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Three questions CEOs should ask on the iPhone’s 10th birthday

by Mark Raskino  |  June 29, 2017  |  Comments Off on Three questions CEOs should ask on the iPhone’s 10th birthday

Reading the tech news today, I learned that it is the 10th anniversary of the launch of the first Apple iPhone. That decade really did fly past quickly didn’t it?  I remember the decade before that as well –  as we got better and better at mobile devices.. Palm Pilot, Nokia 7110, iPaq, Blackberry.  Nowadays whether Android of Apple – mobility is highly capable, fast, powerful and ubiquitous. When I strolled across London’s Blackfriars bridge during rush hour this morning, so many people were staring down at their phones, I had to concentrate to avoid a collision.

Now that this technology is so mature and a big part of everyone’s life these days, here are the three questions I think CEOs should ask about their own companies.

  1. Are our customer apps really good?
  2. What have we done to exploit the amazing sensor data these devices can collect?
  3. Have we reinvented our processes to take full advantage of mobility – or just shoved the old process down a new pipe?

The sad truth is that you can still find many apps from big brand name corporations that are either mediocre, bad or unusable. What excuse can there be? The technology is mature. User interface design has become a well practiced art. If you think your company is customer-centric, then how can it be ignoring that publicly visible 2 star app store feedback rating?

A modern Smartphone from Samsung, Apple, Huawei or elsewhere will have over a dozen sensors. It can collect high resolution camera images and detailed data about light level, sound, acceleration, temperature, humidity, orientation, compass bearing, finger print and more. What has your company done to exploit that amazing data in the way it serves customers and the way it manages the efficiency of daily operations? Think about it this way – you paid for all those phones your staff are carrying and the apps your customers are using. All those machines are collecting amazing new kinds of information every minute and if you haven’t taken advantage – then that data is just your opportunity pouring down the drain.

In our CEO survey this year we found that “ease” is a rising keyword on the minds of senior business executives when they think about digital business. And no wonder – just look at how easy Uber has made it to get a ride or Tinder has made it to find a date. But those companies didn’t just take the old way of doing things and put them on a phone. They took what a smartphone can uniquely do and redesigned a whole new process to take best advantage. Uber’s process relies heavily on location sensor data and maps. Tinder’s relies heavily on swiping a touch screen and being able to take a selfie.

Mobile is a mature technology. By now, your company’s apps should be… as Steve Jobs would say.. insanely great!





Mark Raskino
VP & Gartner Fellow
15 years at Gartner
30 years IT industry

Mark Raskino is a vice president and Gartner Fellow in the CEO Research group. Mark creates advice and analysis for CEOs on technology related and digital business strategy and change Read Full Bio

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