Of all disruptive technologies, mobile's most likely to have the greatest impact on the economy over the next decade. Of the 12 technologies listed in the McKinsey Global Institute's report, Disruptive technologies: Advances that will transform life, business, and the global economy, mobile internet is expected to have the greatest financial impact—between $3.7 and $10.8 trillion in 2025. The message is clear: the mobile web presents a truly massive opportunity. And what we've seen business and government do with the technology so far barely scratches the surface.
The report reveals that developing economies will add up to three billion more consumers to the global economy by 2025. "Internet use has been growing by 25 percent a year in developing economies (compared with 5 percent in advanced economies),” the report says. And 64% of people in those developing economies are yet to become internet-connected. The report describes this as "an unprecedented growth opportunity."
The report notes, "Data traffic on mobile devices has reached 15 percent of total Internet traffic." But it predicts that by 2025, nearly 80% of all web connections could be made through mobile devices. And perhaps most tellingly, "a majority of new Internet users could be using mobile devices as their primary or sole means of connecting to the Internet."
The report names four primary effects of the mobile internet on society, business, and the economy:
- changing patterns of consumption
- the creation of new opportunities for entrepreneurs
- the creation of new products and services
- economic growth and productivity.
The data reveals significant opportunities for organisations to provide better, deeper customer service, streamline work processes, and outpace the competition. For example, by 2025, mobile devices may be used in 50% of purchases, and hybrid retail could see productivity gains of 6-15% over traditional retail businesses. The report also estimates that by that time, governments may well be spending between $0.9 and $1.2 trillion on customer facing mobile-facilitated services—and saving 60-75% on administrative costs. With figures like this, it's easy to conclude that those who are today using mobile to engage with customers, staff and suppliers are getting in on the ground floor of something very, very big.
Where will you be?
"By the time the technologies that we describe are exerting their influence on the economy in 2025, it will be too late for businesses … to plan their responses,” says the report. "Nobody, especially business leaders, can afford to be the last person using videocassettes in a DVD world." …or, for that matter, a world of streaming crowdsourced video. "When necessary, leaders must be prepared to disrupt their own businesses and make the investments to effect change,” the report says. "As the past two decades have shown, successful companies repeatedly reinvent themselves to keep up." Clearly, business owners need to act, and the sooner they do so, the better.
Interested in building a mobile app using the latest technologies? We'd love to hear from you.