By: Linda Daichendt, Executive Director – Mobile Technology Association of Michigan.
What do you think of when you hear the terms ‘mobile technology’ or ‘wireless technology’? If you’re like most people you think of your cellphone, and maybe your tablet – and you likely assume that’s all there is. Such devices epitomize the level of awareness that the average consumer, business owner, executive, educator, or government representative have of mobile/wireless technologies. As a result, most people have no concept of the tremendous impact these technologies are having on our lives and the way we do business in today’s global marketplace – and they definitely don’t realize the positive impact the technologies are having on Michigan’s economy.
As an example of an unexpected use, most people would be surprised to learn that mobile technologies exist that will enable your alarm clock to automatically turn on your coffee pot every morning when the alarm goes off, so your coffee is hot and ready by the time you get to the kitchen! Or that sensors powered by mobile technologies can tell a dairy farmer when his cows need to be milked, and other mobile technologies can then proceed to do the milking!
We at the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan (MTAM) are focused on changing the perceptions about the mobile/wireless industry, as well as providing education about the tremendous economic impact that these technologies are now having, and will have going forward, on our lives, our businesses, and our economy – particularly here in Michigan. Typically, the assumption is that California’s Silicon Valley is the powerhouse in the U.S. when it comes to mobile and wireless. However, the facts may surprise you!
MTAM conducted a study, along with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, to enable us to have a clear understanding of the economic impact these technologies were having in Michigan with regard to job growth and business creation, salaries, business productivity levels, education and more. Though we knew that mobile was heavily impacting Michigan, the results even surprised us! Facts such as:
- every mobile/wireless-related job created in Michigan also creates 3.9 additional jobs outside the industry (jobs such as retail, accountants, realtors, food service, banking, etc.)
- noting that there are currently over 47,000 Michigan residents employed in mobile/wireless-related positions in over 2300 companies in the state; these companies range in size from 1 – 2 person small businesses to enterprise-level firms such as Ford, GM, Quicken Loans, Amway, Consumers Energy, and Compuware. These employment numbers will continue to grow substantially.
- that Michigan’s top 5 mobile app development firms alone (ranked by aggregate app downloads) are responsible for over 30 million app downloads (Crain’s Detroit) – and we have hundreds of mobile development firms in this State
- that the average compensation for a mobile/wireless-related position in Michigan is over $63,000 annually (an equivalent cost-of-living to a Silicon Valley salary of $145,000).
One might also be surprised to learn that from a national perspective studies have shown:
- mobile/wireless-related production jobs pay greater than 50% higher than the national average of other production workers (CTIA)
- if smart traffic mobile technology were fully utilized, fuel consumption could be cut by as much as 20% (CTIA)
- as the largest percentage of the U.S. population, the Baby Boomers, continues to age, mobile technologies will play an increasing role in providing affordable access to better healthcare, and in fact, 40% of physicians indicate they could eliminate up to 30% of office visits thru mobile health strategies, resulting in lower healthcare costs and better treatment options (CTIA)
- wireless broadband investment will create as many as 205,000 U.S. jobs by 2015 (CTIA)
- and that wireless economic contributions to the economy have grown faster (16%) than the rest of the economy overall (3%) (CTIA)
Michigan companies are capitalizing on these opportunities by building and operating Michigan firms that are producing and/or utilizing mobile/wireless technologies in such fields as mobile app development, wireless re-charging, intelligent devices and accessories, architectural lighting, mobile device touchscreen production, in-vehicle infotainment, safety and communication systems, mobile payments, mHealth devices and services, battery production, manufacturing, education, transportation, warehousing, data security, utilities, business and consumer services, building management, marketing and advertising, retail and many more.
Though Michigan’s mobile/wireless industry is one of the state’s fastest growing industries, it’s also one of the best kept secrets in the state. However, we fully expect that Michigan’s innovation culture, our existing resources, and the continuing mobile/wireless revolution will provide a wide range of opportunities to diversify Michigan’s economic base and drive prosperity in our state. We at MTAM are very excited to play a role in that, and hope that all businesses in Michigan will begin exploring the many ways these technologies can benefit their own firms with increased productivity and profitability.
Should you be interested in learning more about the ways these technologies can aid your firm, or how they are impacting Michigan’s economy, we invite you to visit our website at http://GoMobileMichigan.org or contact us at info@GoMobileMichigan.org. We would also encourage you to become involved in our non-profit trade association so your firm can take advantage of the many resources and educational opportunities we provide.
About the author, Linda Daichendt
Linda Daichendt is the Executive Director of the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan (MTAM), a Co-founder of Mobile Monday Michigan, and a Co-host/Co-producer of the international mobile marketing podcast series, ‘The Mobile Marketing Review’. She is an accomplished marketer and award-winning blogger, and one of Michigan’s leading proponents of the use of mobile technologies for businesses of all sizes – and in all verticals. She is a recognized business expert with 20+ years of corporate, small business and franchising experience. A 14-year resident of her adopted home state of Michigan, Linda’s daily focus is on educating Michigan business, government and education stakeholders about the opportunities that mobile technologies provide to substantially grow Michigan’s economy, as well as insuring the ability for all Michigan residents to benefit from the jobs and businesses created by those technologies.
About the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan
MTAM is a non-profit trade association for Michigan’s mobile / wireless industry. The organization’s mission is to increase the use of Michigan-based mobile/wireless technology products and services in-state, nationally and globally; to increase the productivity and profitability of every industry vertical in Michigan via the use of these technologies; and to create sustainable jobs and increased entrepreneurial opportunities in the state based on the use of these technologies, thereby achieving substantial growth of Michigan’s economy. Information about MTAM can be found at www.GoMobileMichigan.org. MTAM is also the statewide producer of Mobile Monday Michigan – a mobile / wireless industry networking and education organization which is a branch of an international organization. Here in Michigan we currently have 4 chapters (Detroit, Ann Arbor, Lansing and Grand Rapids) with over 2500 members state-wide, and additional chapters in the planning stages for 2013.