Adoption & Effective Use

Adoption of Mobile Devices and Apps—What's Different?

In the second-to-last blog post I’ll be writing for The Smarter Office, I posted about adoption of mobile devices and apps, and how the current dynamics are different to collaboration systems:

… there are a range of practical and sociological factors at play in the adoption of collaboration systems, can we observe these same factors at work with mobile devices and apps today? Given that the adoption of mobile devices and apps are exploding, clearly not.

So what do we say is driving this adoption, and how is it different to collaboration systems? Here’s how I think about it.

1. Mobile devices and apps are for individuals. While there is often social pressure from friends and coworkers to buy the latest gear, it’s in an individual capacity that they are used. A mobile phone is a personal device. Any apps purchased are for use by an individual. There are standards that govern the exchange of information across mobile devices (such as email, SMS, or PXT), or apps that work across different types of devices (such as Twitter, Facebook, Evernote, and many others). As a consequence, in most situations, it’s actually irrelevant what someone else is using, because their device of choice doesn’t adversely impact anyone else. Using an “old” device may lose you “cool” points with your friends, but it usually doesn’t stop you from communicating or getting work done. If you do change to a different device, it’s often because you have seen what someone else can do on their device that you want but can’t do on your current device; you want the same ability for yourself, not necessarily the same ability so as to work with someone else better. That’s a very different dynamic from collaboration systems, where how one person uses the software / technology / solution has deep implications for other people, and changes in work and workflow have to be coordinated and new patterns established.

I note two other reasons in the full blog post.

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