|Title:||United States annual forecasted smartphone owners in units for 2012 to 2015|
|Source:||Information Management Journal|
Start of full article - but without data
Smartphone owners (in millions) as projected by Forrestor Rasearch,
Inc. Source: Forrestor Research "Mobile Adoption and Sales Forecast,
2010 to 2015 (US)."
2012 XXX.X 2013 XXX.X 2014 XXX.X 2015 XXX.X
Note: Table made from bar graph.
While paper recordkeeping has not vanished, it is being edged out by newer, faster, and virtual types of services. As an example, the use of mobile smartphone devices has become ubiquitous. And, while mobile communications were once narrowly defined by a cell phone designed for the singular purpose of telephonic convenience on-the-go, the advent of smartphone technology moved cultural, consumer, and business sensitivities into a new era.
For a growing number of individuals who demand multi-purpose connectivity, the smartphone is an electronic device by which they can snap a photo, shoot (or play) a video clip, listen to the latest pop tune, perform e-commerce transactions, participate in social media, send and receive e-mails, and obtain driving directions via a satellite-based geo-positioning system (GPS).
When performed on an organization-owned smartphone, however, some of these activities transmit data and/or information outside the purview of the organization and its records and information management (RIM) program. Certainly, within the broader information universe, the items constituting the organization's "records" make up a select subset. However, ready or not, the use of smartphones has thrust RIM onto a new playing field, where a radical change in game plan is mandated, but the playbook is still incomplete.
Staying Informed to Mitigate Risks
A business environment in which a single, mobile device provides a range of information management capabilities does allow greater flexibility. However, convenience does not come without risk. Having an open-minded approach to new technology adoption and a sharpened acuity for trend-tracking can provide a measure of preparedness. With appropriate knowledge and forethought, RIM professionals can begin to mitigate risks and overcome inherent obstacles.
This is why it is incumbent upon RIM professionals to recognize and leverage, where appropriate, the constantly changing nature of communications-related services. Especially in a business setting where executives and managers are watching the bottom line, the challenges of keeping pace with emerging trends and technologies can be quite demanding. Nevertheless, RIM professionals benefit themselves and their organizations by staying informed.
This article offers a glance into the future of mobile phone operations, offering insights into two nascent services: biometrics and image recognition. The former is not yet in place on a large scale, but still serves as a harbinger of things to come. The latter is a reminder of how smartphones, outfitted with appropriate mobile applications, can accomplish data-driven objectives, such as improving the search function within the context of a content management system or increasing sales.
In addition, results from a survey by ABI Research will provide a glimpse into mobile phone-related business behaviors, including phone functionalities most often utilized.
Tracking Phone Technology Trends
The nineteenth U.S. president, Rutherford B. Hayes, is often reported to have said this about the original telephone in XXXX: "An amazing invention--but who would ever want to use one?" How times (and technologies) have changed in the XXX years since those prescient words were uttered.
With the introduction of wireless telephony for the masses in the last quarter of the previous century, there are now millions of mobile phone users around the globe. In response to that query, many modern-day citizens may assume that, not only does nearly everyone want to use one, almost everyone does.
As shown in the graph to the right from "Mobile Adoption and Sales Forecast, 2010 to 2015 (U.S.)," Forrester Research has predicted that more than XXX million U.S. mobile phone owners will be using smartphones by the end of 2012.
By definition, a smartphone is a mobile phone with an advanced operating system (OS) (i.e., a high-level OS and Internet access). Driving the burgeoning interest in this supremely portable device are scores of applications and software add-ons that tap into a user's desire to be "always on" in a XX/X culture of business and personal connectivity, regardless of location.
More Diverse Offerings
Concurrently, the key trends in smartphone development represent manufacturers' determination to offer bigger, better, and more diverse offerings, all competing to tap into this explosive frenzy of information generation and consumption. Some examples include:
* Faster processors and higher resolution
* Bigger screens
* X-D viewing
* Compasses and barometers--to enhance satellite GPS capabilities
* Enhanced video capability
* Contextual experience tracking--user behaviors (i.e., location-based and/or online activities) are monitored by companies, such as Google or Yahoo!, so targeted messaging and services can be delivered to smartphone users.
Biometric Access to Data
In the ongoing effort to secure data transmitted and stored via mobile devices, information technologists have been exploring biometric means to better control and monitor access. Using biometric authentication, specific characteristics or traits can be identified and linked to device access. While fingerprints remain the most commonly employed biometric variable, there are some individuals for whom fingerprint recognition is not physiologically viable due to poorly defined ridges.
Other biomarkers are being introduced, such as recognition of facial topography, iris structure, or vein structure. Moving beyond structural elements of an individual's physiology and into the behavioral realm, an individual's typing patterns or rhythm when entering his/her password can also be linked to identity authentication.
With millions of users worldwide, mobile phones hold significant promise for the future of biometric authentication and represent a convenient means by which to authenticate access, whether to a personal computer or a web-based application residing in a cloud-based server. For instance, the camera or the touchpad in a mobile phone can be the capture device by which facial recognition or typing rhythm identification is facilitated.
Admittedly, depending upon the country and jurisdiction, there can be legal restrictions involving individuals' privacy and the use of biometrics. And, it remains somewhat costly to implement this technology at this early stage of adoption in the marketplace.
However, some organizations, particularly in the government, banking, and pharmaceutical industries, have found biometric authentication not only to be advantageous from an accountability and security standpoint, but much more user-friendly than older, password-related security processes.
Image-Based Access to Data
With image recognition technology and the aid of mobile applications, enterprises can enhance search capabilities across broad categories of organizational content. Using the camera on the smartphone, an image can be captured and then linked to objects in an established database.
As an example, a smartphone camera could be used to capture a digital image of a bar code that leads the user to a unique digital file containing specific, applicable records. And, with the advantages of cloud-based services, image recognition has the capability of matching the image to a hyperlink for a web-based object, as well.
Marketing and Sales
Another possible scenario with implications for RIM professionals involves using the technology for marketing and sales purposes. For instance, the image of a company logo could be linked to an e-commerce website where products may be purchased in online transactions.
Image recognition has been in development over the past XX years and has benefitted from the creation of improved algorithms, the introduction of cloud computing, an expansion in mobile application development, and the recent uptick in smartphone adoption and use. Its potential to catalyze improvements of efficiency and effectiveness within a variety of organizational settings is considerable.
Predicting Future Phone Trends
The late-2010 "US Business Mobility Survey" published in 2010 by ABI Research chronicled the use of mobile phones for business purposes. The online survey involved more than X,XXX U.S. respondents from varied industries and organizations of all sizes, from those with fewer than five employees to those with more than X,XXX.
The findings not only quantify the pervasiveness of mobile technology in the enterprise setting, but highlight user preferences and behaviors. Some of the survey results are highlighted below.
Business Use to Rise
Approximately half of all respondents had a smartphone at the time of the ABI survey. Projections for market penetration indicate that by 2015, three-quarters of business users will be toting smartphones.
Nearly all of the respondents stated that their mobile phone was used for both business and personal activities. Given this blending of business and personal functionalities, it is probably not surprising, then, that XX% of respondents had purchased the phone themselves.
More Images as 'Records'
Mobile phone functionalities reflecting the greatest interest by respondents included video and camera-related features. As megapixels increase on mobile phone cameras (and five or eight megapixels are becoming prevalent), the desirability of mobile phone camera use for business purposes will likely intensify.
Today, images can serve as documentation of transactions or tasks, recording business activities in many enterprise sectors. Law enforcement or insurance are commonplace examples of where a portion of a record might comprise photographs/digital images.
Data More Important Than Voice Services