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Abstract

New mobile devices, combined with content digitization, promise the creation of a vast global network that will have enormous and far-reaching impacts on how we work and live. Who will benefit from this technology, where its real opportunities lie, and how it will impact our organizations and our personal lives is not yet clear. We know that changes will occur and that these impacts will likely vary by firm, industry, and segment of society. What we don't know is how and when these changes will happen. This uncertainty leaves business with the challenge of navigating between the opportunities presented by the new capabilities offered by mobile technology and the risks of being in the wrong place at the wrong time as their business ecosystem alters. This paper is a tutorial for both the IS practitioner and the IS academic. It presents the issues faced in applying wireless technology in business and suggests areas in which research might be fruitful. It concludes that mobile computing is a new and unstable technology that potentially can change much about how organizations work. However, the uncertainty surrounding mobile computing can make decision-making a challenge for many senior executives who would like to see a clear business case for their investment. Unfortunately, this goal is not always possible. Instead, executives must learn to recognize a variety of options for the future and manage these effectively and dynamically while keeping a close eye on the value proposition.

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