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FreePint BlogMobile - don't be derailed by the bandwagon

Tuesday, 28th February 2012 Please login top-right to be able to star items

By Tim Buckley Owen


Abstract:

FreePint’s second report on the enterprise market for mobile content shows just how measured an approach information professionals are taking. Just as well really – the turmoil in the wider market indicates that clear heads are essential for getting true business value from this still newish technology.


Item:

FreePint’s second report on the enterprise market for mobile content shows just how measured an approach information professionals are taking. Just as well really – the turmoil in the wider market indicates that clear heads are essential for getting true business value from this still newish technology.

A huge surge in demand for mobile devices is one key finding of this second tranche of FreePint research (as LiveWire has been chronicling – see for example Nancy Davis Kho on how people are more mobile than ever, Dale Moore on the rise of the app or my post on the ousting of the PC by tablets). But – just as in the previous FreePint survey when the case for enterprise mobile use was not yet proven – respondents have again confirmed that they will still be looking for a compelling business case before they will necessarily commit to mobile delivery.

Vendors, too, have come to realise that “the excitement and pace of the consumer market will not be replicated in the enterprise market”, FreePint reports. It could account for the somewhat piecemeal release of mobile products for the enterprise market to date.

Recently, for example, rivals Thomson Reuters (TR) and LexisNexis (LN) have each come out with new mobile offerings. TR announced last month a new version of its WestLawNext iPad application, and since then LN has also dipped a toe in the mobile pool with two “quick and simple” iPhone apps, Legal Terms and On the Case.

The Financial Times continues to expand its mobile coverage by releasing an India version of its Android app – and paidContent:UK also reports that the FT has just bought Assanka, the mobile app maker that enabled the paper to establish its independence from iTunes (LiveWire comment from Penny Crossland). Meanwhile Salesforce.com has recently launched Desk.com, including a mobile version that allows businesses to “carry a helpdesk in their pocket”.

It’s all good stuff, no doubt, but as yet there’s little sign of a concerted industry move in any one direction. Maybe – as FreePint’s findings imply – business-to-business vendors are indeed taking lessons from the continuing turmoil in the consumer mobile market.

As both Facebook and LinkedIn get ready to launch mobile ads, for instance, figures from Marin Software (registration required) show a rapid increase in mobile search ad clicks – but AYTM Market Research results indicate that almost half of people find mobile ads “annoying”, over a quarter regard them as “intrusive” and over 40% never click on them on purpose. Even more sobering are findings from Statcounter, reported recently in paidContent:UK – of all the internet visits in 2011, only 8.5% came from mobile devices.

Sounds as if those cautious FreePint research respondents are currently doing exactly the right thing.


 

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Tim is an information skills trainer and writer on the information industry with over 40 years' experience in the profession. His career has encompassed information management, writing, editing, training, government policy advice and corporate media & marketing.

Besides writing for FreePint, Tim runs courses for training providers and private clients on enquiry handling, abstracting & summarising, information packaging & presentation and information management. The sixth edition of his classic handbook Successful Enquiry Answering Every Time is published by Facet Publishing. You can find details of Tim's training services at www.buckleyowen.com.

Tim can also be reached at tim.buckleyowen@freepint.com

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