I attended the 2014 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week. It was my fourth time attending this event, but my first representing MOBI. Mobile World Congress is the annual showcase and meeting place for global mobility where industry participants examine the present trends and debate the future of the mobile industry.
The first time I attended was in 2001 and it was all about ‘digital handheld phones’ and emerging 2.5G networks by Nokia, Ericsson, and Motorola. Their booths dominated the hall space and harbors of Cannes, France where the event was then held. Data traffic and convergence was in its infancy and the hot technology driving interest and innovation was SMS, really all from a consumer perspective.
Fast forward 13 years and oh, how things have changed. The convergence of mobile and IT is now front and center and it was clearly on display last week. Traditional IT giants like SAP, HP, IBM, VMware, and Symantec share the spotlight with Samsung, LG, and HTC. Interestingly, I didn’t see Apple? There are a multitude of application developers, device software companies, and related solution providers all at the forefront.
We are now firmly in the midst of convergence: IT meets mobile and it’s great. It is not all about just consumer, it’s about business, enterprise, and how the consumer interacts. So yes, BYOD was all over the show in Barcelona. Everything on the desktop is mobile and change is good, but complex. That is where there is opportunity for so many companies to simplify and innovate.