A remarkable story about the iPhone is a reminder of the importance of mobile and digital technology, says Anton Colella.
“We nearly shelved the phone because we thought there were
fundamental problems that we can't solve,” Apple designer Sir Jonathan Ive said
this week. 250m sales later, it’s fair to say Sir Jonathan and his team
addressed the problems that were facing the iPhone.
Without ignoring wider business developments, such as
ongoing turmoil in the UK economy – I’ve written about that here - the Apple
story struck me as remarkable: it shows that doubts and difficulties affect
even the most successful companies and individuals, and the need to persevere
in the face of these difficulties.
It also brings home to me the importance of smartphones, and
mobile communications in general, to our everyday lives, our profession and our
economy. Business happens on the move; we must be ready to move with it.
Also this week, the House of Lords Communications Commission
said some parts of the UK were being left behind in broadband connectivity.
It’s vital for the UK economy that this not be allowed to
happen. The UK must plan not for the digital needs of today but for a digital vision
Instilling a digital culture poses a new set of challenges
for any business. How can the technology
be future-proofed? How will new information security concerns be dealt with?
What new training is required for staff members? How should information about
the new approach be shared with clients and customers?
ICAS has long recognised the importance of an ambitious,
innovative digital outlook. We are constantly striving to improve our digital
capability, to answer the questions above, and to provide practical guidance to
Standing still is not an option. From the smallest tweet to
the biggest IT infrastructure changes, digital innovation will be a crucial
driver of business success.
Sir Jonathan made another remarkable point this week when he
said that Apple’s main goal wasn’t to make money, it was to make great
products. Revenues would then follow.
There’s something for all of us in that mindset: ensure
digital excellence, and business success will follow.