Gerry McQuade, chief marketing officer, non consumer mobile, Everything Everywhere
In 2011, we have seen mobile take centre stage in the lives of both consumers and business people. We’re on the cusp of significant change with the convergence of retail, advertising, payment and location-based data. As a result, here are some of the top trends Everything Everywhere sees unfolding over the next 12 months and beyond in mobile, together with why they’re likely to be on the agenda.
m-commerce and NFC start to go mainstream in Britain
A new generation of smart devices are making it easier for businesses to engage with their customers on the move, and just as importantly, consumers are becoming comfortable using them to do all kinds of things. 2012 will be the tipping point, with the necessary payments technology widely available at the till, more device makers adding Near Field Communications (NFC) into their 2012 models, and internet companies and mobile operators creating common platforms to streamline mobile payments as well as advertising.
Mobile search converge with m-commerce
Improvements in smartphone apps will see search and map apps reinvented. As more consumers search for information on goods and services when they are out and about, mobile search will improve to allow consumers to interact with and act on the results and businesses to advertise their products and services. Coupled with the growth in mobile payments, consumers will be able to place an order directly from their mobile phone, book a ticket or make a hotel reservation – all at the touch of a button.
Mobile technology shines at the Summer Games
Both businesses and consumers will fully realise the benefits of mobile technology around the 2012 London Olympic Games. Mobile technology will ease transport congestion in London by enabling businesses to let employees work from home. People will also have the smartphones and tablets at their fingertips to watch and interact with the Games and share their experiences via social media. Sponsors will invest in delivering mobile apps that maximise the reach of their brand while delivering cutting edge experiences for consumers.
It’s an exciting year ahead particularly for the wallet. It’s reinvention through our mobile will bring us all added convenience and security – and huge new opportunities for business.
Martin Stiven, VP of business, Everything Everywhere
With perennial global economic change, every business leader would appreciate a crystal ball to see what lies ahead in 2012. Next year is likely to bring with it a challenging business environment, but to what extent we don’t yet know.
Speaking with many of our small business customers, they are being cautious about expected growth next year; and so it’s clear that we must ensure flexibility and greater quality of service, no matter the size of our customer. Key focuses will be security, flexible working and convergence as businesses look to extend their use of mobile technology.
UK ownership of smartphones has nearly doubled in the past 18 months and coupled with a 250% increase in our network data traffic in urban areas over the last two years, this shows that businesses are accessing more email, apps, cloud services and internet from their smartphones, evolving the way organisations do business – enabling them to do more with less. As such, one area which businesses need to consider first and foremost is mobile security, with many high profile data losses taking place this year. Ensuring that every business has both a secure IT network and up to date mobile security will be vital.
Additionally, small and large enterprises alike are facing the issue of managing multiple devices across fixed and mobile solutions. Research of our small business customers found that almost nine in 10 small businesses plan to spend more on communication technology in 2012 than they did in 2011. However, as they plan to spend they will have the opportunity to simplify their communications needs through converged solutions. Providing an integrated approach to their needs, instead of juggling lots of pieces of technology, helps businesses to be more efficient and keep on top of their outgoings better.
While the road ahead might become bumpy again, if businesses prepare now, it will ensure they enter 2012 at full steam ahead.