Wireless technologies have revolutionized every aspect of our lives, ever since its advent it has not only changed but also enhance how conventional businesses worked. Among other contemporaries, wireless devices penetrated very fast and wireless applications were adopted with an open heart in almost every industry.
This paper analyses how wireless technology has penetrated into various industries and how well the wireless applications have been adopted and revolutionized these industries.
For the scope of this paper, the applications, adoption, challenges and benefits for education and financial industry will be analyzed and compared to study the differentiation of utilization of wireless applications.
The modern classrooms are nothing like the old, conventional classrooms with blackboards and textbooks, in fact, the new era of schools are equipped to teach today’s gamer generation. The books have been replaced by interactive iPod, tablets and other wireless gadgets while interactive Smart Screens have replaced the blackboards.
The education industry has experienced a major change with the application of wireless technology, more areas of the industry are being modified as the wireless applications are becoming more sophisticated and enhanced. The gamer generation of students have some common characteristics such as their high social interaction in the digital world, prefer digital and multimedia contents and need interactive environments. These attributes of students needed the conventional education industry to change its pace and redesign the medium of education and learning. Mobile or wireless applications intended to teach came as a natural response to the need of anytime, anywhere and flexible learning. Though several studies and experiments were carried out initially to test the results of learning through wireless application as compared to conventional learning techniques, but the outcomes showed a positive trend of the wireless/mobile learning as it aligned with the needs of the modern generation of students.
Adoption of Wireless Applications/Mobile Learning
Since the consumer of the education industry is the most modern mobile user, the education industry has seen rapid adoption and innovation in the learning applications as shown by the following statistics:
Figure 1 App Learning: Mobility in Education, http://degreetrend.com/tag/education-2-0-2/
There were several active factors that helped the wireless applications to not only penetrate into the industry but was also adopted easily and quickly depicting the effectiveness of these applications in providing education through the digital media. The major factors are as follows:
Accessibility & Usability
The basic reason for the popularity of the wireless technology and devices was their design for flexible options to access information anytime and anywhere without any limitation for the location and time. The same attribute enables the students to access and use information from various sources instantly.
The mobile devices and wireless applications enable students to learn according to their schedules, especially in the case of remote learning scenarios students can control the way they plan their classes/courses.
The interactive nature of wireless applications for learning enables students to learn in a collaborative way virtually through online discussions and social networks replacing the old school discussion groups.
Advantages of Wireless Applications for the Education Industry
The education industry experienced a new dimension of learning through digital textbooks and special applications built for delivering focused and accurate contents. The digital textbooks facilitated interactive learning, easy customization for the course contents, quick and efficient updating and distribution of course material and faster access on the go.
The wireless devices provided students more interaction with their course content and the wireless apps have provided the right tools to facilitate learning with ease and flexibility. More publishers are now publishing their books online to enable students of utilizing these apps to study as this is not only efficient way of accessing but also provides a cost effective medium of publishing and distributing the content. A recent study for k-12 students showed that 47% of students use mobile devices in classrooms, additionally teachers reported that 60%of students appreciated course contents on IPads and a major number of student’s course work had improved due to mobile devices.
Challenges of wireless applications in education industry
The wireless industry is changing at a rapid pace, and new devices with advanced capabilities are being introduced. It is difficult for the content publishers to maintain and upgrade support for various different devices and operating system.
In addition to that, the mobile devices have several interesting features that are distracting for students and can easily take away the attention.
The wireless applications need certain bandwidth requirements that need to be fulfilled; these requirements may not be easy for everyone and the lack of a typical bandwidth may result in an unavailability of contents.
Wireless Applications in Financial Industry
Wireless technology and applications have impacted financial industry by changing the core banking processes and simplifying the conventional financial transaction through mobile applications. Wireless applications are already well established in the industry, and studies have shown that customers of the financial industry prefer the wireless medium more.
Online banking and mobile banking have served the customers as alternate channels to stay update with their banks and accounts, newer advancements in wireless technology and with the introduction of newer devices the mobile banking channel has also enhanced.
The current version of mobile banking is going through a “tabletization” with the aim of providing the awesome banking experience to the customers through their tablets. The modern customer wants personalization and ease of access even for the most critical functionalities such as the financial transactions.
Adoption of Wireless Applications in Financial Industry
A qualitative study on UK’s banking sector showed how rapidly customers are adopting the mobile banking and other mobile applications to manage their money. The report’s findings showed:
The customers using the wireless applications of their banks has doubled from 2008 to2011 and is increasing at a faster rate now.
The adoption of wireless/mobile apps is directly related to the fast growth in the Smartphone and tablet usage, thus the growth of this market is the key strategic factor for the popularity of mobile banking applications.
The customers now want more control over their finances and need a check on their spending instantly wireless applications provide that anytime, anywhere, 24/7support to the customers.
Mobile applications have saved the customers from tedious call center queues and bank visits, thus 57% of mobile customers accept that they use a mobile application for their banking needs as the main channel.
The following figure shows the basic needs and wants of the financial industry customer that have acted as a trigger for quick adoption of this technology in the industry.
Figure 2 Mobile Banking Today,
Worldwide almost 590million customers use their mobile phones for their financial needs and by 2017, this number is expected to grow to 1 billion. The acceptance of mobile banking application has also impacted the mobile commerce and mobile payment market, it is expected that by 2016 about 448 million users globally will pay through the mobile application and the mobile commerce sales for US only will reach to $87 billion.
Future of Financial Wireless Applications
As the statistics above represent the future of wireless applications is bright in the financial industry as the mobile customers in the industry would prefer smart devices over conventional means majorly for the convenience and time saving channel it provides. The enhancements in these devices will also enable more usable applications that will enable these tech savvy customers to use their mobile devices to complete all their financial queries or transactions. The mobile money concept will be easily adopted by the customers to pay for goods and services through their mobile phones.
Several studies show that the future of the business world will be more collaborative that is the banks, retail, telecoms and technologists will form a channel for uniform and integrated platform for trade and payments.
Challenges for Financial Industry Mobile Applications
While the wireless applications provide several advantages for the financial industry, there are some inherent challenges that these applications have to face due to the vulnerable nature of the industry.
The following graph shows the responses of a study conducted on the customers of the financial industry and their views on what prohibits them in using mobile applications for their financial needs:
Figure 4 Challenges of Mobile Applications,
As the graph clearly shows that the first and core challenge for the financial applications is to provide guaranteed security and privacy as every transaction involves customer’s stakes. The majority of customers who do not use mobile applications for the financial industry believe that the wireless channel cannot be completely trusted regardless of the guarantees.
Though a typical 30 something, tech savvy customer will prefer wireless channels, people in their 60s are used to the conventional mechanisms of face to face and direct communication to carry out their queries. The older age bracket not only do not trust the wireless channel but also they do not believe that the information accessed through this medium is complete or verified. Most of the customers in this age bracket are also not that tech savvy and face problems in carrying out complex transactions through wireless applications so they do not even try using these applications.
On high level the challenges that the wireless apps face are more related to the type of customers rather than the application areas as the industry already has wireless applications for most of the financial operations and only a small proportion of banks still do not offer mobile applications.
Wireless technology is here to innovate and revolutionize everything around us. The wireless applications are becoming more usable, functional, easy to use and interactive to serve the gamer generation. Older generations are trying to keep up with the pace as the convenience that this medium offers will facilitate customers of all age group and every industry to perform their routine business transactions through their mobile devices from anywhere according to their time and schedule.
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