Getting the Right Dose of Mobility

Feature Article | October 12, 2012 by Shandy Lo

Picture: Munich exhibition

“ITelligent mobility” was the slogan for this year’s Communication World event, which took place on October 9 and 10 in Munich, Germany, and focused on the present and future of mobile technologies, strategies, and solutions for the business world. The speakers, attendees, and exhibitors took this opportunity to examine the world of IT from all angles in the age of mobile business apps, smartphones, cloud computing, and tablets. The event program was organized around four key topics: mobile technologies and strategies, solutions for businesses and people, industry solutions for automotive, retail, and public services, and customer contact solutions.

“Office on wheels” is revving up

The participants in the “Future Panel” podium discussion addressed the topic of communication and mobility in the conurbations of the future. It seems that the trend toward urbanization will continue unabated in the years ahead. Indeed, the United Nations predicts that two thirds of the world’s population will be living in cities by 2030. This concentration of people, resources, goods, and capitalism into urban centers poses enormous challenges. Urban infrastructures, in particular, will have to adapt to cope with this major demographic shift. What does this mean for mobility?

A huge change has taken place in recent years in the way we use mobile devices, and the development of smartphones and tablets will accelerate this process of change in the future, says Irene Feige from the BMW Group’s Institute of Mobility Research. What impact will this have on businesses and employees? The car as an “office on wheels” is still a rare phenomenon, but Marc Ennemann, a consulting partner at KPMG, believes that mobile offices will catch on and become a common feature of our working lives. It’s an ongoing process that’s happening right now, not a snapshot, says the business expert.

Enterprises need mobile devices that can do everything and that bring together data and information from a wide variety of sources in one place. But is there a “recommended dose” for mobility in the age of cloud computing, Big Data, and “bring your own device” (BYOD)? For instance, can a telephone conference always replace a business trip? Dirk Lindemeier, head of Application Product Management at Nokia Siemens Networks, believes that humans are still social animals. While telepresence systems undoubtedly make our everyday working lives much easier, humans still relish personal contact, and there are many processes that cannot be clarified via technological channels. BMW expert Feige does not see mobile and communication technologies as being in competition with each other. On the contrary, she says, they complement each other and will open up a whole host of new

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