Academic journal article Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research

Motivations and Challenges for M-Business Transformation: A Multiple-Case Study

Academic journal article Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research

Motivations and Challenges for M-Business Transformation: A Multiple-Case Study

Article excerpt


With the advance of wireless technology in recent years, issues of mobile (m-) business transformation become more important for researchers and practitioners. Subsequent to e-business transformation, mobile technology creates another opportunity of innovation inside and outside businesses. However, there is still limited information for m-business transformation. Hence, this study investigates the phenomenon by answering the questions: 'Why do businesses transform into m-businesses?' And 'What are the possible challenges during the process of m-transformation?' This study uses a multiple case study method, and reports the consolidated results of 17 interviews with 6 Australian organisations depicted as a framework, and aims at identifying the factors that influence the motivations for m-transformation, as well as the possible challenges during the process. The findings of this study can provide more understanding of the phenomenon, and further form the basis for a successful m-business transformation.

Key words: Mobile business, M-business, M-transformation, Business transformation, M-commerce

1 Introduction

The world is experiencing a surge in the usage of mobile devices and mobile services [3]. Recent technological advances in the areas of mobile and service-oriented computing have enabled novel scenarios of use that involve mobile devices (laptops, cellular phones, etc) that can both consume and provide mobile services [8], [43]. Internet with mobile technology transforms employee, supply chain, and customer interaction, and providing new innovation, cost-reduction and revenue opportunities [14]. For example, personal digital assistants (PDAs) support a wide variety of enterprise-level applications in fields ranging from industrial manufacturing, the airline industry, to healthcare. Business and personal productivity applications range from document readers to street maps and vacation planners [16]. This has given rise to the concept of mobile business. Mylonopoulos and Doukidis [27] defined mobile business (m-business) as 'an ecosystem of individuals and business actors, in given historical socioeconomic contexts, engaging in multiple successive technological frames through a learning process of co-creating new experiences of social interaction with the use of wireless and mobile technologies'. The number of global wireless Internet users will grow to nearly 600 million by 2008 [34]. Steinbock [38] also predicted that mobile Internet, with the support of digital and multimedia cellular-after personal computers and Internet-enabled systems-will become the mainstream activity by 2010.

Mobile technologies can be helpful to business processes such as decision support, database applications and information service applications design [4], [13]. Furthermore, it is very likely that in the near term future standard mobile business processes in a company will be supported by business applications running on an appropriate electronic device such as PDA, laptop, etc. [39]. However, from web-based activities to m-commerce, innovation is 'architectural' for customers and e-commerce companies [44]. Although some studies indicate that there are difficulties for businesses in implementing new wireless systems [10], the overall investigation and suggested framework of business mobilisation process has not been available yet. Therefore, it motivates this study to answer the questions 'Why do businesses transform into m-businesses?' and 'What are the possible challenges in mtransformation?'

2 Literature Review

In the literature review, the definitions of m-business are provided in the first section, as well as the business models. The motivations and advantages for business mobilization are then discussed in the next section. Lastly, some current challenges for the m-business transformation are briefly mentioned.

2.1 Definitions and Business Models of Mobile Business

The concept of m-commerce is different from m-business. …

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