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Mobile breaks the mould

In the recent KPMG 2012 Technology Innovation Survey, we found that mobile is a clear theme in technology innovation and comes a close second in its potential to shake up consumer and enterprise markets. Of the 668 technology executives who took part in the survey, 44% forecast mobile (broadly categorised to include communications, commerce, platforms, software, and applications) as the next indispensable consumer technology.

This rings true in Africa as well. With the plethora of mobile apps, solutions, and platforms that are being made available across the African continent, we are seeing new and innovative uses for mobile platforms to suit our specific needs and requirements.

Three key findings:

  • Smartphones and tablets lead as top tech breakthroughs, followed by cloud and storage. What is truly transformational is the combination of the mobile internet connected to the cloud as an enabler of new business models.
  • When it comes to their home country, respondents feel that mobile device manufacturers (such as Apple) outrank other types of businesses for tech innovation leadership.
  • Roughly one-third say that internet companies are the emerging champions in the fast-developing mobile commerce ecosystem.

The survey identified key mobile benefits: convenience, better communications, increased productivity, greater savings on purchases, and most of all, easier access to real-time personalized information.

New mobile business models

We found that one of the key drivers was easier access to personalised, real-time information. Consumers and employees want to be able to access their personal and work data wherever they are. This leads to increased personal productivity, and we have seen this ourselves at KPMG in South Africa with the rollout of smartphones to all of our employees.

Across the country, we are getting rid of landlines to release both professional and support staff from the confines of their desks. This also enables all of our professionals to access messages and office data while on the go with clients. If you couple this with mobile-enabled laptops, you have the ultimate mobile office.

On the enterprise side, more than one-third (36%) of respondents predicted mobile will be the leading game changer. This is due to improved business efficiencies and higher productivity. An interesting driver from an enterprise perspective was the perception of faster innovation cycles resulting in new business opportunities and revenue streams.

Innovation in enterprises

I have seen this working at a number of clients, but my belief is that this must be linked to a strong culture of innovation in an organisation. Having the platform is one thing; creating an environment and culture to foster innovation and create new business opportunities is a different challenge.

It’s also interesting to see that the European, Middle East, and Africa regions see mobile as shaking up consumer tech the most.

The KPMG 2012 Technology Innovation survey identifies disruptive technologies in consumer and enterprise markets over the next four years and spots leading innovation markets and innovation management trends in the technology industry. 668 technology executives took part in the survey, representing the top 10 countries driving technology innovation. The mix included technology startups, mid-market enterprises, large technology companies, venture capital firms and angel investors.

David Okwara

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2 Responses to Mobile breaks the mould

  1. Mayank Naik April 12, 2013 at 10:44 am #

    Interesting… With regards to Mobile in Africa (and related 3rd world countries), I think that our slower uptake of technologies in the past have actually put us ahead of the pack as we now no longer have legacy infrastructure to deal as a lot of Mobile (mobile banking apps, etc.) is cloud based. It will be (and is already) exciting to see how the Banking heavies compete in this new game of business.

  2. Frank Rizzo April 15, 2013 at 6:09 am #

    Thanks for your post Mayank. I agree with your view – in a lot of African countries we should be able to leapfrog the tech infrastructure challenges. I agree that cloud and mobile is the future. Of course, this is dependent on Internet accessibility at a reasonable cost.

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