2011: The year mobile applications turn mobile workers into empowered assets

The increasing use of mobile business applications calls for strategic thinking by businesses, says MTN Business.

January 19, 2011

Businesses need to consider what types of mobile applications can deliver true business value to their organisations and what is necessary to make the technology work effectively for them, says MTN Business.

Says Nomalanga Nkosi, GM for Business Marketing at MTN Business; “An essential part of any business is the movement of vehicles, staff and materials – not to mention being able to complete tasks remotely, and this is certainly going to become more of a reality in 2011, as smartphone sales and the applications thereof increase.”

IT research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) predict that the smartphone market will expand by nearly 50% in 2011 and that these devices will account for almost one handset in five sold in Africa. In accord, the Nielsen Group estimates that the sales of smartphones will surpass feature phones in Q3 2011 and Gartner made a revision of their worldwide IT spending forecast due to the strong sales of mobile devices in the third quarter of 2010, and the drive by smartphones in mature markets.

“Being able to use such a device to get real-time field data in a reliable, electronic format not only allows for proactive monitoring and implementation of field activity and service delivery, but also allows for sophisticated data analysis to identify bottlenecks, wastage and other inefficiencies – a key competitive advantage for any business,” continues Nkosi.

Such mobile business applications are scalable as virtualised resources are provided as a service over the Internet and as a result, users need not have knowledge of, expertise in, or control over the technology infrastructure in the ‘cloud’ that supports them, as such applications are tailored specifically to the business’s needs.

Concludes Nkosi; “It is time that businesses not only look at mobile applications as a nice to have addition to their normal cellular subscription packages, but rather come to understand the value proposition and benefits mobile applications and subscriptions to software-as-a-service over the cloud can bring to their business.”