That said, we're not complete luddites. We do see a great deal of potential in these devices for personal use and of course for business applications too. We love our iPad. It keeps us entertained and has a big enough screen to allow us to do real work as well, from writing articles to reading emails. We like our iPhone a lot too (not so happy with our Android phone, but that's another story) but can't use it for real work as the screen is just too small for our old eyes. However, it was certainly useful recently when we were shopping for things for our new house. By using the built-in camera and a bar-code scanner app we were able to find reviews of the items we were looking for and compare prices with other stores. That is a useful application of technology.
Similarly many business applications can be enhanced through the use of a mobile application. Consider an insurance assessor being dispatched to view damage to an automobile or house. Using a mobile device he can receive details of the location, navigate there using the built-in GPS, then complete the required forms, attach pictures, voice notes, etc. He can "sign" the paperwork and the whole thing can be wrapped up quickly and efficiently. It would, of course, be foolish to think that our insurance rates would drop as a result but. ...
In our own IBM i world the term "mobile" crops up more often in our mailbox than "cloud" and almost certainly with more justification for the average shop. Just how important is mobile? Well, if you have any doubts take a look at this review of the latest report from analytics firm Flurry. To quote from the review:
" ... the rate of these smartphones and tablets adoption is 10 times faster than that of PCs in the 1980s. ..."
Ten times! And you thought you had problems when people started demanding to connect their office PCs to the system! Think about it, that was a significant problem for many of us not so many years ago.
If you aren't already looking at mobile applications you should be. For some it could be the thing that helps cement the IBM i within your organization. Oh, and by the way, that insurance company application we mentioned? The majority of that can be handled by free software, and you know how we love free! Lansa's free LongReach tool can provide the mobile underpinnings for much of what we talked about in this blog entry. We won't go into detail as we've covered it before, but check it out. If nothing else it might give you some ideas.