ICMB2014: If the research in mobile business has the future

On the 4th and 5th June 2014, I attended the International Conference on Mobile Business 2014 (ICMB 2014), London, the UK (http://www.mbusiness2014.org/ICMB2014.html). The event was organized by the Information System and Innovation Group at London School of Economics and Political Science.

The main research themes addressed by this conference are economic and technological aspects of mobile business. Just some examples of topics of presented papers:  value co-creation in a mobile ecosystems, impact of social networks and their use in mobile applications, mobile TV and opportunity to integrate users’ log data into research, questions of mobile ICT adoption in late adopter countries, increasing portability of contemporary mobile devices, and similar.

I would like to focus in more details on some ideas discussed during a panel session since they touch quite important questions. In addition, the discussion itself was very interesting.

So, one set of the questions discussed during the panel session was related to a decreasing number of papers on mobile business and mobile research. Panelists related this to the fact that mobility has became an integrate part of everyday life, and research in mobile business is a mainstream now. This means that many of research questions are not issues anymore. For example, the question of technology adoption. Mobile services are in use, so, to one or another degree they are adopted. The panelists agued that may be it is time to focus on user side and to look into such research questions as how people use mobile services and application. This can be done using the data that is generated by users (for example a log data). Such themes as what is user experience of mobile services and applications, if these services fit in every day activities and how they fit become increasingly important.

Another change in research is a shift of focus from a firm level to the level of an ecosystem (or a network of firms) providing the service.

Panelists also mentioned the importance of development of research frameworks specifically suiting mobile business problems, and to rely less on theories coming from other areas.

During the event I have presented two papers: “Stakeholders’ expectations: The case of mobile public transport ticketing in Sweden” written in co-authership with Jan Markendahl and Niklas Arvidsson and “Stakeholders’ expectations: Mobile payments in retail in Sweden” written in co-authership with Jan Markendahl. These papers were accepted as discussion papers and were discussed and commented in a smaller group of researchers.

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