Akamai Diversity

The Akamai Blog

We, The Mobile People...

In my last blog, I wrote about the mobile market trends, where companies are investing when it comes to mobile technology. In other words, it was about the 'supply' side of the equation. In this post, I will take a closer look at the 'demand' side of the equation: consumer behavior trends in mobile solutions.
Finding examples of consumer behavior (yours, mine and everybody else's) is simpler: Just take a look at your own daily routine. However, to see the bigger picture, let's start by looking at the types of startups that are being funded these days. Recently, The Wall Street Journal published an article titled: Petcube Raises $1.1 Million to Let Owners Interact With Pets Remotely . According to the article pets that stay home alone too much can get depressed or out of shape due to a lack of interaction with humans. The startup's offerings include a wi-fi enabled camera that can be controlled via their free mobile apps so that pet owners can watch and interact with their pets remotely. It is nice that there is a new way to stay connected with loved ones including the four-legged ones, even if you are miles away. My point, however, is that even basic human behavior such as caring for a pet that is so visceral is being carried to the digital world enabled by mobile devices. After an example like this, getting a notification on your smartphone from your fridge when you run out of milk (Internet of Things) does not even sound new or interesting (The Internet of Things is a definition being used in the industry to describe the Internet of machines or devices, where the "things" can be anything from cars to health bands to refrigerators to light bulbs to sensors on construction equipment)

There is another perspective to this picture, though: If we are so in love with the idea of doing everything on some type of a mobile device (anytime/anywhere), then why do we still differentiate technology into two categories as desktop and mobile? Instead, let's drop them both, as the online life we know is already mobile. How many of us still own desktop towers anymore? We have laptops, tablets, laptops that transform into tablets, smartphones, and smartwatches as the line between desktop and mobile environments is disappeared in favor or portable devices that let us stay connected at all times.

The answer to why we still use the descriptor desktop becomes apparent in an online poll we recently conducted here at Akamai. Our question was simple: What barriers to mobile adoption do you see?

And to give you some context, we asked this question to financial services institutions such as banks and insurance companies. In other words, participants from a sector that is highly regulated; always targeted for online fraud and most likely one of the earliest adopters of the mobile channel to reach out to their customers. Their response was not security concerns due to cyber attacks targeting mobile devices. The majority of the respondents, an overwhelming 71% of them said the biggest barrier to customers choosing mobile websites or apps over desktop browsers is: poor mobile performance. Hmm.. Let's look into this in my next blog then.