An IT pro’s guide to enterprise mobility

Companies say they recognize that a good mobile experience has an impact on customer loyalty, but many still don’t have a strategy in place. Forrester’s self-assessment framework helps them get the best bang for their mobile investment buck.

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I felt a twinge of techno-smugness last week when I paid for my coffee using the new smart pay feature on my mobile phone. The server looked at me like I had two heads when I held up my phone to pay, but before she could say a thing, the terminal beeped in approval of my payment.

Mobile has changed everything – the way we socialize, how we learn new skills and especially the way we do business. And we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg. In less than five years, 90 per cent of the world’s population over the age of six will have a mobile phone and smartphone subscriptions will top the 6.1-billion mark.

As the world becomes more mobile-centric, business leaders are talking to their customers about what’s on their mobile wish list and mapping out strategies to make those dreams come true. Or are they?

According to a recent study from Econsultancy/Adobe, only about 30 per cent of companies claim to have a cohesive mobile strategy. And the majority of brands are not prepared to meet customer or employee expectations on the mobile front, suggests a survey by Vanson Bourne and Sitecore. They also don’t allocate sufficient resources to maintain, adapt and improve the mobile experience for their customers.

The same companies say they recognize that a good mobile experience has an impact on customer loyalty, but close to half don’t have a strategy or the one they have hasn’t been implemented.

Get busy, get mobile. In today’s competitive climate, mobile first is a given for companies that want to remain relevant, suggests research analyst Zeus Kerravala in a Network World post.

“In the digital business era, competitive advantage is based on speed and mobile technology, allowing employees to get more work done faster than non-mobile-centric organizations,” says Kerravala.

Build the business case. Strategic planning for mobile should follow the same rules as other capital IT investments, argues Adam Green, the creative lead for Google Canada’s agency team. Develop a solution around the business problem, like the city of Toronto did when it launched an app to help residents find the best cycling routes through the city.

“The city is not in the mobile business, but its approach to solving a larger business problem via mobile yielded remarkably rich data from actual riders, allowing them to plan where they put bike lanes throughout town. And their customers – Torontonians – received a valuable service at the same time.”

Shifting to mobile. Forrester Research has developed a tool to help organizations in their strategic planning of mobile projects. The Employee Mobile Mind Shift Index is a self-assessment framework that measures how ready and in need employees are for mobile capabilities.

Forrester’s research suggests about 20 per cent of the population has already made the “mobile mind shift,” meaning they engage more often with mobile devices, and they expect to access all the information and services they need from their mobile device.

To engage customers and employees, companies will also need to shift, and that means they need to go deeper than simply launching a new app or optimizing a website for mobile users, according to Forrester.
“These judgments are crucial because infrastructure and operations leaders and companies that fall short on meeting employee mobility needs miss out on a fundamental digital business dynamic to better win, serve and retain customers.”

Image courtesy Free Digital Photo

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