Time to Spruce Up En­ter­prise Mo­bile Apps

Or­gan­i­sa­tions are rec­og­niz­ing the tremen­dous ben­e­fits of mak­ing en­ter­prise mo­bil­ity a pri­or­ity—ben­e­fits that range from trans­form­ing cus­tomer en­gage­ment to busi­ness-process in­no­va­tions that em­power em­ploy­ees in a new way

PCQuest - - CONTENTS - – Bask Iyer, CIO, VMware

The to­tal ad­dress­able en­ter­prise mo­bil­ity so­lu­tions in­dus­try in Asia Pa­cific, which in­cludes ap­pli­ca­tions, devices, se­cu­rity, mid­dle­ware, and pro­fes­sional ser­vices, is ex­pected to grow from US$22B in 2015 to US$26.7B by 2017. The mar­ket in In­dia is also slated to grow from US$1.7B in 2015 to US$2.3B in 2017 over the same pe­riod.

Well, I sup­pose that means the prospects for en­ter­prise mo­bile de­vel­op­ers are cer­tainly bright, but stats like this one al­ways leave me scratch­ing my head.

I mean, where are th­ese ex­tremely in- de­mand en­ter­prise mo­bile apps?

If you’re any­thing like me, your ex­pe­ri­ence to date with en­ter­prise-spe­cific mo­bile apps has been lack­lus­tre at best. I think there’s hope, how­ever, be­gin­ning with more busi­nesses rec­og­niz­ing the tremen­dous ben­e­fits of mak­ing en­ter­prise mo­bil­ity a pri­or­ity—ben­e­fits that range from trans­form­ing cus­tomer en­gage­ment to busi­ness-process in­no­va­tions that em­power em­ploy­ees in new ways.

But when it comes to the apps them­selves, I think the his­tory of con­sumer mo­bile apps may of­fer a solid clue re­gard­ing where en­ter­prise mo­bil­ity needs to go next…

The Three Phases of Mo­bil­ity

In the con­sumer world we’ve seen mo­bil­ity progress in three gen­eral phases, which we could call Ini­ti­a­tion, Evo­lu­tion, andMa­tu­rity. Ini­ti­a­tion was the ini­tial in­flux of mo­bile devices, seven or eight years ago, when smart­phones and tablets fi­nally caught on.

In the Evo­lu­tion stage, web­sites were made more mo­bile-friendly and the de­vel­op­ment of mo­bile-spe­cific ap­pli­ca­tions steadily be­came a multi­bil­lion-dol­lar in­dus­try.

In the third phase, Ma­tu­rity, mo­bile-first and even mo­bile- only apps—like What­sApp and Snapchat—were in­tro­duced to de­liver max­i­mum value for mo­bile users by mak­ing the most of smart­phone and tablet hard­ware (in­clud­ing GPS, cam­era, wire­less con­nec­tiv­ity, a stream­lined user ex­pe­ri­ence, and so on).

While the con­sumer mar­ket­place is now reap­ing the ben­e­fits of the Ma­tu­rity stage, the en­ter­prise world is still stuck some­where be­tween Ini­ti­a­tion and Evo­lu­tion. And it’s time for busi­nesses to catch up.

Defin­ing the Mo­bile Mo­ment

There’s a lot of talk th­ese days about BYOD (bring your own de­vice). Many busi­nesses en­cour­age or at least al­low their em­ploy­ees to bring their own devices to work.

