SME's Pay Attention 

It’s easy for the average business to ignore Mobile World Congress next week. Shy of some high-profile phone launches it probably won’t even make your radar. But here are three key themes of MWC that are likely to impact most businesses – sooner or later.

Are you planning for “everything always"?

The mobile first revolution has been fast with consumers and too slow with Enterprise. The move from 4G to 3G felt, in practical terms, like a small incremental speed boost. So, we’ve inadvertently trained the average business to think that the move to 5G from 4G will be more of the same.

It is not.

5G is the cord cutter, and it lands in 2020. 1GBs speed with incredibly low latency means yes, shiny things like streaming 3D, 4K content – but also effectively instant access to cloud files – and even more importantly cloud computing. In short an almost infinitely powerful device in the palm of your hand delivering "everything always".

And the first device that can take advantage of this is to be launched at MWC this year- The ZTE gigabit phone. Now, admittedly, the only places you can get that speed is at three locations in Australia (all 1km of the Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane’s business districts) - but that’s not a reason to ignore it. It should serve as a warning shot to all business, especially those signing three and five-year agreements, that enterprise mobility is here, the cords are being cut and that if you are not planning to do so – you may be installing a noose rather than a cable.

Data Science on Demand

Arguably, this year at MWC brings the maturation of Data Science as a product and as an on-demand service. There is a great influx of exhibitors who have segmented Data Science into sectors and have made it even easier to access data and the experience to interpret it. Then there are the likes of IBM, and Watson/“Spark which has been invested in heavily since its inception in 2015 to the point now that cognitive, and cloud solutions are within reach of most digital businesses (especially if you have a Java or Python background).

In our journey, we’ve been bringing Data Science into our business with the help of the fantastic people at Scotland’s own The Data Lab and MBN’s Data Grad recruitment scheme ( )

Data Science in 2017 is no longer the purview of huge corporations – it's accessible by you (and your competitors)

Talking on your phone again

It used to be that talking to someone was your least likely activity on a mobile device. This year at MWC we see all the groundwork for that changing. Voice as a User Interface is everywhere – and in many ways, it’s going hand in hand with the above - a virtual face onto big data and artificial intelligence. The handbook for “Aural UI” has yet to be written but the continued rise of Amazon’s Echo (and supporting Alexa Service) has put them in the driving seat for defining the patterns we may all be using soon.

We’ll be reviewing several of the (almost) plug and play options for our clients while at MWC as one of the big “things to plan for” in 2017.

Come and see us

We are exhibiting at MWC17 once again this year as part of SDI's "Scotland" stand - see us there, contact me, or connect with me on LinkedIn to arrange a meeting.

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