Here’s hoping you all had a great long weekend and have adjusted to the darker evenings now that summertime is over. Once, Easter would have been our cue to remind you to set your clocks back, but today most of us rely on smart devices to automatically keep pace with the seasons. Times have certainly changed!
‘Smart’ connected technology has affected nearly every aspect of our lives. Previously disparate activities have now been aggregated into slim, portable smartphones, laptops and tablets and, as a result, the use of traditional diaries, organisers, clocks and landlines have all fallen significantly. But the pay-off is that we now have the means to stay connected to each other, our work and real-time data, wherever we are.
So as you enjoy the remains of that last chocolate egg, let’s take a look at the birth of information mobility and reflect upon how far we’ve come in such a relatively short period of time.
Today’s user-friendly business solutions mean that managers, sales teams and remote workers have the opportunity to collect, share and analyse real-time data whenever and wherever they might need to. But back in the late 1980’s, when businesses talked about mobility, they meant something very different. Personal computers and brick-sized mobile phones might have liberated some workers from the office, but the only way of liberating information (other than by post) was to literally move it around in person, or to send it via floppy disk or fax.
By the late 1990’s, laptops, second-generation mobile phones and palm-held organisers promised to place power firmly in the hands of business users. Business-on-the-go was the buzz phrase of the moment, but in reality people were doing little more than carrying diary and contact information, sending the odd text, taking memos, tracking expenses and later synchronising all that data with a PC.
Mobile gadgets alone weren’t enough to start a revolution in information mobility. To compliment the increasing power in people’s hands, cheap reliable data was needed and, software and tools had to be rethought for mobile devices. Only with all of these elements in place, would people be as efficient on the move, as when they were sitting at their desks.
In the early 2000’s, connectivity was on the rise and an increasing number of business intelligence tools were on the market, but many were designed with specialist users in mind. They required extensive analytics training and left most business users still unable to carry out business intelligence tasks without the support of the IT Department. Data was hard enough to access and analyse in the office – let alone on mobile devices, but the revolution was just around the corner.
Within just a few years, there was a shift in emphasis from closely guarded, complicated systems – towards easy-to-use solutions focused on the everyday user. More data than ever was being captured; new technologies transformed and structured that data, alleviating issues of data magnitude and complexity; new tools made BI self-service possible; and the internet was taking all of this beyond the walls of the office.
Today, with generous bandwidth and the latest developments in browser technology, leading BI and ERP solutions offer browser- and mobile-based access that’s just as fast, secure and powerful as desktop applications. It’s easy to forget just how far we’ve come, but there’s no doubt that our 1980’s selves would look at our on-the-go collection, sharing and deep analysis of live data as the stuff of science fiction.
Set-free from the confines of the office, we can now work where and when we like, making quicker and better decisions with the best available information at our fingertips. So where do we go from here? Well, that’s a story for another blog, but here at Endeavour, we’ve seen how information mobility can empower better business – and we’re looking forward to sharing an increasingly mobile future with our clients.
Juanessa Abbott, Marketing Manager
A highly influential and creative marketer, Juanessa is the talent behind Endeavour’s marketing initiatives. With her excellent branding, social media and communication skills, she thrives on cutting through the clutter to get the real message across.