In these times of recession, isn't it heartening to see that the behemoths of corporate consultancy can still afford to pay "analysts" to write silly reports full of long words and outlandish predictions?
This was the thought that occurred to me last week as I perused Accenture's press release about its new report on wireless devices. The report does make a few predictions that could well be based in serious research, namely that the global market for wireless Internet devices will grow 630 percent by 2005, and that there will be over 1.7 billion wireless connections by that time.
The "serious research" ends there, however. The main thrust of the report is that, in the future, ecommerce will be ubiquitous. Therefore, it will be called ucommerce instead. The press release also says that the future will be ubiquitous, something most of us had always taken for granted it would be.
The report has the rather sweeping title: 'The Future of Wireless: Different than You Think, Bolder than You Imagine'. In Ireland, the word "bold" is used far more as a synonym for "naughty" rather than "brave" or "fearless". If that's what Accenture meant too, well then the future of wireless is a whole lot different than I had thought.
Back to ucommerce. Accenture says that the "brave new world" of ucommerce will be one "where economic activity is ubiquitous, unbounded by the traditional definitions of commerce, and universal with everyday, around-the-clock broadband connectivity." In other words, we will all be shopping, all the time, with our always-on, high-speed mobile devices. I don't see this happening, to be honest.
Don't get me wrong. I love shopping. It is one of my very favorite activities. I long for the day that shopping is made an Olympic sport so that I can don a green shirt (in the latest style) and bring glory to Ireland in the five thousand euro shopping sprint.
No one, however, with the possible exception of Ivana Trump, can shop all the time. Even shopping would be boring if you could afford to do it all day, every day.
Accenture may argue that ucommerce is not about constant shopping but more about the ability to bill everything to your phone while you are shopping, but even that is a nightmarish scenario. What happens if your phone is lost or stolen? Will anyone be able to buy stuff with it? Will anyone be able to see what you have been buying with it?