Enterprise Mobility Exchange, Europe 2014: Live Event Coverage

Enterprise Mobility Exchange, Europe is well underway at the stunning Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin, Noordwijk, Netherlands, with innovative presentations and interactive discussions taking place through until tomorrow evening.

Guests began arriving at the venue yesterday afternoon (Monday 12 May), with an exciting two days ahead of them. The evening then consisted of some light-hearted networking activities, with the main focus taking the form of a unique ã??create your own appã?? team competition. The winning concept was an app which would allow users to exchange favours among friends and within their local community.

Over the course of the event, the range of dynamic sessions will cover prominent areas of mobility including business transformation in the enterprise, field service operations and solutions, improving operational efficiency, mobile security, as well as a range of expert feedback on common challenges and developing trends.

The Chairman of the event, Mike Spradbery, Mobile Business Leader for IBM, kicked off the second day this morning with an introductory address, which was followed by the much-anticipated opening keynote session, given by Jon Watson of Google.

The presentation began with some contextual examples of just how quickly, and drastically, the use of mobile technology has grown in recent years. These examples included statistics revealing that at the end of 2013, the install-base of mobile devices exceeded that of PCs.

  • Use of Googleã??s Gmail service on mobile devices exceeded its use on laptops at the beginning of 2014.
  • YouTube now has over 1bn unique users a month, with over 40% of views coming from mobile devices.

Mobility is not just about the technology, it is about how technology is enabling people

Jon reiterated that we are now living in a world full of consumers and business people who are always connected. The audience was encouraged to demonstrate, by way of a show of hands, just how connected the world has become. Virtually every hand in the packed plenary room was raised when asked how many people use three or more devices regularly, and around a third of the room kept their hands up when asked if they use five or more devices on a regular basis.

  • 71% of people expect mobile websites to load as fast as the web would on their laptops.
  • 90% of people will move across multiple devices to carry out activities and accomplish their goals.

Jon then touched on the generational implications of the digital age, alluding to the fact that children who have grown up with such technology (mobile natives) will soon be entering the working world, and will demand the appropriate tools in the workplace to match their innate expectations of a fully mobile lifestyle.

Delivering these tools to younger generations of mobile users will require enterprises to adjust their way of thinking, and begin to take different approaches to key aspects of their professional infrastructures.

  • 45% of people would accept a lower salary if they were offered better and more flexible mobile devices to use within their job requirements.

Along with the use of multiple devices, and even wearable devices by employees in the workplace, this demand will also affect aspects of business communication such as online video conferencing and the contextually-aware features of apps, which can suggest for their users, to complement (and possibly even eliminate) the more conventional functionality of searching.

The notion that organisations in all industries should embrace technology and these new ways of working, to be as productive and efficient as possible, is essentially the key message that Google delivered to the audience.

Organisations should of course be pragmatic and realistic when integrating new technogies with their legacy systems, and take small steps in the right direction ã?? change your behaviour to allow for innovation; donã??t live to regret missing out on the opportunities mobility presents, to improve your workers, and consequently improve your business.

ã??Changing The Game In Change Managementã??

Silvio Douven, Account Executive, ClickSoftware then gave a fascinating presentation on the concept of gamification, and how enterprises can adapt the principles of gaming to encourage the optimum types of behavioural patterns among their employees.

Silvio highlighted the notion that competition is not always a positive motivational tool, and that organisations operating in a variety of industries could benefit from instilling a system of achievement-based reward within their workforce.

Mobile technologies such as interactive devices and apps are ideal tools to aid such initiatives and create a culture in which employees feel engaged, valued and rewarded for their daily tasks.

ã??Rugged Mobile Computing: Best Practice In Enterprise Mobility'

Rick Hwang, Vice President of Getac later took to the stage to discuss the most common causes of failure to devices in harsh environments, how mobile decision makers should look to select equipment that can withstand those causes, and how organisations can reduce the total lifetime cost of mobile computing.

Rick explored in detail the high demands suppliers face from organisations needing to use devices in difficult conditions, which can produce very specific challenges. This generally involves industries such as utilities, oil and gas, field service, emergency service, transportation, logistics and many more. The proposed solution for such challenges, such as sunlight readability, extreme weather conditions, battery life issues, the need for continuous network connectivity and ease of use across multiple platforms, was durable, reliable devices with adequate features to improve operations.

Going mobile takes IT outside its comfort zone. Of course, there are risks when enterprises embrace mobility; device failure, risk to business performance, customer service levels, financial losses and perhaps most importantly, brand loyalty being compromised. However, the failure rate for rugged tablets in the field is less than 5% compared to 18% for consumer tablets. It is clear that organisations must ensure their workforce is equipped with the appropriate devices to minimise the risk and potential for poor performance.

For more information from Enterprise Mobility Exchange, Europe 2014, catch up here or visit @mobilityxchange on Twitter.