Mobile Computing Research Paper

Pages: 8 (2320 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 8  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Business

Mobile Computing

Assessing Alternatives for Mobile Computing Adoption:

Implications for Customer Satisfaction, Process Improvement and Profitability

Customers' Adoption of Mobile Computing transforms Value Chains

Assessing Alternatives

Customers are redefining their strategies for learning about, evaluating, purchasing and seeking support of new products and services at an accelerating rate. The rapid adoption of social networks for evaluating, comparing, in some cases shopping and purchasing products has become commonplace (Bernoff, Li, et.al). Social networks are predicated on a series of Web 2.0 technologies, the design objectives which are shown in Appendix A of this analysis (O'Reilly, 10). Compounding this is the fact that social networks, Web 2.0 technologies and a fundamental shift in how distribution and service channels are shifting based on customers' preferences is re-defining entire value chains of companies today (Stone, Hobbs, Khaleeli, 51, 52). A critical catalyst of all these strategic shifts in how customers compare, shop, purchase and expect support from companies is the use of smartphones, Netbooks and related mobile computing platforms. As customers are completely re-ordering the channel dynamics of entire industries due to the convergence of the factors mentioned, it is imperative for any company seeking to grow profitability to anticipate and react to these strategic shifts. The role of mobile computing devices for customers has a multiplicative effect throughout a company's selling channels, supply chain, services organization and eventually, its profitability.

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Customers' Adoption of Mobile Computing transforms Value Chains

TOPIC: Research Paper on Mobile Computing Assignment

The rapid adoption and proliferation of mobile computing platforms from smart phones to Netbooks and increasingly, tablet-based personal computers, is having a significant impact on company's entire value chains (Birch, 37). The impact of the rapid adoption of mobile computing has first been seen in how social networks (Bernoff, Li, et.al.) are redefining selling, distribution and service channel relationships. As customers' expectations have increased give the real-time availability of support and in many cases, purchasing and service advice, the expectations they have about their relationships with companies is changing and becoming more immediate in scope.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) strategies are being re-ordered by the adoption of mobile platforms and the mobile devices they support, often redefining the perception of time customers have for responsiveness on the part of companies they purchase from (Schierholz, Kolbe, Brenner, 824, 823). Mobile computing devices can deliver data, insights, information, messages and updates in seconds globally, and as a result of this, customers are increasingly expecting this level of consistent performance of companies, regardless of when a request is made. Customer relationships as a result are becoming more interactive and like conversations (Bernoff, Li, et.al.) and less like slower, more orchestrated and often "canned" or preplanned responses. Customers expect that the responses to their questions will be personalized, immediate, relevant, accurate, and reflect the totality of their history with a given company. In short, mobile platforms and the computing devices they support are revolutionizing markets to be more customer-centric than ever before and forcing companies to be more synchronized to their customers' changing needs as well. For those companies who keep pace with their customers' preferences and continually add value to customer relationships with useful and insightful information in addition to responsive service and support, profitability will be more attainable as customer churn will be reduced (Schierholz, Kolbe, Brenner, 881-883). Yet for organizations that fail to make these fundamental shifts in their customer strategies, they will over time be seen as less relevant and will eventually lose customers to competitors who have kept pace with how customers want to buy.

The multifaceted aspects of creating effective Customer Relationship Management strategies using mobile computing platform and devices show strong potential to also increase customer loyalty (Sinisalo, Salo, Karjaluoto, Leppaniemi, et.al.). Studies indicate that the most effective CRM strategies that integrate mobile computing platforms and devices do so at the process level first, anticipating the unmet needs of customers and redefining process workflows accordingly (Stone, Hobbs, Khaleeli, 44, 45). The net result of this strategy is that each mobile-enabled and Web-enabled software application and process is made more useful, valuable and over time, profitable for customers to use. Enriching mobile- and Web-based applications with real-time data and intelligence significantly increases customer loyalty and leads to a more effective long-term customer retention strategy (Sinisalo, Salo, Karjaluoto, Leppaniemi, et.al.).

