Mobile Kills the Website


by Samuel Greengard

Change at warp speed has become a given. The business cards I printed two years ago aren't any good because they don't include a QR barcode. The CRM system you put in place three years ago requires an upgrade in order to accommodate social networking and mobile connectivity.

And rapid change ripples out and affects businesses in unanticipated ways. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the mobility arena. Market research firm In-Stat reports that the Internet was the number one desired cellphone application in 2010. Users want GPS capabilities, location-based services, video and an array of other goodies. The ripple? Many business and IT executives are trapped in a 2002 time warp and they aren't responding.

That spectacular website you created? You still need it, but it may not be reaching the audience you need to reach. For example, Millennials, who live almost exclusively on their smartphones, may rarely, if ever, use a computer. If your site isn't optimized for a smartphone or you don't have a custom app available you may be out of luck...and out of a customer.

The e-brochure or video clip you offer at your website? It may prove useless to anyone who can't download it onto a smartphone or tablet.

It's amazing how many businesses lack dedicated mobile apps, or operate sites that aren't optimized for mobile browsers and easy data entry. I understand the need to get things right. But taking months or years to develop a mobile app just doesn't cut it. Several major airlines, retail giants and others still haven't introduced smartphone apps.

C'mon, this is 2011! News bulletin: both the iPhone and Android operating systems have been around since 2007!

Waddle at your own risk. All while your brand name takes a hit and smarter and swifter competitors eat your lunch. Heck, I've gotten to the point where it's so easy to buy items on Amazon that I constantly add them on my iPhone and order them later or when I'm back at a computer. This used to be someone else's sale.

Who would have thought that Websites would be passé in just over 15 years? Welcome to the new reality: if you're standing still you're actually moving backwards.