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How Will Mobile Applications Deliver Business Benefits During the Next Five Years?

Background: All businesses have processes that result in some addition of value. Business processes dictate that, for a given level of quality, the more continuous and rapid the process is, the lower the investment the organization needs to make to receive the benefit. Although structured processes that operate from formal business systems (such as CRM) can easily be targeted for improvement via simplification and other means, the impact of the human latency that results from the use of e-mail, voice and other unstructured communications channels isn't usually addressed for improvement.

Mobility often creates human-latency delays, because the endpoints are out of touch. Mobile applications can connect these processes to mainstream applications and improve business performance. Enterprises are faced with a wide range of platform and tool choices in delivering these applications, ranging from integrated development environments to shrink-wrapped solutions. Multichannel access gateways (MAGs) continue to be important platforms for delivering applications to mobile users.

Impact: Mobile applications projects interconnect discrete information processes, regardless of location. Faster supply chains reduce investments for delivering goods and services. As business processes become more streamlined, customer satisfaction is improved by rapid deliveries, resulting in increased benefits. Faster supply chains also reduce expenses, because processes are more streamlined, reducing inventory and head count requirements.

This area will be increasingly seen as a high point of leverage for IT spending. Mobile project risk has decreased; however, organizations must be vigilant about selecting platforms. In the coming years, enterprises will be under pressure to reduce the number of platforms they support, including MAGs.

Summary of Planned Research: Research will include coverage of unstructured communications applications, such as wireless e-mail, IP PBX telephony and cellular telephony. It will also cover structured applications, such as call center management and mobile applications, across a wide range of industry and process improvement areas. We will also cover methods for interfacing unstructured systems into established business systems. [Gartner]

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