Mobile technologies are becoming one of the most crucial technologies to be adopted by Indian CIOs, if a research by Forrester is to be believed. According to Forrester's "Forrsights Budgets and Priorities Tracker Survey Q4 2012," nearly 53% of IT organizations based in India plan to invest more in mobile applications as a part of their software spending in 2013. According to the report, "India ranks second only after Australia/New Zealand and considerably higher than the regional average."
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"Mobile devices are not merely another chapter in the smaller, faster, cheaper device story. Instead, mobile experiences built on systems of engagement are a flash point for far-reaching changes in how you serve customers, partners, and employees," Manish Bahl, country manager for India at Forrester, said.
Bahl said that Forrester has found four areas where mobile engagement has the biggest impact:
- Engaging customers in their key moments of demands
- Accelerating business processes by re-engineering the last offline yard
- Empowering employees to be productive on the go
- Reaching customers with new business services
"Mobile apps that help people act in their direct moment of need will pull customers away from their incumbent banks, retailers, and media companies," he added.
This can be well applied in a country like India where there has been a tremendous growth in the mobile Internet use for the last three years in India and population is one of the key factors in driving demand for mobile services. "The population is younger, with 27% of the population is between the ages of 15 and 29, and the mobile Internet user base is growing at the rate exceeding 30% annually," Bahl said.
And with a large population, there comes large demand for products and services. Organizations like financial services firms, retailers and logistics companies are already using mobile technologies to attract customers and harness business analytics to better understand customer habits.
The rise in the price of mobile phones due to increased excise duty (announced in the 2013-14 budget) might not slow the Indian mobile industry down significantly because handset manufacturers then have to cut down on prices to keep the sales up.
It is interesting to note that Indian CIOs have started to prioritize mobility software spending.
"As mobile devices are transferring power to individuals … and becoming the key to successful systems of direct engagement with employees, customers, and partners, CIOs should hire a chief mobility officer to create a mobile engagement guide and develop a mobile app architecture blueprint for their organizations," Bahl said.
Moreover, IT must become an integral part of the business. CIOs need to develop their IT strategy with business leaders to align IT organizations with the business.
"Business leaders' use of consumer technology has changed CIOs' expectations of how enterprise IT should be harnessed. However, most CIOs are still caught in the old world of focusing exclusively on IT budgets and project delivery performance issues," Bahl said.
"Indian CIOs need to increasingly seek to use technology in innovative ways in order to gain a competitive edge and drive business growth while building greater trust with business leaders by adopting an approach that is proactive rather than reactive to better articulate the message in business terms," Bahl concluded.