Only a Small Percentage of CIOs in Asia are Mobile Ready: Scott Bales

Singapore-based Scott Bales, known in banking circles as "a global leader on Innovation, Trends, Design and Mobility" is publishing a book on mobility, titled, Mobile Ready. The book is right now at a pre-order stage at an innovative publishing forum, Publishizer.com, where it has already raised S$18,000 in pre-orders (at the time of writing). This shows how popular Bales is as a thought leader in his space. If you have any doubts over his popularity, look at this: he has over 15,000 Facebook followers!

Zafar Anjum Jan 28th 2014

Summary

Singapore-based Scott Bales, known in banking circles as "a global leader on Innovation, Trends, Design and Mobility" is publishing a book on mobility, titled, Mobile Ready. The book is right now at a pre-order stage at an innovative publishing forum, Publishizer.com, where it has already raised S$18,000 in pre-orders (at the time of writing). This shows how popular Bales is as a thought leader in his space. If you have any doubts over his popularity, look at this: he has over 15,000 Facebook followers! A former Senior Vice President of Fundamo, a Visa company, Bales is an expert on the state of the financial services industry. In addition to his roles as Business Development Manager for ANZ and the Head of Technology for ANZ subsidiary, WING, Scott had also been Director of Strategy and Partnerships for the African Centre for Mobile Financial Inclusion. He is a founding member of Moven, the mobile-centric payments business that helps customers to spend, save and live smarter. A founder at Next Bank, a mentor to Entrepreneurs throughout world with Lean Startup Machine, he sits on the Board of educational empowering NGO, Care Pakistan and holds advisory positions at Invitre, Our Better World, HUB Singapore and CDI Apps 4 Good. Scott is a visionary and banking innovator and a charismatic and knowledgeable speaker, unafraid to challenge the existing financial services industry and banking startups alike. We recently had a chat about his forthcoming book and his thoughts on mobility in Asia Pacific.

I wrote this book for business leaders who want to enter the world of mobility, a tough new space for brand, channel, and engagement. My aim with it is to prepare these leaders, with the right mind-set and practical know-how so they can stop believing the lies and avoiding the many mistakes others made before you.

Singapore-based Scott Bales, known in banking circles as "a global leader on Innovation, Trends, Design and Mobility" is publishing a book on mobility, titled, Mobile Ready. The book is right now at a pre-order stage at an innovative publishing forum, Publishizer.com, where it has already raised S$18,000 in pre-orders (at the time of writing). This shows how popular Bales is as a thought leader in his space. If you have any doubts over his popularity, look at this: he has over 15,000 Facebook followers!

A former Senior Vice President of Fundamo, a Visa company, Bales is an expert on the state of the financial services industry. In addition to his roles as Business Development Manager for ANZ and the Head of Technology for ANZ subsidiary, WING, Scott had also been Director of Strategy and Partnerships for the African Centre for Mobile Financial Inclusion. He is a founding member of Moven, the mobile-centric payments business that helps customers to spend, save and live smarter. A founder at Next Bank, a mentor to Entrepreneurs throughout world with Lean Startup Machine, he sits on the Board of educational empowering NGO, Care Pakistan and holds advisory positions at Invitre, Our Better World, HUB Singapore and CDI Apps 4 Good.

Scott is a visionary and banking innovator and a charismatic and knowledgeable speaker, unafraid to challenge the existing financial services industry and banking startups alike. We recently had a chat about his forthcoming book and his thoughts on mobility in Asia Pacific.

 

 

 

You are a techie, a consultant and an entrepreneur. What made you write this book, Mobile Ready? Who is it intended for?

Throughout my career, I've had the amazing opportunity to engage business leaders of all industries, each facing their own unique challenges as the world around them 'digitises'. However, one challenge stood out more than any other, mobile. Mobile meant a huge change in consumer and market behaviour, that points towards disruption of traditional business models. Most of the time the leaders of these organisations humbly concede they don't really know what we're doing. We don't know if it's succeeding? And we certainly don't have any ideas on how to continue its growth.

I wrote this book for business leaders who want to enter the world of mobility, a tough new space for brand, channel, and engagement. My aim with it is to prepare these leaders, with the right mind-set and practical know-how so they can stop believing the lies and avoiding the many mistakes others made before you.

The book is written for technology, marketing and product leaders

What is the main thesis of your book?

For most businesses getting into mobile, the strategic gap can be quite vast.

- Mobile can, and is changing the rules of business, brand and distribution.

- Mobile is not about technology, instead it's about context, behaviour and utility.

- Business leaders need to retrain the way they think and see the market to succeed in engaging untethered (mobile) consumers

- Learn 12 key ways business leaders need to think when considering mobile strategy. Along with a series of immersive exercises to help them change the way they think.

Do you think CIOs in Asia Pacific are mobile ready?

The reality is only a small percentage of CIOs in the region would be considered MOBILE READY. Some have made progress through strong collaborations with design firms. But still get caught up on a technology debate, one that is far removed from the consumer shift in behaviour.

What common mistakes do organisations commit when they embrace mobility as a strategy?

The crime business leaders commit with mobile is approaching it like a technology. Mobile is about behaviour, context, and utility. If you remember this, technology as an issue disappears. No longer are you talking about operating systems, hardware, or device features. Instead you'll focus on the elements of mobile that always supersede the constantly redundant device world. Constantly being told to have great, magical and marvelous the new model, or operating system update is.

What is your advice to CIOs who want to go mobile?

The book contains twelve practical ways business leaders can develop their thinking, to be MOBILE READY. So my first advice would be to buy the book, or hire me as an advisor. But here are some freebies:

1. Get Out of the Building. You can't develop empathy for mobile consumers sitting at your desk. Spend time first hand observing, understanding and learning from the market, in the context where they engage mobile

2. Don't Do It Alone: Accept that you don't have all the answer, then find great strategic partners to help on the journey

3. Offer Free Stuff. Mobile consumers are very transient, so take the time to find something valuable you can offer for free.

4. Create Experiences, Not Products. Nobody buys a mortgage, they buy a home. And the process of buying a home is far larger than just the application for a mortgage. Look for other parts in the process where you can add value.