Most people have now realized that mobile is a great way to improve customer experience. Lots of businesses also understand that mobile has the potential to change they way their business operates. But did you know that mobile could dramatically improve your business performance?
The nature of mobile
Mobile apps, devices and the sensors they depend on allow for real time measurement of business activity. Immediate and accurate information about business performance can be made available to any member of your team any time, anywhere. Even better the data presented can be tailored to every individual’s specific needs and ways of working.
This is completely different from normal business practice. Results, fluctuations and trends may not be available for a week or even a month after the events that cause them to take place. All the outcomes are typically gathered in standard management reports which are distributed in identical form to a wide group of people. Frequently no action is taken or even considered until that group gets together after even further delay.
Immediate availability leads to faster response, better decisions and improved performance.
Unleash your team’s innovation
Mobile is one of the world’s leading sources of innovation. This quality has now transferred from the networks, devices and software of the mobile infrastructure to its users. Apps present a new way of doing things for many business processes and activities. Integrating sound and pictures with touch-screens provides an entirely different way of exploring the capabilities of technology.
For the first time your team have the potential to innovate with technology with no need for technical or programming expertise. The great thing is that this is happening without any intervention from you. The ubiquity and ease of use that comes with smartphones and tablets has resulted in constant experimentation and sharing by users everywhere. Your priority should be to find out what innovation your employees are generating and harness for your business.
A catalyst for change
Turning innovation and better decisions into real improvements in business performance requires you to execute change in your business. As well as being a source of ideas and improvements, mobile can also be a real catalyst for the changes you need.
Introducing business mobile apps sends a strong signal to your team, your management, your customers and your suppliers. Meeting the demands of a mobile workforce forces your IT team to think differently. Redesigning forms, reports and all your communication for smartphones leads to different thinking about process design. Opening up new channels for communication and sharing both within the organization and with suppliers and customers provides the impetus for change.
A new way of delivering change
The advent of rapid, easily deployed mobile apps has also led to the creation of new approaches to change projects. Your business can take advantage of these ideas.
The Lean Start up formalized the approach. Build a basic but usable solution (called a minimum viable product or MVP), test it with users, learn and iterate until it is just right. Around the world thousands of hack days and workshops have developers and users collaborating to produce results in days that would once have taken months to create.
These approaches are being used by large corporations, academic institutions and even the US Government. Mobile not only stimulates change it also gives you a new way of carrying out those tough IT projects every business fears.
Solving the acceptance problem
Putting mobile at the heart of business change has one further major benefit. For many years both IT and other major business change initiatives have suffered as they face the challenge of changing behaviour and working practices. Whether attributed to inertia, resistance to new ideas or lack of training, slow and partial acceptance of new ways of working is one of the biggest barriers to delivering the benefits of any investment in new systems or equipment.
Mobile apps are developed using a different paradigm. Prototypes can be developed and in the hands of users in hours not months. Minimum viable products are tested by real users and the next version reflects their feedback. Usage of apps is measured very precisely. Software tracks where every user looks, where they pause or move on and where they click or engage with the software.
Great apps feel as if they have been designed for users by users. Acceptance is no longer reluctant. Typically the biggest problem for IT is rolling the new product out quickly enough to satisfy demand.
Join the mobile revolution
Waracle are build great mobile apps for all types of businesses in the UK, the US and globally. Sunstone Communication is advising companies on the business change needed to take full advantage. Talk to us and join the mobile revolution now.
About the author
Kenny Fraser is a Non Executive Director, board level advisor and mentor with over 20 years experience in mobile and digital. Kenny helps startups and established business take advantage of mobile and digital technologies.