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Going mobile in the middle of the pack, lesson 3
Wednesday, 28th March 2012
The mobile revolution is already underway, and the enterprise is no longer taking on the risk of being the first adopter. But organisations that wait too long run the risk of being the last adopter – and losing relevance, talent and competitive advantages. This third of three "lessons from publishers" provides insight to the enterprise information strategist planning the move to mobility.
Don't be the first adopter... or the last
In the world of delivery of content to mobile workers, the risk of being the first adopter has already passed. If you haven't leapt yet, you are with most of the corporate world: in the middle of the pack.
First adopters take on the biggest risk in exchange for the biggest perceived payoff. But last adopters also face significant risk if they cannot or will not change to adjust to a changed environment.
Another example from the publishing world is instructive in the risks of late adoption: Print-centric publishers who were late to shift to an increasingly digital environment have suffered and even gone out of business. In fact, any knowledge-based business that hasn't embraced the advantages of digital work – efficiency, time-shifting, scalability – has certainly lost ground to more nimble competitors.
Similar risks face any enterprise that drags its feet too much on going mobile. Publishers late in this game have had time to take a breath and make carefully considered decisions about strategy. But the time for slow planning is nearly up: Publishers that don't act soon to deliver mobile content will risk becoming sidelined.
For the enterprise, the deadline is extended, but it is still a deadline. The responses of information managers in the second year's data collection for FreePint Research: Enterprise Market for Mobile Content 2012 already changed dramatically from first year responses. Information managers cited:
- Increased pressure from senior executives to provide them with content on mobile devices
- Increased pressure from junior staff, based on emerging expectations of a mobile work environment
- Peer pressure from early-adopter organisations, demonstrating successful pilot projects with positive business outcomes
- Improved internal collaboration amongst departments like IT, compliance, IS and R&D when pilot projects are successful
None of these factors emerged in Year 1 research, making their consistency in Year 2 results so significant. What they point to is a quickly developing business environment where mobile content will not be a project but a baseline requirement.
For a business to be competitive, it will need to find its way through the challenges of mobile delivery. Sooner, rather than later.
Get help on applying these lessons in your own organisation: email me at email@example.com for information.
By Robin Neidorf
Robin has been working with FreePint since 2004, and, since joining full time in 2006, is responsible for strategic planning, product development, relationship management, research and communications. She currently heads the FreePint Research division.
Robin Neidorf ran a research and communications consulting business for 10 years, prior to joining Free Pint Limited. As a consultant, she focused on strategic planning, using information to make better decisions, and creating effective audience-focused communications across different media.
Robin has worked with a wide range of organisations in the for-profit and non-profit sector. She has developed online communities, publications and distance learning modules for a range of business purposes. She is the author of Teach Beyond Your Reach: An instructor's guide to developing and running successful distance learning classes, workshops, training sessions and more (second edition, Cyber Age, 2012) and the co-author of E-Merchant: Retail Strategies for e-Commerce (Addison-Wesley, 2001).
Robin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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