In his article, Big Differences in Mobile Support for the Social Enterprise , Tom Petrocelli, notes the disconnect in the growth of the social software field the uneven mobile platform support for laptops versus tablets (and even for iPads versus Androids), the vastly different UI experiences for end-point users across mobile vendors, for example, “many mobile users still cannot access their social software on the go or can do so only in a very limited manner,” and the fact that established Independent Software vendors (ISV’s) with ample resources, such as IBM and SAP, have developed and can continue to fund their R&D pipelines for mobile software development, faster than smaller companies and start-ups.
Why is this especially relevant to the social enterprise arena? Because of the great promise that mobile computing brings to this particular entrepreneurial landscape.
For example, the dwbdg post Mobile Technology, Kiosks, and Last Mile Distribution: Three Trends in Rural/BoP Social Enterprise (October 18, 2011) noted the promise for transmitting non-financial services via mobile devices (in information, health, and agriculture) in Africa citing that:
Africa embodies the promise of mobile communication. Mobile cellular subscriptions in Africa have skyrocketed from 11 million to 333 million over the past ten years. Nearly half of all African villages are covered by mobile networks. Africa has led the world in the adoption and penetration of mobile-based money transfer solutions. Nearly all of the mobile initiatives researched by Monitor in the region are in their infancy, however, and none outside of financial services appears yet commercially viable. For these enterprises to succeed, they will need to be affordable, equipped to charge the consumer, incorporate alternative revenue streams, be easy to use, and involve trusted intermediaries to facilitate service.
An ICTworks article, ICT for Social Enterprise: Public Goods through Social Enterprises by World Bank & Ashoka – Implications for Technology, quoted Bill Drayton as saying:
All these issues are important to take into account when applying a tech lens of innovation. Technologists are creating systems that change people’s lives through new mobile phone tools, social media and networking, mapping technology, and environmental advocacy to name a few. Due to the exponential speed that new technology is produced, there are many opportunities to innovate broken systems. Social entrepreneurs need tech tools to be able to leverage a community and create a movement. I believe that much of the tech world realizes that it is part of a changemaker world—one that is democratic, participatory and allows individuals to achieve full economic citizenship.
Equally promising, per Pettrocelli’s article, where he notes that, “some vendors are looking for solutions that can supplement or supplant their native mobile platform applications,” is the trend toward utilizing HTML5, which could have a ‘leveling of the paying field’ effect for social collaboration software in general, and specifically for social enterprise mobile application. He concludes by saying, “as the Social Enterprise market evolves, mobile computing is evolving with it. Support for current and new platforms as well as HTML5 will be on the rise and will be a core part of the Social Enterprise feature set.”
Read his entire article here on CMSwire, here.