Chapter 1 – What’s app…?

Imagine the situation. For years you have been the trend-setter in the market, and then suddenly a complete outsider becomes the new favorite. Out of the blue, your sales evaporate. This happened to Nokia, Samsung, BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion and every other smartphone manufacturer when Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007. When an IT company such as Apple appears out of nowhere with a device that leaves all other players trailing, it is an astonishing and a game-changing event. We have known this for quite some time, but are constantly being confronted by the undeniable truth. It is still quite possible that another player in the market whom you had never taken seriously could steamroll right over you. Imagine.

Chapter 2 – Gadgets Shake Your Business

The App Effect as the title of a book is a nice example of a provocative foregone conclusion. You can articulate such a challenging statement when you have a watertight case, a case that you can sell and substantiate in a few sentences. Apps on increasingly sophisticated display devices are “merely” the heart of the issue. What really matters is that this irresistible force works to create different information behavior that will turn your business upside down in this decade. The implication is that the new changes in information behavior will leave a lasting mark on our interaction with products and services. In the context of Social Businesses, it is the predictable transformation that was initiated with Web 2.0. Thus, we have a foregone conclusion plus simplification, behavior transformation and socio-economic impact. Is speaking of “the app effect”, then, a daring conceit? Or, when all is said and done, will there be a swirling tornado of apps developing in unison on the web? We are convinced it will be the latter.

Chapter 3 – Mobile innovation – featuring energy and healthcare

To properly capitalize on the app effect, we must take a pragmatic look at functionality and usage. The Internet is now mobile and accessible twenty-four hours a day. What does that mean for our organization? The barrier of making a conscious action to get on the Internet has gone. We can be online at any time and any place. And this contributes to the accelerating change in digital information behavior. Our information addiction can only continue to increase. And this is where everyone is focusing their attention, but attention can only be focused on one thing at a time. Soon, apps will be everywhere: in the television, in the car, and so on. Cheap thin screens are beginning to show up all over the place. The fact that everyone and everything are getting connected via the Internet – the Internet of Things & People – has completely transformed the information landscape. The superior user experience of apps has contributed substantially to this development. Websites work ultra-rapidly on the latest display devices. The look and feel of an app with multi-touch has thus become the norm everywhere on the net. Never before have we experienced the net so intensely or personally. There is still the unanswered question of how we ought to deploy this strategic resource. We will elaborate on this and also on the irresistible enticement of display devices and apps. We will then discuss the emergence of mobile Business Intelligence and follow up with a number of innovative developments in healthcare and the energy sector.

Chapter 4 – Culture clashes in the post-PC era

The App Effect is about mobile display devices plus Software as a Gadget, which is the topic of the next chapter. Of course, every display device is itself a gadget, handy, functional, essential, and available in many different models. And that is true for software as well. In 2020, we can expect to choose from over 10 million apps and, according to IDC, the number of app downloads will exceed 182 billion in 2015. This will manifest culture clashes even more in this post-PC era. It will be even more than in the Web 2.0 years. The application of digital technology is increasingly assuming more intense forms that personalize and intensify our life and help us focus strongly on our needs. And not always with friendly intentions, and that is putting mildly. The British riots of August 2011, the worst in 26 years, forced us to face the facts.

Chapter 5 – Software as a Gadget – everyone gets his or her own apps

Digital do-it-yourself tooling has experienced unprecedented growth. People are buying their own devices and enthusiastically shopping for practical and fun items in a multitude of app stores. Organizations are trying a Bring Your Own Device policy to gain more control over this development , but are lagging behind. IT is out of control and has lost any grip it had on procuring and distributing; it will not be coming back. The revolution in buying behavior is driven by a new phenomenon: Software as a Gadget. Software, now generally called “apps”, has come to refer to gadgets. The essential aspects here are that gadgets are real items that become personalized and that it is the individual who determines what he will buy for a trivial sum. And you can do this in all sorts of online stores… “At last! I can organize my digital life the way I want to.” The Software as a gadget/app economy is strongly associated with cloud development, and is expected to grow explosively. This is a challenge to organizations’ traditional IT departments.

Chapter 6 – Persuasive technologies and addiction

The millions of apps that will be coming out in the next decade will make it a daunting task to entice consumers and employees to activate particular mobile applications and engage them in desired digital behavior. There are only so many hours in a day. Organizations will have to pull out all the stops. The good news is that the whole world is beginning to become addicted to mobile display devices. We use them at the oddest moments. Studies on this addictive behavior are accumulating, and the results are unequivocal. We cannot and will not do without them. There is no doubt that we have landed in the post-PC era. The mobile device is the remote control for all aspects of life. A day without mobile is a day wasted.

Chapter 7 – Post-PC behavior – blessing or curse?

The immeasurability and intelligence of our ever-rapidly expanding digital world has not gone unchallenged. And not only because of our own excessive digital behavior that accompanies it. Is it really improving our lives? In the final outcome, will all the frenetic activity make us lose essential human skills, perhaps resulting in hereditary weakening of the brain? Laziness appears to be the lesser evil. When we want to know something we simply look it up. And not in a book, but on the web. The Internet is the largest encyclopedia and database that has ever existed. It is a kind of collective global brain. Even typing is less necessary as the sensors of our post-PC devices automatically acquire images and sound. All data are automatically analyzed and interpreted. Location and movement can be correlated with high accuracy and with all information on the Internet. Humanity has never encountered this in the evolutionary process. We have a primitive sense of time and direction, and a small amount of memory and recall. The development of knowledge and science was laborious. And that is about it – leaving psychic ability to one side. Moreover, all of our innate abilities and intelligence appear to have remained at the same level for several thousand years. And so, we can be grateful for the digital technology of today. We have thus resolved all human handicaps. Or have we?

Chapter 8 – Ap(p)otheosis

Occasionally, there is a magnificent grand finale. A real apotheosis in dramaturgical terms. McLuhan, as quoted above, said it all. Digital technology and media are changing humanity. And, in turn, our organizations. The real and the virtual are flowing together seamlessly. And this is exactly what it is all about at this digital turning point. The spectacle of the grand finale for the app effect will depend very much on the actors. What will these actors do? Transformations will be carried out as collaborations. There is an awesome amount of choice with all different forms of media and app empowerment. As a matter of course, we are on the way to the Digital Commons. It is not ideology. It is most especially pragmatic. In the long run, it is all about wanting and doing the same things collaboratively.