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INFOTECH: The Fourth Generation in Computing

 





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The fourth generation in computing has arrived, and it is all about consumer-centric mobile solutions, says Adapt IT manager, Jacqui Stievenart. “Enterprise computing has evolved over the last 20 years. Companies initially had computer centric mainframe systems for all their IT services. This was followed by client server systems where applications were split between PC and server functionality. Later the internet linked computers to the world, but now we are witnessing the emergence of the fourth wave of computing which is human-centric consumer-driven mobile applications. Individuals’ and organisations’ IT needs are no longer limited by mainframes or servers or even desktops as employees expect completely mobile solutions using a number of various hand held devices,” explains Stievenart.

The growth in mobile internet consumerism has been so great that more videos have been uploaded to YouTube in the past 2 months than if US based television stations ABC, CBS and NBC had been airing new content 24/7 since 1948. Locally, 60% of South Africans experience the internet for the first time on a mobile device. The uptake of mobility in our personal lives is something that organisations cannot ignore and this must be translated into benefits for the business. Enterprise mobility enables a workforce to have instant access to information through mobile applications anywhere, anytime. People are fundamentally changing the way they work, and in order to remain competitive, organisations are making enterprise applications accessible through mobile devices.

Companies Needing to Respond to the Mobile Age


Different industries are starting to see this change and are realising the need to respond to the mobile age. “Retailers are realising that branding and the consumers’ shopping experience are more important than ever as consumers can interact with them through a variety of different contact points. In the near future, leading financial institutions will invest in seamless cross-channel delivery, with increased focus on mobile content acceptance and delivery. In government, mobile devices and technologies will create a tipping point in how and where government employees work, and begin to allow government organisations to take advantage of emerging skill sets. Clinical mobility will have meaningful uses in the healthcare industry, and mobile technologies will make significant in-roads into life science research and development. Manufacturers will invest in learning how to incorporate mobility applications into the business, while balancing IT management concerns with employee enthusiasm,” says Stievenart.

“While there is large growth and opportunity in the enterprise mobility market, mobility is not currently a focus amongst enterprise ICT companies in South Africa. Small IT companies are also not focused on end to end mobility solutions at present,” says Stievenart.

Understanding the Enterprise Mobility Deployment Lifecycle


When deploying an enterprise mobility strategy, companies need to look at the entire enterprise mobility deployment lifecycle. It involves first developing an architecture usage model based on the needs of the organisation. This model then needs to be transformed into an operational model or pilot in order to simulate how the system will work in the organisation and whether it will meet all the requirements. Once this is complete, enterprise deployment of the actual system can take place, followed by support and monitoring.

“Mobility is the next wave in computing, providing consumer-centric technologies that connect mobile individuals and organisations. By allowing mobile, instant communication and access to important information to a workforce, enterprise mobility improves productivity through providing information the moment it is needed. With the continual increase of companies making use of mobile applications to improve customer responsiveness and worker productivity, it is essential to evolve your business into the next generation of technology usage,” Stievenart concludes.

 
 
 
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