Mobile innovation: The catalyst for digital transformation

By Alisa Maclin

| Retail

Mobile innovation, particularly when matched with today’s emerging technologies, remains at the center of fast transformational change for organizations big and small. In fact, 72 percent of global executives are planning at least five enterprise mobile initiatives over the next year and 21 percent expect revenue to increase at least 10 percent as a result of mobile initiatives.

Furthermore, according to an IBM mobile and emerging technologies survey completed last year, 85 percent of executives say they believe mobile serves as a catalyst to organization-wide innovation. It’s clear that mobile isn’t going away and, more importantly, it’s only becoming more important as technology leaders look to supercharge their digital transformation journeys.

Many of these leaders have more on their plates than ever before. At the start of a brand-new year, with new targets and growing marketplace expectations, it’s a good time to take stock. What if these leaders could achieve their business goals of tomorrow, or even today? This is a question we’ll be exploring in-depth next month at Mobile World Congress 2018 in the vibrant city of Barcelona. At the heart of this question lies one fundamental pillar: mobile innovation.

How is mobile innovation bringing businesses’ future ambitions within reach today? Take a look at its real-world, real-time impact in the retail and travel industries:

Retail: Mobile’s power over purchase

As retail customers’ and employees’ expectations for connectivity rise, executives are turning to mobile to deliver differentiated experiences and enable truly digital workplaces. By now, we’re familiar with mobile’s power over purchase. During this past Black Friday, purchases made on mobile devices accounted for 37 percent of all sales — a whopping $2 billion, reports TechCrunch. But did you know these changes are also allowing retailers to make faster, better-informed decisions on the spot while equipping employees with more resources to better assist customers?

By introducing cutting-edge mobile technology to its stores, Migros, Switzerland’s largest retailer, empowered its employees to access the latest products and promotions in new ways, delivering the public flawless experiences. Further, in revamping its digital presence to provide more personalized, accessible content, the beloved Swiss grocer saw a 20 percent increase in overall site visits and a 28 percent increase in mobile customers.

Mobile innovation for travel

With the amount of air travel surging year over year and passengers more frequently using their mobile devices to book, plan and document their travel, mobile innovation by airlines is at an all-time high. According to Refinery29, mobile is even changing in-flight entertainment options, with a handful of airlines opting to remove the amenity altogether as more passengers come equipped with their own entertainment library in the palm of their hands.

At this point, if you’re an airline without a solid mobile strategy in place, your potential customers are going to take off without you. Mobile isn’t just a must-have for travelers — it’s equally critical to the men and women operating the plane.

When Finnair adopted a fleet of enterprise iOS apps to digitally transform its business, it created a simplified and safer experience for both passengers and employees. For example, the Assign Tech app provides aircraft mechanic supervisors an overview of flight schedules, maintenance process and mechanic availability. With advanced analytics incorporated, the app recommends new shift assignments and also alerts supervisors to any flight issues to inform their decisions in real time. Skytrax, a world airline awards site, reports that the top 2017 regional airlines in Asia, Europe, North Europe and North America have implemented MobileFirst for iOS solutions for their crews.

Regardless of industry, there’s no question that mobile is omnipresent, from your weekly grocery haul to your winter vacation. And now more than ever, mobile innovation is the catalyst for digital transformation, allowing businesses to rapidly reach goals they once thought unattainable. Stop asking “what if?” and start asking “what’s next?”

Written By

Alisa Maclin

Vice President of Marketing for IBM Mobile Enterprise

Alisa Maclin is Vice President of Marketing for Mobile Enterprise at IBM. She leads all aspects of worldwide marketing for IBM’s mobile solutions portfolio, including strategy, advertising, brand, digital, research, communications, product and partner marketing.Over her career…

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