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We're Not in Post-PC Times, But It Is a Nouveau Mobile World
Jim Rapoza
APR 02, 2013 08:00 AM
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With the rising importance and ubiquity of devices such as tablets and smartphones, it's becoming trendy for technology pundits to say that we are moving to post PC times, that not only will the importance of the PC dwindle, but that we will soon cease to use them completely.

That day may come but I don't think we're all that close. Rather than think in zero-sum terms (as in that PCs must die if mobile rises) I instead tend to believe that we are in a new mobile world where the importance of smartphones and tables is on an equal footing with PCs. And a key element of that trend is that, increasingly, businesses want to have the same tools and capabilities on mobile devices that they do on PCs, right down to core technology management functionality.

Recently I saw an excellent example of this trend. In March, performance management vendor AppNeta demoed a new mobile application for me. Now typically, when a performance management vendor shows me a mobile app, it's typically some kind of limited functionality dashboard tool that lets IT admins get basic information on how their applications and networks are running, though if they need to do anything serious they'll need to find their way to the full PC version.

But this new AppNeta iOS app wasn't in that category. Instead, this was a full fledged network performance test tool, making it possible for uses to find out how their network was performing from their iPhone or iPad. So a home user could test out their broadband connection, roaming salespeople could find out if their 4G connection was worth the investment and businesses could easily test the connectivity for their various offices and telecommuters.

Even this app is still just a first step but I like the direction it is going. In this new mobile world, smartphone and tablet apps can't be limited functionality checklist items (as in, sure we have a mobile version). They need to have full capabilities that meet the unique needs of the mobile world. (At least until pundits start predicting the post mobile world.)

Jim Rapoza
Senior Research Analyst
Networking Application Performance
Aberdeen Group

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