It's day one here in San Diego at MobileCON 2012, and on-hand to kick off the festivities were a handful of executives from companies that are being shaped and reshaped by the ever-changing mobile landscape. The theme of the day wasn't about hardware or devices (though T-Mobile and Sprint seem to have thought otherwise), but instead about how smartphones and tablets are merely the delivery system for technologies, challenges, and opportunities that are changing the world we live in.
Stephen Trilling, Chief Technology Officer for Symantec, highlighted how drastically Enterprise solutions have changed since the introduction of mobile devices, and how the industry as a whole needs to come together to create standards to guide this shift. The line between business and personal use has been blurred past distinction, he said, and instead of shunning the mix of business and pleasure, companies must figure out a way for the two to coexist. Symantec's solution, he said, is to embrace BYOD (bring your own device), and to create solutions that keep your enterprise data safe, remotely accessible, and hacker-proof while allowing you to download personal apps, browse at will, and keep a cache of personal, non-business information and data.
Speaking more on how mobile is changing the way we live and do business was Bridget Van Kralingen, Senior VP of IBM Global Business Services. The amount of data available to both consumers and producers, she says, is growing at a breakneck pace, and the paradigm is shifting from "look at the problems" to "think of the opportunities." Mobile has outpaced browsers in terms of data, she says, and this allows companies to use consumer-generated data and feedback as a baseline for their operations.
Finally, ZipCar CEO Scott Griffith highlighted how not only mobile data and technologies can companies, but can also create them from scratch. ZipCar, he says, is a business built on mobile data, and uses user input, opinion, and feedback to evolve and manage itself. ZipCar, its chairman says, was made possible by the shift in priorities among the Millenial generation-- gone are the days of the urban exodus and dependence on car ownership. In fact, with 46% of people age 30 and under saying they would choose to have access to the internet than to a car, ZipCar has become the model over this generation's "preference of 4G over V8".
While MobileCon 2012 may not be the device-rich, announcement-heavy show we all love, its focus on how bigger and badder devices are enabling bigger and badder ways to live and do business is equally as important. We expect to see more of how mobile technologies are changing the way companies and consumers are relating to each other when the show floor opens later this afternoon.