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Divina Paredes | July 22, 2014
Mobile first is fast becoming the default setting in today's organisations. This new environment, however, requires mature planning and execution of programmes around mobile applications and devices. ICT executives from across New Zealand talk about the new business outcomes and challenges in this space, at a recent CIO roundtable held in conjunction with Unisys.

Another trend I think is wearable technology — like the watch, where you can read emails. But that's just one device, there are going to be people wearing Google Glass and all these different things.

And how are we going to cope with all of that support? Users won't know how to use it properly; they'll make mistakes, which will add support costs. It's going to be a very huge challenge for us all, but it's going to be really exciting.

Leading edge thinking

Steve Griffin, Unisys:

It's kind of interesting that the pace of change in the IT business is phenomenal, but actually the rate of change in mobility even outpaces that. What we are seeing in companies that are on top of the mobile maturity curve is what was fundamentally an IT-led initiative is changing to be a business strategy underpinned by IT.

David Moss, Vodafone:

Vodafone India is growing by over a million customers per month. They're doing all sorts of innovative things, but have very small margins on mobility per customer.

At their innovation centre they demonstrated several machine-to-machine applications — one of them was a connected fridge. But their sales people suggested that actually, that's not really where the market need is.

However, using machine-to-machine could really change people's lives in the slums. So, by putting SIM cards on the water trucks that come daily into the slums, the women — who normally collect the water — can get a text message when the truck is five minutes away. Previously, these women would have to wait all day because the trucks are so unreliable, leaving their kids behind.

That, for me, is incredibly empowering, and a classic example of mobility really helping people live better lives — and in an area where you might not necessarily think people would have phones. That's what mobility is going to do for us.

Becoming a mobile first business

Liz Coulter, University of Auckland:

A while ago, we developed a mobile application strategy looking at mobile first. So as we bring in new systems, we try to ensure that they have an ability to provide mobile functionality to our staff and students.

Read more:Movers and shakers: Jayden MacRae of Patients First on making the transition from IT exec to CEO

We recently implemented a university mobile app which you can download now from the University of Auckland. It includes maps, so you can find your way around the university and links to student information where they can get to their course notes, their email, and different things they need for their learning and for engaging with the university. We're continuing to look at the mobile application and how we can improve it.


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