Smartphones are our constant companions. With it come applications and tools that are always available to research, shop, or interact with friends. Employees today also look for access to tools, applications, and services across mobile devices so they can work wherever it is convenient. With smartphone users expected to reach a five billion mark by 2019, mobile computing offers exciting opportunities for you to simplify internal and external communication, and drive growth.
Faster and more robust networks are changing the way enterprises work with and use mobile computing. However, basic mobile computing strategies will not cut it anymore. You will need to create a connected enterprise with a contextual and comprehensive enterprise-wide implementation plan to get the most out of mobile technologies.
Mobilizing your enterprise
Before we get into how you can go about using mobile technologies in your enterprise, lets dig a little deeper into the why. To start with, mobility influences and enhances processing across the enterprise across all touchpoints and systems. At one end of the processing spectrum is simple data entry; while visually intuitive dashboards rendering real time key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics lie at the other end. Viewed from another dimension, on the one hand mobility enables simple notifications or alerts, while on the other it drives real-time collaboration between key stakeholders in business operations.
In essence, mobile computing helps you simplify processes and rationalize and reimagine your business. Contextual data gets funneled to the relevant business operations and stakeholders, eliminating inefficiencies. With access to information as and when needed, you can improve process efficacy, and in turn, reduce turnaround time, improve service quality, and lower costs. You can also use mobile applications to optimize work allocation for field agents, and track and monitor their activities for greater control, visibility, and service management. Mobile enablement also increases collaboration during customer service, leading to higher customer satisfaction.
However, simply integrating devices, digitizing data, and mobilizing workflows may not yield desirable results. It is important to adopt a 360 degree approach when implementing mobility. This means aligning people, process, and technology with operational and business goals to make the most of mobile computing.
People: When it comes to people, ensure that all stakeholders have uniform user-experience while interacting through their mobile devices. Users across business segments must be able to seamlessly access and process information when they want, regardless of the mobile device they use.
Process: An effective mobile solution can facilitate integrated flow of data for automated workflow distribution and management, transaction processing, collaboration and content management, imaging, and real-time access to business and resource information. Mobile enablement across business processes and applications can help you drive faster customer on-boarding, accelerate financial and regulatory decisions, enable on-time resolution of transaction processing issues, and optimize workforce utilization. Make sure your mobile solution has a user-friendly interface that supports multi-channel interaction for superior user satisfaction.
Technology: Mobile-enabled business applications are typically developed in write once, run anywhere (WORA) format. However, the form factor of mobile devices continues to play a fundamental role, and needs to be considered while designing a mobile-enabled business application. It is also critical to ensure safe deployment of mobile-enabled business applications that function on minimal network bandwidth across all platforms and operating systems.
Stepping into a successful mobile future
There is little doubt that mobility represents the future of businesses across industries. As you look ahead to make investments in mobility, it is important to not lose sight of the returns on your investments. You can ensure superior returns by reengineering core business processes and transitioning them to the mobile platform, promoting mobility through BYOD initiatives, and deploying Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions. A comprehensive approach to mobility can help you get two birds with one stone improve employee productivity as well as customer satisfaction.
For further information, read my paper, Strengthening Business Operations with the Digital Five Forces.