Companies getting the best results from supporting their customers on mobile computing platforms and devices concentrate first on how to streamline existing processes while enriching them with additional information from e-commerce, pricing, services and support databases and systems as well. Using Web Services, which are Web-based applications that are designed to be highly efficient at integrating databases and quickly delivering requested data to customers, companies are creating entirely new Web-based and mobile applications to provide their customers with real-time information and intelligence (Maamar, 310, 311). Web Services are also called "mash-ups" because they often integrate two or more completely different data sets so that customers can get right to the data and information they need quickly (Maamar, 303, 304).

There is a significant amount of innovation occurring in Web Services today, primarily as a result of the proliferation of programming languages. AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) is the most pervasive as this programming language only selectively updates specific areas of a Web-based or mobile application that has changed since the last customer request (Geier, et.al.). AJAX programming is also being optimized for XML (Extensible Markup Language) performance over networks with specific focus on ensuring high performance over low-bandwidth mobile computing platforms (Geier, et.al.). The combining of Web Services, data integration for legacy databases and systems throughout organizations, and the performance gains from AJAX and XML are setting a rapid pace of innovation in mobile computing strategies. It is important to note that these technologies are not inherently the reason for the shift to mobile computing platforms. It is the potential these technologies have when combined to drastically reduce the timeframes customers wait for data and for their questions to be resolved. All of these technologies when combined from a process standpoint have the potential to drastically increase the performance of a company's entire value chain. As customer expectations increase for real-time data often companies find that their entire series of field service, supply chain, service and parts systems must also be enhanced for customers' expectations to be met over the long-term (Schierholz, Kolbe, Brenner, 824, 825). Customers' expectations met and exceeded from a process standpoint where technology is the enabling factor, not the primary one, is where companies are gaining significant loyalty and profitability over the long-term (Sinisalo, Salo, Karjaluoto, Leppaniemi, et.al.). The next section of this analysis presents potential alternatives for creating mobile computing-based strategies to connect with and serve customers better, staying in sync with their changing requirements and needs.

Assessing Alternatives

From doing nothing, which would virtually guarantee customer churn over time as competitors aggressively pursue mobile computing platforms to lure new customers, to a series of potential alternatives, the intent of this section is to define potential strategies for the company to adopt. The second alternative is to pilot a mobile platform strategy that takes into account CRM data and creates Web Services would be the least time-consuming and yields the most insights into how best the company could align with and anticipate customers' needs in this rapidly changing area. A pilot would also be constrained in terms of cost and timeframes, and also concentrate on integration to CRM data only, integrating via Web Services to each customer's profile. The functionality of a pilot could also be measured in terms of customer satisfaction as well, as surveys of the Web Services application could be done immediately following a 30 to 90 day pilot.

The third alternative is to extend the scope of the project beyond CRM data to include supply chain data and included automation of the quote-to-order process as well. Integrating supply chain data would require the use of Radio Frequency identification (RFID) tags to ensure real-time data capture on inventory positions and the status of orders (Brintrup, Ranasinghe, McFarlane, 2713, 2714). RFID could provide real-time order status for each customer order as it passes through manufacturing to logistics and finally shopping. The increase in speed and accuracy of order tracking would be costly (Ustundag,2549) and initially time-consuming to set up (Smart, Bunduchi, Gerst,423) yet over time would have a significant financial impact on the financial performance of the entire company due to greater accuracy being achieved (Osman, Ram, Stanfield, Samanlioglu, Davis, Bhadury, et.al.). This type of program illustrates how the adoption of mobile computing platforms over time directly impacts the value chain of an organization.

The fourth and final alternative is to create an enterprise-wide mobile platform that includes context- and location-aware Web Services which provides customers with a 360 degree view of all their activity and options anywhere, anytime. State of the art Web Services today support technologies for creating context- and location-aware Web Services (Zhang, Adipat, Mowafi, et.al.). The challenge of this approach is the depth of XML integration required in conjunction with AJAX programming to… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Mobile Computing.  (2010, April 12).  Retrieved July 31, 2021, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/mobile-computing/4034280

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"Mobile Computing."  Essaytown.com.  April 12, 2010.  Accessed July 31, 2021.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/mobile-computing/4034280.