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Viva La Mobile Revolution

Deloitte Insights video

As many companies realize their customers and employees spend a lot more time with their mobile devices than their laptops or desktops, “mobile first” is replacing “mobile friendly,” triggering disruption and innovation across industries. Hear examples of how mobile is impacting business in this episode of Deloitte Insights.


Shehryar Khan, Principal , Deloitte Consulting LLP
Mike Brinker, Principal , Deloitte Consulting LLP


Mobility Podcast

It is time for Insights, a video news production of Deloitte LLP. Now, here is your host, Sean O’Grady.

Sean O’Grady (Sean): Hello and welcome to Insights. Today, we will be examining the impact of mobile on business and to do so, we have brought in two guests who are joining us remote from Dallas Texas. The first is Shehryar Khan, the former CEO and President of the Seattle-based digital agency, Übermind. That company has since been acquired by Deloitte, where Shehryar now serves as a Principal within Deloitte Consulting and that is something that he shares in common with our second guest Mr. Mike Brinker who is also a Principal at Deloitte Consulting and has spent over two decades advising scores of organizations on technology, mobile and commerce-related strategies. Gentlemen, I feel tablestakes for this conversation is the agreement that more and more people across the globe are assessing businesses and information through a mobile device. So, with that established, I would like to begin with your view on what is happening in this space.

Mike Brinker (Mike): Thanks Sean. We find ourselves once again at a real pivotal point in history in computing. About every 10 years, we go through this paradigm shift. If we go back to the 70’s and 80’s, it was all about mainframes around minicomputers and the office in the 80's and then the 90’s hit and it was all about PCs, the PC revolution, network computers, email. By the time we got to the end of the 90s, everything we had written, all the software that was out there had to be rewritten into HTML and equipped for the Internet. That I think everybody is familiar with as the Internet revolution. We fast forward now to 2012. We are seeing this yet again, but this time around mobile and tablet computing. We are truly in a post-PC era where consumer preference is rapidly shifting to mobile and tablet computing devices. The paradigm shift is not going to get rid of the PC, but it is saying that consumers are going to use it as their primary source to access the Internet and information. That is going to create all kinds of disruption in the marketplace. It going to create all kinds of innovation and it is going to create whole new ways for businesses to interact with consumers and with their employees. It is truly an exciting time in the marketplace.

Sean: Thank you for that Mike and I had to smile, because I feel like I had not even heard the word mainframe in a while, so I think that was a poignant remark. I would like to go over to Shehryar and Shehryar what are some examples of industries where you see mobile is making a significant impact.

Shehryar Khan (Shehryar): Thanks Sean. I think mobile will touch and impact every single industry out there, but there are three in particular that I want to call out. If you look at what is happening in the retail space right now, mobile is now enabling retailers to bridge the gap between their brick-and-mortar, physical stores and their online presence. Mobile is being used as part of these retailers omni channel strategy. In the health care space, we are seeing mobile devices being used to store and display personal health records – the ability to make appointments from your mobile device, the ability to find providers near you, the ability to refill prescriptions. There is an impact that mobile is making in the health care industry. In the transportation space, we are seeing airlines equip consumers with the tools they need to book flights, to check into flights. We are seeing Amtrak or trains, the train companies, using mobile devices to equip their conductors with the tools they need to do ticketing. Ticketing, which historically has been a manual, paper-based process, is now being done using mobile devices.

Sean: So, it sounds very pervasive. Shehryar, I would like to stick with you given your experience. What are some of the things that you feel organizations can do to better prepare themselves for the tectonics, the paradigm shift that is going on here in computing.

Shehryar: I think there are really three attributes that organizations need to pay attention to be successful in the mobile space. The first is really having a strong foundation in place to be able to extend your business out to mobile devices. That typically involves having a service-based architecture having the appropriate integration points that can then be consumed from mobile devices. The second attribute is being nimble, being agile. If you look at the mobile space today, it is fast moving. It is evolving very quickly. In order to succeed in this space, you have to evolve as quickly as the market does. That extends from a sort of organization being nimble and being able to move very quickly but it also extends to the specific methodology that companies employ to actually develop mobile applications or mobile-optimized websites. The third attribute has to do with mobile now enabling business to be done at the actual place of business. In that particular case, empowerment, decentralization, crowd sourcing of data using mobile devices, to collect data, and then analyze that data, and make decisions around it. Companies have to empower their employees and decentralize operations in order to take full advantage of the mobile revolution.

Sean: Thank you for that Shehryar, and based on that answer, it is kind of clear that mobile is presenting some opportunities for businesses to transform what they are doing. So, Mike my last question is over to you and that is, do you have any examples, are there companies that are doing things right now that you think are interesting and potentially worth other organizations knowing about.

Mike: As I sat and listened to Shehryar, a lot of things come to mind here around specific examples in the marketplace. One of the phenomenons that we are seeing again and again and more so as the months move forward here, is this concept of mobile first or mobile only. So more and more companies are coming out with innovative solutions only on a mobile platform. So, they are no longer building for the web first, and then mobile optimized web, and then for the mobile devices themselves. They are actually coming out and saying, our marketplace, our consumers are with their mobile phones more than they are with their traditional PCs and browsers. So, couple of examples of this. One would be we are seeing a couple of companies in the space of mobile payments. The ability to just put a dongle into the top of your phone, your smartphone device, and be able to take a credit card at will. There are two or three companies that are doing this and they are truly disrupting the whole payments industry. So, if you think about everything from taxi drivers to people setting up everything from a yard sale. I use the example of my daughter selling Girl Scout cookies now taking credit cards because all she has to do is put the little device in the top of her mobile phone. It is those types of disruption in the marketplace and that type of innovation that is truly empowering some of these markets. Another good example would be in the mobile banking space. It used to be that we had to go into the bank and then ATMs came out and we could do most of our banking outside the bank, but now with mobile banking and mobile payments, we have the ability to just take a photo of a check and with that photo of the check deposit it into our account. We have the ability to pay lots of retailers using the mobile device. So, we have to visit the bank a lot less often, again completely disrupting the way consumers interact with their banks. It is these types of disruption and these types of innovations that are really taking the market by storm. So, we look out on horizon, we expect to see more and more applications being built in a mobile only or a mobile first type of architecture where they are truly designed for the mobile user in mind and they may or may not get to a solution that is in a traditional web capacity. So, again truly exciting times. 

Sean: Thank you very much for that Mike. Pretty wild, they think that the word website might become as old school as the word mainframe. So, thank you both for your remarks. We have been discussing strategies for enterprise mobility with Shehryar Khan and Mike Brinker, both Principals at Deloitte Consulting. If you would like to learn more about Shehryar, Mike, or the topics discussed on this broadcast, you can find that information on our website, its For all the good folks here at Insights, I am Sean O’Grady, we will see you next time.

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