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When to Be Cautious and When to Not - Time-Space Compression
Mobility is part of a historic time-space compression shift that is impacting all people and industries

There is a time to recognize sea change and to take action.  That time is now for developing an enterprise-wide mobile strategy and to start implementing enterprise mobility.  I think companies in the past couple of years have not been sure the role mobility would play in their specific company, markets and industries, however it should be clearer now.  It is time to act and be bold.

I propose that mobility is just the beginning.  Mobility is part of a historic time-space compression shift that is impacting all people and industries.  It is important for us to understand the impact this shift will have on each of our companies.

Paul Virilio wrote a great deal about time and speed, and time-space compression.  He calls the science of speed dromology, and strategies around time chronostrategy.  He proposed that the speed at which something happens may change its essential nature.  His argument is - that which moves with speed quickly comes to dominate that which is slower.  The bottom line, is companies that can see faster, analyze faster, communicate faster, produce faster, decide faster and act faster will have enormous competitive advantages.  Mobility is an essential element of all of this.

Time-space compression often occurs as a result of technologies that seem to accelerate speed and reduce distances.  These technologies today include the Internet, Skype, mobile communications, SMS, sensors, satellites etc.  In transportation they are things like trains, jets, rockets, overnight delivery systems etc.  In business, they are ultra-fast market trading systems, globalization, online sales, currency markets, faster production cycles, mobile banking and payments, etc.

All of these components play a role in compressing time and space.  I can operate a global business, across all time zones from my Boise, Idaho backyard patio.  Speed changes things as Virilio proposed.  The very nature of a business or industry is transformed as time-space compression happens.

Is your company researching this topic?  Should it be?  Virilio suggests that there is a shift toward the emergence and dominance of chronostrategies (time strategies).  We can see this reflected in just-in-time manufacturing, overnight shipping, e-Readers, streaming video, mobile marketing, location based services, social networking sites etc.  All of these are about time and space compression.

I see chronostrategies as a key focus in the field services space.  Companies are constantly seeking ways to improve and optimize their scheduling to be more productive.  They are using their knowledge of location to reduce travel times and optimize routing.

The bottom line is the world is changing and so are your industries and markets.  Mobility is a supporting technology that will enable your company to compress time and space.  The debate should shift from whether mobility has value for your company, to whether your company can transform itself to keep up with the time-space compression that is happening all around it.<


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About Kevin Benedict
Kevin Benedict is an opinionated Senior Analyst at Cognizant's Center for the Future of Work, SAP Mentor Alumnus, speaker, writer, and mobile and digital strategies expert. He is a popular keynote speaker, and in the past three years he has shared his insights into mobile and digital strategies with companies in 17 different countries. He has over 30 years of experience working with enterprise applications, and he is a veteran mobile industry executive. He wrote the Forward to SAP Press' bestselling book on enterprise mobility titled Mobilizing Your Enterprise with SAP, and he has written over 3,000 articles.

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