Most en­ter­prises are op­ti­miz­ing their sites and apps for mo­bile, mak­ing sure their SAP sys­tem, Peo­ple­Soft ap­pli­ca­tion, or other cor­po­rate ser­vices are ac­ces­si­ble through a tablet or phone. Ac­cord­ing to a For­rester Busi­ness Techno­graph­ics Global Mo­bil­ity Data Re­port ( July 2015), 48% of BDMs (busi­ness de­ci­sion mak­ers) are al­ready im­ple­ment­ing pro­duc­tiv­ity mo­bile apps, 42% are im­ple­ment­ing web/video con­fer­enc­ing apps, and 42% are im­ple­ment­ing data col­lab­o­ra­tion apps. Usual sus­pects in­clude ex­pense re­port­ing ser­vices— en­abling em­ploy­ees to use their phones to file their ex­penses on­line—and as well as SaaS (soft­ware-as-a-ser­vice) providers for HR sys­tems, which let em­ploy­ees check their dig­i­tal paystubs, their health in­sur­ance cov­er­age, and so on. For the most part, th­ese busi­ness apps aren’t of­fer­ing users any­thing more than what a mo­bileop­ti­mized web site might (and some­times they of­fer even less).

Yet when I think of my own or­di­nary, con­sumer-level mo­bile habits, I re­ally won­der how I’d live with­out Waze, What­sApp, Google Maps, Yelp, Mo­bileDay, or Ever­note— apps that are more than merely op­ti­mized for mo­bile. They de­fine mo­bile, cre­at­ing pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ences, or “mo­bile mo­ments,” for mil­lions of users ev­ery day.

Real-World Mo­bile Mo­ments vs. En­ter­prise Mo­bile Mo­ments

When­ever you get stuck in a traf­fic jam, you don’t know how long it’s go­ing to take to get home or if there are any short­cuts…un­less you’ve got an app like Waze, the in­cred­i­ble so­cial-net­work­ing-for-traf­fic app. It uses GPS and the warn­ings and ad­vice of other driv­ers on the road to cre­ate a unique value propo­si­tion for at that point in time, at that lo­ca­tion—at that mo­bile mo­ment.

If you needed to fire up your lap­top, log on, find a WiFi con­nec­tion, and then search for al­ter­nate routes, the app would be rel­a­tively use­less. You need a smart­phone, not a lap­top, to ben­e­fit from an app such as Waze.

The same is true of What­sApp. You want to be able to use your smart­phone (no tak­ing pho­tos with tablets, please) to quickly snap a photo of an in­ter­est­ing thing you saw and share it with a friend half­way around the world, rather than hav­ing to take that photo back to your of­fice, trans­fer­ring it to your PC, and then email­ing it. Un­til re­cently, What­sApp didn’t even have a client for desk­top. The app is truly mo­bile-first and, for most of its his­tory, mo­bile- only.

That’s an­other mo­bile mo­ment from the real world. Un­for­tu­nately, I can’t think of any cor­po­rate apps that are purely mo­bile- only. It’s be­cause we have very few mo­bile mo­ments in the en­ter­prise world right now.

But in­vest­ing in mo­bile does pay off, judg­ing by a re­cent sur­vey – For­rester Busi­ness Techno­graph­ics Global Mo­bil­ity Data Re­port – ( July 2015), we con­ducted at VMware of 1,200 BDMs and ITDMs (IT de­ci­sion mak­ers) world­wide. Among other things, our re­search found that 73% of cus­tomers who have ex­e­cuted a busi­ness mo­bil­ity plan have achieved an av­er­age of 29% re­duc­tion in IT op­er­a­tional staff time, and 34% have seen an av­er­age of 20% re­duc­tion in IT costs. What’s more, those who have al­ready fully im­ple­mented a busi­ness mo­bil­ity strat­egy are see­ing at least a two times greater ROI (re­turn on in­vest­ment) than those not ex­e­cut­ing a busi­ness mo­bil­ity plan. The ROI from busi­ness mo­bil­ity in­vest­ments av­er­ages 150%. Imag­ine how those num­bers might in­crease if en­ter­prise busi­ness mo­bil­ity apps were ac­tu­ally com­pelling—and per­haps even gen­uinely fun—to use?

Vroom. Vroom. HP Man­aged Print Ser­vices and DaaS are set to en­able In­dian en­ter­prises across states

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.