Robin Johnston

Can we ever be truly mobile?

With the announcement this week of Apple’s umpteenth app being downloaded for their “life changing” iPhone, and the follow up coverage of the Android community following suit in terms of apps available, I began wondering if it was a myth that people live their lives, both professionally and personally in a truly mobile environment. Discussions over the last decade (!) has been around the “paperless” office = The utopia. No paper on the desk. No paper through the letter box. No paper on a Sunday morning. All content would be delivered electronically and on demand. Now we are getting towards that vision, (there are commentators believe we are already there), is there any area of a business that could not be truly mobile.

Take a Managing Director for example. What is it that MD’s or CEO’s need to be able to see on a daily basis so they can make decisions for their business? The obvious answer is in the title, they “manage” the direction.  It ranges from sales, operations, financial figures and analysis, marketing, support and possibly the administrative areas of the business.

All these functions can be truly mobile.

The Sales Director can report on sales activities of the business through a CRM system that either uses the internet as a portal or is held in the cloud.

The Marketing Director can view, assess and develop online strategies using their laptop and the information held in the CRM, showing successes or marketing campaigns, with real time cost v. benefit analysis.

The Operations Director can extract information from the MIS systems to include LEAN statistics, stock availability or depletion, raw material usage and even employee efficiency.

The Customer Services Director can view call complaint statistics, average call waiting time, customer satisfaction and availability all through online apps.

Most importantly, the Financial Controller can run a full set of business accounting process by using the accessibility of the company’s financial accounts package from any internet connection, including monitoring purchase orders, suppliers and customer aged debtor lists.

If all this is available now, it does beg the question, why do we need paper at all? And if we don’t need paper, then why do we need to pay rent for an office that potentially we don’t need to run our business?  Why are we not all sitting on a beach or in a Malibu apartment running our side of the business?

The answer clearly lies in a number of areas including human interaction, control and legality, but even with these reasons, everything we need to be truly mobile is there with the range of software, apps, hardware, smart phones and convergence on the market. Embracing these areas is an important step to adoption and the major brands in the market are working hard to make sure that if you have a smart phone, you can run your empire wherever you are….and whatever you are.

Robin Johnston
Originally from Edinburgh, I graduated in Philosophy from the Queens University of Belfast.

I worked in Eastern Europe for a while after I graduated for the EU and then started my own business.

Since then I have worked for Orange Business Solutions, Virgin and ran an internet solutions company in Dublin.

Currently I am the Business Manager with Sage Ireland, the market leading accounts, payroll and business intelligence provider based in Citywest.

My responsibility is to find new ways of doing new things.

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One Comment

  1. 1.

    Frank E

    I simply cannot take seriously any comment on
    modern technology from a blog which insists on generating a new entire window for itself, rather than simply a new tab . And regardless of whether that is your own personal responsibility.

    Next thing I know you’ll be insisting I read it
    in Internet Explorer.

    Wednesday 9th February 2011, 9:52 am

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