I have always been a strong advocate of the best UX on mobile and while HTML5 has made some huge strides in smartphones (iOS, Android) — it still falls short when it comes to native apps. It is a natural step for web dev shops but I think it will be an eventuality to move into native app development if one wants to take advantages of the new mobile device hardware. There are also intermediaries like PhoneGap and Appcelerator but still remains to be seen.
Good summary on the current debate by JLG http://goo.gl/1Avbf
Mobile Payments is very big and innovation is occurring rapidly in this space. Banks, operators, device manufacturers, and POS are investing heavily in mobile payments (i.e. NFC) and the security behind it. In some regions of the world, it is not new – mobile payments is very mature in Japan & South Korea. Companies likes NTT Docomo and SK Telecom have already developed robust infrastructure to support mobile payments. Canada and US have been traditionally laggards in the mobile space – and it is only now that companies are investing in the technology in order to make this happen. Non-traditional mobile companies like Apple, Google, and PayPal have disrupted the industry and in ways, increased the pace of innovation in North America.
Google Wallet has been getting a lot buzz in the media as a form of mobile payment. Introduced earlier this year, the Google Wallet mobile app makes your phone your wallet. It securely stores your credit cards, loyalty cards, and offers on your mobile phone. When you check out at brick-and-mortar stores that accept Google Wallet, you can pay and redeem offers quickly just by tapping your phone at the point of sale. They have already signed up more than 25+ major retailers in the US – including Best Buy, Target, Gap, Guess, and Sunoco.
While Google has gotten a lot of attention in the media around their wallet offering – there are other groups including VISA (including V.Me) and American Express who are developing their own wallet. Google has already launched pilots in Chicago and San Francisco. The first pilot to launch in Canada will be in early 2012. RIM and Telefonica has just launched a pilot of a version of the digital wallet in Spain.
Paypal’s unique entry combines NFC and non-NFC devices – they are selling the idea to retailers that to update their POSes requires a software upgrade rather than a hardware upgrade with NFC. In the instance of the non-NFC solution, one would use their mobile number and PIN for payment from their mobile wallet.
Over my career as a someone who has been responsible for small to enterprise technical implementations for Fortune 500 clients, I have come across many different types of people: project managers, business analysts, technical architects, software engineers (front-end, middleware, backend), network engineers, and database administrators. I want to focus on the Project Manager function as it is often misunderstood its true role in terms of the project.
Owning the scope, budget, and timelines are the main responsibilities for the project manager — however most folks attempt to manage the project as “administrators” vs. “managers”. A key differentiator between administrators and managers is leadership within the actual project. Often I see people who have been placed in project management roles fail because they could not lead people within the project — they are often pushed into a situation where they are bullied or too accommodating to the internal team or client needs.
At times, project managers require the need to lead people towards the overall deliverable — while each team member has a responsibility in ensuring their parts are completed, the project manager has to ensure that the project moves in the appropriate direction — within scope, budget, and timelines. This is not an easy thing to do — and appropriate controls are required. However, it is not enough to have things documented or even having a PMP certification. Strong leadership is required to ensure the project is moving forward in the right direction.