During his opening address at the Sage ERP Africa's Insights 2013 conference, MD Jeremy Waterman said that it seems almost redundant to talk of the 'mobile revolution'. "Have we not been talking of mobility in IT for many years already? It is not really the concept of mobility that is revolutionary, but more the delivery mechanism that has undergone an evolution."
Smartphones were a rarity just over four years ago and it was less than three years ago that the Apple iPad was launched in April 2010, that made the tablet a reality.
Prior to the advent of smartphones and tablets, mobility was defined as a mobile personal computer in the form of a laptop with an internet connection. As such, the method of delivery and user interface was restricted to a browser version of traditional desktop applications. Software vendors were understandably focused on re-engineering their software to provide this internet enabled access.Redefined mobility
"The smartphone and tablet's runaway success in the market has redefined mobility, not only in terms of the method of delivery but also in terms of how we interact with these devices with the touch screen all but replacing the keyboard."
The evolution in mobility sent software vendors back to the drawing board. "The redesign and development of applications for multiple devices took centre stage. These applications had to run across a diverse selection of mobile operating platforms that include IOS, Android and now Windows 8, at the very least. These mobile platforms still need to efficiently support a traditional desktop environment, adding another layer of complexity."
'There is an app for that' has become the ubiquitous answer to the information or application requirements in the consumer world. The world of connected services and 'apps' is fast spreading to the business applications world, where we see core business and ERP solutions becoming leaner, more focused and agile with companies subscribing to specialised applications as a service. These include payments, shipping, tax, document management, inventory management, CRM, business intelligence and many more.
"The way in which we deliver our core applications will change to provide the business with the same technological freedom that the consumer has. I foresee 2013 being the year that revolutionises the business platform of application delivery, marking the next big step in the mobile evolution," concludes Waterman.