Mobile Business Overview
DOI link for Mobile Business Overview
Mobile Business Overview book
Chapter Key Points Provides an overview of contemporary mobile business ◾ Outlines the strategic importance of Mobile Enterprise Transitions (METs) ◾ to mobile business Highlights the differences between mobile business and electronic business; ◾ also highlights the differences between mobile commerce and mobile business Discusses the uniqueness of “location independence” of mobility and its rel-◾ evance to mobile business Discusses the specific business and personal advantages of mobility ◾ Identifies the specific challenges of mobility, subsequent risks faced by transi-◾ tioning mobile businesses, and how to ameliorate these risks Discusses the increasing complexity of the informative, transactive, opera-◾ tive, and collaborative usage of mobile communication by business
Introduction Mobility is vital in the contemporary business world. This is so because mobility includes the ability of the business to conduct commercial transactions as well as manage itself independent of location and, thereby, also independent of time. The location and time independence of mobility also creates opportunities for businesses to communicate with their customers, users, and other stakeholders, depending on their context. For example, a “mobile” bank customer with a mobile gadget, walking through a shopping center, has a different set of service expectations from her bank than the same customer sitting in the waiting room of a hospital. Whereas she is looking for the available credit from her bank as she strolls through the shopping mall, perhaps to purchase a perfume or a book, the same mobile user is likely to seek the payment status of her medical insurance or the “gap” payment for a medical procedure when she is seated in a hospital’s waiting room. These different sets of expectations of a customer from her bank, depending on her changing physical location, the specific time, and the urgency of her need, provide the context (or the backdrop) for a creative and customer-centric bank to tailor its services. Earlier, before the advent of mobility in business, the bank would have still provided the aforementioned information. However, the bank could not have tailored that information and service to the specific context of the customer. Without “mobility” the physical context of the user could not be determined by the service provider. Therefore, the bank was unable to customize and offer its services in a way that would be relevant to the user at a particular point in time. Today, with mobility, businesses are able to dynamically customize products and services that depend on the location of the customer, respond to customer queries round the clock, promote their products in a personalized manner, and provide postsale support to a customer on the move. Numerous such advantages and corresponding challenges stem from the application of mobility to business. These advantages and challenges have been highlighted by many authors, including Unhelkar (2003, 2005a), Arunatileka (2005), Ghanbary (2006), Tsai and Gururajan (2005), and Hawryszkiewycz and Steele (2005). The growing importance of mobility in business is supported by numbers that suggest the global mobile commerce market to be worth $88 billion by 2009 (Glenbrook Partners, LLC 2004). This mobile commerce market has grown in multiples of $3.6 billion, the recorded worth of mobile commerce sales conducted in 2006 (Brad 2006). Pyramid Research estimates that, between 2006 and 2010, total mobile subscribers will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 8.7 percent, reaching 3 billion mobile users by 2008 and topping 3.5 billion or more by year-end 2010.