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RNF CTO Mike Mannion talks Enterprise Apps

Mobile technology is going to have a massive impact on the business world – and RNF has the right people in place to ensure our customers are at the forefront of the advance.

Chief Technology Officer Mike Mannion has over 20 years of professional development experience, which he gained while working for companies such as UBS, Zurich Insurance and Sandoz (now a part of Novartis). He has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of West London and Masters’ degrees in Business Administration from the Universities of Rochester (NY) and Berne (Switzerland).

The systems which Mike has helped to create have transformed the way in which many people work. Having been based in Switzerland for many years, he is back in the UK and leading the technology team at RNF’s headquarters in Leamington Spa. He believes that mobile apps will radically change the world of business and is urging companies to take it seriously, by adopting a strategic approach to deployment of the technology across their workforce and customer base.

“Mobile apps for business enterprises are growing at an enormous rate,” he explains. “The first mobile phone apps were introduced in 2007-8, with business-to-business apps arriving in about 2009 – largely for marketing purposes. Enterprise apps started arriving in 2011 and the evidence suggests that this is going to have as big an impact on business as the Internet itself – and most likely bigger. Businesses simply have to take it seriously.”

Mobile technology can provide solutions to key business problems in radical new ways and one of the most important aspects of Mike’s work is helping the customer understand what they want from a mobile app.

“The customer may be aware that they face challenges but it might not be entirely clear to anyone what’s wrong, or how these challenges might be addressed,” he said. “By systematically working through issues in light of what is now technologically feasible, the client gets a glimpse not just of potential business improvements, but also of exciting new business opportunities.”

Mike continues: “The thing about this field is that you can never precisely predict what the outcome of current revolution will be. It’s clear that computing devices are already a feature of daily life, but in the near future we’ll be witnessing ever higher degrees of integration with the human body for business, medical, pleasure and as yet unimagined purposes.”

Despite the mind-boggling possibilities, RNF’s focus is on helping enterprises to think strategically about mobile technology.

“We pride ourselves on our ability to select the the right platform/technology to suite a particular situation. However, technology selection is only a small part of what we help our clients with. They are (or should be) less interested in platforms – iOS versus Android versus Windows, for example. Instead the question should be: What if our staff or customers could do this?”

Despite having been at the forefront of more IT revolutions than most, Mike’s excitement at the possibilities is palpable.

“The amazing thing is that we’re now seeing business ideas being realised, which would have been unimaginable a couple of years ago. But we’re also hearing about plenty of misguided ideas too. So it’s unquestionably the right time for companies to build up knowledge or to seek advice on the capabilities (and limitations) of today’s mobile technology. This will provide the foundation from upon which successful business ideas can grow.”