Drivers and Barriers
Drivers for Adoption
The drivers for adoption of mobile business within the enterprise and
with consumers are numerous (Figure 2–4). They include the follow-
ing: the increasing mobility of today’s workforce; the convergence of
telecommunications and software industries; the increasing need for
36 >> Business Agility
WAP Phone and RIM Pager Comparison
A personal anecdote may be useful in explaining what Forrester Research has termed the
task-to-device affinity for wireless devices. This may help to explain why certain appli-
cations have been so successful with consumers and business users.
In addition to regularly using a laptop and PDA, I have a RIM pager and WAP-enabled
cell phone. When comparing the usage levels of wireless Web against interactive mes-
saging, I personally find myself spending more time with my RIM pager than with the
data features of my WAP phone. One of the reasons, I believe, is due to the ease of use
factor, or as Forrester terms it, the task-to-device affinity.
The RIMs’ keyboard makes composition of e-mail messages very easy and much simpler
than the equivalent process on a WAP phone. I tried sending e-mail over my WAP phone
when I first obtained the phone and wanted to experiment. The process was so difficult
that it took several minutes to compose a simple e-mail message and dispatch it. Con-
versely, I have found my WAP phone most useful for data access. Looking up stock
quotes and news items and any tasks that do not require heavy text input. Even reading
e-mail messages is acceptable on the WAP phone—the only limitation is really the data
entry portion at present.
The task-to-device affinity issue is certainly a moving target. As cell phones and PDAs
evolve into smartphones that combine the best of both worlds, the devices become more
useable for a variety of functions including voice, e-mail, and Internet access. Today,
WAP phones are good for data access, but not for all forms of data entry. Conversely,
pagers are good for the single function of sending and receiving e-mail. The task-to-
device affinity is an important topic especially for the enterprise since the ability to con-
solidate from three or four devices down to two or three can yield substantial cost
savings in support costs.