility Xchange conference, Intel said us humans are becoming part of the computer!

Mobile users are impatient.  They will wait less than 4 seconds on average for a mobile app to load, before closing it and moving on. You would hate to have developed the world's best designed mobile application, but then have mobile consumers abandon it, because some transaction engine, integrated product catalog or mobile security system made the process too slow.

Let me provide a scenario - a person uses a retailer's mobile application that is associated with a loyalty program.  The millisecond they load the application, software robots on the backend identify the device, look at all the accumulated data about the user's transaction histories, demographics, preferences, styles, etc., analyzes it, and then create a personalized experience which is uploaded to the mobile application.  No human is involved, but the experience is fast, beautiful and personal.  The products and discounts are optimized to appeal to my preferences.  It is an automated process that uses software robots to analyze and act in milliseconds.  This process is far more sophisticated and complex than the processes I used in 2002.

In 2002, to speed up a process we looked at just a few areas: the selected mobile device, wireless networks, device memory and the size of the database queries.  Today, entire business processes are being impacted and companies are being forced to rethink operations.  Legacy IT systems are being asked to perform at speeds beyond their capabilities.  Mobile solutions today, are more about the backend servers, processes, robots and strategies, than the actual mobile app.

The pressure to digitally transform and automate IT environments is growing.  Mobile applications, at first just clever add-ons to line of business applications, are now driving the train of digital transformation and pointing the way to the future for the entire enterprise.  The cost of a mobile application, may ultimately involve rethinking your entire IT environment.

As consumers increasingly shop online and mobile, competition will force businesses to redesign not only their IT environments, but their entire approach to marketing, sales, customer service and R&D as well.

Finally a big favor to ask - Will you take my 3-minute survey on mobile behaviors?  It is part of an in-depth mobile consumer behaviors and the retail experience report I am working on.

Survey - http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07eb005ar4i9lm8rvk/start
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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.

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Kevin Benedict is an opinionated futurist, Principal Analyst at the Center for Digital Intelligence™, C4DIGI.com, emerging technologies analyst, and digital transformation and business strategy consultant. In the past 8 years he has taught workshops for large enterprises and government agencies in 18 different countries, and is a keynote speaker at conferences worldwide. He spent nearly 5 years working as a Senior Analyst at Cognizant (CTSH), and 2 years serving in Cognizant's Center for the Future of Work where he wrote many reports, hundreds of articles, interviewed technology experts, and produced videos on the future of digital technologies and their impact on industries. He has written articles published in The Guardian, wrote the Forward to SAP Press' book titled "Mobilizing Your Enterprise with SAP", published over 3,000 articles and was featured as thought leader and digital strategist in the Department of Defense's IQT intelligence journal. Kevin lectures and leads workshops, teaches and consults with companies and government agencies around the world to help develop digital transformation and business strategies. Visit his website at C4DIGI.com.