Monday, July 13, 2009

It's all about services...

by Karen Coppock


When cyber cafes took off in developing countries, everyone cheered – now previously unconnected and marginalized populations will have the world at their fingertips. The enthusiasm continued with the explosive growth of mobile phones in these countries. Stories abounded about income levels rising (Kerala, India fishing example being the most prominent), financial services for all (think M-PESA) and political change (SMS messages are credited with helping topple President Joseph Estrada in the Philippines).

Technology in and of itself – mobile handsets and computers – is powerful, but an article in points out that devices are not enough. Firms from all industry sectors – healthcare, publishing, retail, consumer goods – will benefit from thinking about the services that can be layered on top of these technologies. These services could be tailored to consumers or businesses (additional revenue potential) or directed toward achieving internal efficiency gains. Either way, the technology industry has paved the way by successfully placing devices in the hands of consumers and business people around the world, now is the time for these firms as well as content providers and other industries to begin thinking about which services can be deployed to increase the value of these devices to the end users and the firms’ bottom line.

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