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Smartphone usage a sign of impending mobility tsunami

Consider your own smartphone use when you engage with other businesses — whether it’s checking your servers with a thin client or watching the latest episode of “New Girl.” You rely on those apps. They have become a part of your life in some ways. In general, enterprise companies tend to have their ducks in a row, but midmarket companies are all over the board. Some companies dipped a toe into mobility early in the game and are already reaping rewards. For instance, Papa Gino’s, a New England pizza chain, engaged customers with a mobile app for ordering hot, fresh pies on the go, and increased their sales by 10%. Meanwhile, Dealer Services Corp. CIO Chris Brady implemented a mobile business intelligence solution to arm her internal customers when they were on the road. But not every CIO has been so forward-thinking.

In the last five months, mobile Internet traffic has shown tremendous growth compared with desktop usage. During this week’s D10 conference, analyst Mary Meeker noted that the number of Americans owning digital reading devices or tablets had a huge spike over the holidays, with almost one-third of all Americans reporting that they now own a Kindle, Nook, iPad or similar technology. Add that to the exponential growth of smartphone usage and iPad business apps — the future of mobile computing is impossible to ignore. There’s no sign of a smartphone usage tipping point– as Barney Stinson might say, it’s all rise.

2012 is turning out to be the Year of the App — again. Midmarket CIOs can no longer afford to “wait and see” when it comes to mobilizing their innovation. Check out my Midmarket Matters column for more of Meeker’s insights on the future of mobile technology.

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