Have you noticed that there has been a steep drop in UFO sightings over the last 10 years or so? You hardly ever hear about them anymore. Right? But do you know why? In my opinion, it is directly related to the fact that 90% of Americans now carry mobile phones with them where ever they go. Those phones have cameras. So, who would believe you today if you reported an alien sighting but didn’t snap a selfie? No proof. Hence, no more reported sightings.
Mobile technology has not just changed the way we communicate. It has changed the way we live, interact (or don’t interact) with our environment and even survive. Think about all the situations that would have been different years ago without mobile communication, information and apps. Hollywood has some great examples.
- Home Alone – Mom would have checked in, apologized and told Kevin to call a friend.
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show – Brad and Janet would never have had to have knocked on the door.
- The Princess Bride – “Buttercup, I’m the Dread Pirate Roberts now. When I get home I’ll be rich and we’ll get married.”
- The Wizard of Oz – With Waze, “Hazard reported ahead.” Without, yep, flying monkeys.
- Jurassic Park – “OK Google, what kind of dinosaur is 6 feet tall and walks on it’s hind legs?”
- Poltergeist – Wikipedia: Poltergeist. Craigslist: Moving Company
- Okay. I’m having too much fun with this. The point is… Ah yes. The point is that mobile knowledge access is changing our lives, often without our realizing it. And business is no exception. For most of us, we do all of our business in the office. Sales, support and other workers who might be designated as mobile workers have felt the change coming for years. For the rest of us, mobile business is sort of creeping up on us.We all have mobile devices and we are all theoretically available any place and any time (unless you are among the wise ones who set mobile boundaries for work, and if you are, good for you). GPS lets us and others know where we are. Cameras in every pocket help us document our world (including UFOs). And browser-based business applications can run on nearly any mobile device – no platform is a barrier to business anymore.
This is both a blessing and a curse. For management, it means knowledge workers can pull insights from enterprise data when it is absolutely critical to business decisions. For workers, it means you can impress your boss at any time of day no matter where you are. Of course, that could be at a movie, the school play or on a beach, on a Sunday. For better or worse, smart business intelligence never sleeps.
With a secure mobile BI app, you could literally use any smartphone or tablet – even someone else’s – to receive indicators and alerts, to drill down into data sources, to collaborate with colleagues and use many, if not all of the BI functions that you might use at your desk on a Monday morning; even advanced analytics and data visualizations. That doesn’t sound like a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. But think of the alternative. Without smart mobile BI applications, you could be getting called into the office on Sunday rather than quickly generating business insights on your phone or tablet.
So, mobile BI might eliminate our excuses for putting off work. But at least the work can be a lot easier than it used to be – unless your job is documenting UFO encounters. We still can’t help you there.