Mobile Computing, here to stay


Darren Patterson

I recently had someone ask me, “What is the next big thing in technology?” It didn’t take me long to come up with an answer, “Mobile Computing”. Wikipedia defines mobile computing as human-computer interaction where a computer is expected to be transported during normal usage.

When I think about it, this next big thing is really already here via smartphones and tablets. I can remember a few years back getting excited about having email on my cell phone. I thought to myself, it really doesn’t get more connected than this. Well, we are getting more connected each year as the devices we use get more sophisticated. In fact, I am trading in for a new smart phone each year as the new models make the older ones obsolete.

Whether it is an iPhone, Droid or tablet, all of these devices are quickly becoming the norm for not only personal use but for business use as well. I recently attended a Microsoft Roadmap event where tomorrow’s trends are discussed and one of the main topics was the importance of connectivity in the home and office using mobile devices. One statistic shared at this event was that 50% of all business devices are expected to be smartphones by the year 2014. At first, 50% sounds too big but if you think about, the smartphone is already on the way to becoming your laptop and tablet all wrapped up in one. There are companies already introducing docking stations for smartphones so they can be used with traditional keyboards and monitors. Instead of carrying around a laptop, you can just carry your smartphone with you in your pocket everywhere you go.

The challenge for businesses today is to adapt existing business applications to their ever increasing mobile workforce. I see the same opportunities in mobile technologies today that existed over a decade ago when the internet first became widely accepted. Are we looking at the next dot com boom? I think so and positioning your business to take advantage of these new devices will be critical to future successes.

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