by Michael Friedenberg

Catching the mBusiness Wave

May 14, 2010
MobileSmall and Medium Business

Mobile-based business trends are undeniable. IDG Enterprise CEO Michael Friedenberg wonders what businesses need to do to evolve and cash in.

Last month I wrote about the intersection of three of the most important trends I see hurtling toward us in the near future: mobile Web, social networking and cloud computing. The way these technologies will change how we do business, manage IT and engage with our customers will be nothing short of revolutionary.

In Mary Meeker’s recent Morgan Stanley report on Internet trends, for example, she projects that mobile Net users will exceed desktop users within five years. It’s hard to deny the impact 1.6 billion users will have!

Consider how this will affect your enterprise, given the fact that the current leader in shaping the mobile innovation ecosystem is, of all companies, Apple. As loud as the buzz is around that company now, Apple is hardly the first vendor to leap to mind when CIOs think about their enterprise IT purchases. There will, of course, be many others—such as Google (catching up fast with Android) and Microsoft (really needing to catch up with Windows Phone 7)—who also have a stake in driving this expanding market.

Serial entrepreneur Steven Rosenbaum, CEO of, made a very provocative point recently when he blogged that the current reports on mobile trends “serve to illuminate a dramatic and critical shift in the very nature of the Web and the economics that are growing around it.” Like Meeker, he looks toward a five-year horizon after which the Web will become “essentially mobile, location- and user-aware, and driven by micro-payments.”

If in this world, 3G and 4G networks, social computing, video and unified communications all meld together, how do our IT organizations and businesses need to evolve? Almost overnight, business priorities in customer service, commerce, supply chain, communication, location-based services and innovation will have to shift to the forefront of enterprise investment. Rushing up alongside those priorities will be technology investments in security, bandwidth, content and data delivery, standard platforms, unstructured data management, rapid development approaches and new talent.

How prepared are you to catch this mBusiness wave as it heads toward your company? Write to me with your thoughts about how CIOs will lead in this exciting mBusiness future.

Michael Friedenberg, President and CEO