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More people have access to mobile than have access to electricity or running water. What does this astonishing statistic mean for your organisation?


Mobile is everywhere you look, but how big is it really? Well according to Business Insider it is very very big indeed as more people have access to mobile than electricity or running water

Yes - you did read that astonishing fact correctly. Aside from throwing up various moral questions, the statistic is shocking because of the sheer scale of mobile penetration. Business Insider calls mobile “the most pervasive technology ever”, and Tribal Labs give this assertion weight with a great article asking "Was 2011 the year of the mobile?

Tribal quote some pretty startling statistics gleaned from a report on US mobile use by

In summary:

More and more apps:

  • 1 billion apps downloaded worldwide each month
  • $3 billion paid by Apple alone to independent apps developers.

Surge in use of social media mobile platforms:

  • 166 percent increase in Facebook Mobile users in the first half of 2011 alone.
  • 103 million wireless tweets were posted each day
  • 1 billion Foursquare check-ins.
  • 26 photos were made “hipstery” on Instagram every second

Ongoing explosion in data traffic:

  • 8 trillion texts were sent – up 1.1 trillion from last year
  • 1800 percent increase in traffic on US networks in four years

Unprecedented competition and choice:

  • More smartphones purchased than PCs in the United States
  • More wireless subscriptions than people (Europe too!)
  • 2 billion networked mobile devices by 2015
  • 4G services being rolled out by at least six carriers in 2011 alone (and this is slow compared to a lot of the rest of the world!)

Don’t forget that mobile means more than phones. Frank Gillett of Forester predicts that tablets are predicted to become the dominant form of computing device by 2016, with 45% of the tablet market made up by Apple. Interestingly, one third of tablets are predicted to be sold to business users. Gillett advocates tablets for workplace collaboration as “There's no barrier of a vertical screen, no distracting keyboard clatter, and it just feels natural" to share a tablet with colleagues compared to "spinning around a laptop”.

So what does this mean for enterprise information?

Well at the risk of sounding like a broken record, it means that mobile needs to be part of your KM strategy or you will risk getting left behind.

FreePint has published a report on the Enterprise Market for Mobile Content 2012 based on interviews and research with a variety of organisations. There can be no doubt that enterprises recognise the importance of mobile, but they are not always quick off the starting blocks to engage, wrestling with risk challenges like data security and client confidentiality.

Do you want a seat at the table for enterprise mobile debates? Here are three tips to demonstrate that you are mobile savvy:

  • Understand your company's digital strategy. If they don’t have one, seize the opportunity to get involved from the ground up 
  • Prepare a wish list for mobile. If you could get internal content onto mobile what would it look like? What are the likely challenges and what are the business benefits?
  • Visibly demonstrate that you are already thinking mobile. Format content so that it works for your companies mobile devices, and raise awareness of useful apps


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