A recent article in Baseline Magazine about mobility strategy caught my attention today. The article centered around the concept that mobility is transforming the customer relationship. It is full of good points and worth a read.
4 Reasons You Need a Solid Mobility Strategy
For me, there were 3 key takeaways that I’d like to discuss (and I’ve added a 4th that I think is important to keep in mind):
Customers Expect Mobile Enabled Access
As we have discussed several times in this blog, consumer apps are table stakes in today’s mobile enabled world. The article points out:
A growing number of companies now recognize that customers expect – perhaps demand is a better word – apps and tools that enable them to tap into information from anywhere at anytime.
It is surprising however that there are many companies out there that have no mobile strategy. Mobility presents an inflection point in customer engagement and those who ignore mobility risk being left behind by their competition. It isn’t too late however to begin your mobile strategy. This leads to the 2nd takeaway.
Mobility Must be at the Center of a Company’s Business Strategy
This is a tenant that is just at the beginning of taking hold in the enterprise. Thinking of mobility as one pillar of your business strategy is less challenging, and less fruitful, than thinking of mobility as the center of your business strategy. From the Baseline article:
Customers increasingly expect to use a mobile device of choice to get desired information or initiate a transaction. If a company wishes to remain competitive, it must provide a robust, streamlined and user-friendly experience that spans multiple devices, including tablets, smartphones, laptops and other mobile technologies….It’s no longer acceptable to simply port a Website or desktop application to a smartphone.
The last sentence of the above quote is extremely powerful. And it can be a hard pill to swallow for budget conscience companies. While it may be the easiest technical solution to simply port existing web apps to mobile devices and call it ‘mobility’, the user experience is typically compromised. This negates one of the core tenants of a mobile strategy. Enterprises need to (and many are already doing so) come at mobility from a customer-centric (or employee centric as I will delve into below) perspective.
Mobility will Become the Primary Means of Customer Interaction
Mobile is already beginning to supplant connected devices as the primary method for customers to interact with business. In this image from Mogan Stanley Research, it is striking how quickly computing device fragmentation is occurring and how apparent the decline of desktops is in favor of mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, and notebooks.
Gartner is predicting that by 2015, 70% of your customer interaction will originate from a mobile device. The shift is real. And companies need to adapt by developing and then executing a mobile strategy.
Don’t Forget your Employees
One important point the Baseline article didn’t touch upon is the need to not overlook your employees when devising a mobility strategy. Your employees are constantly interacting with your customers and their are some great use cases for enhancing these interactions through the use of mobility. In their personal lives they are using mobility. In their work life, why should they be constricted to desktops and laptops. Earlier I mentioned that consumer mobile apps are table stakes in today’s world. They might be a starting point, but they certainly should not represent the finish line. In terms of potential value to your company, arming your employees with mobile applications has been seen to increase employee productivity, improve the customer experience, shorten sales cycles, and lead to increased revenue.
When we work with our clients on mobility strategies, we include discussion on both strategies for customers as well as employees.
In summary, having a mobile strategy should not be optional. If you would like to hear about how we approach these challenges for our customers, check out our Enterprise Mobile Strategy offering.