Evolving technology capabilities, combined with work styles and habits that are markedly different from even just a decade ago, have led to the very real demand amongst business users to be able to utilize the capabilities for work which are readily available and constantly used for non-business purposes. Living with an increasingly pervasive social media influence is making it second nature for most current generation workers to leverage these same tools and resources for work purposes. Indeed, we are in the age of people-centric technology. Take these developments and view them in the context of a deluge of mobile devices, including smartphones, and you have the perfect storm for people wanting to execute business in ways unthinkable in the past, even the recent past!
In recent weeks I have noticed that there are some who are taking the simple route of using the ubiquitous BlackBerry or the popular iPhone to simply enable SAP transactions while away from the PC. Commendable to an extent, but is that truly a game changer? One would still have to treat the SAP functionality as separate from everything else we do in a good day’s work. One would still need to jump in and out of SAP to complete all aspects of a process that spans both SAP and non-SAP systems.
For example, if one is merely providing the ability to execute necessary SAP transactions that have to do with work order management, then this approach might qualify as something that enhances usability. In a contrast to this, there will be a marked difference in the impact to the business when an entire process including work order management is executed directly from an Android/iPhone/BlackBerry device! Taking information that is both time and geography sensitive [in the context of work order management] and seamlessly using this information in conjunction with data from a traditional backend system to perform entire SAP and non-SAP transactions will truly enrich the entire process. In fact, this will lead to business process efficiencies not previously experienced. It is by providing this type of enterprise experience along an entire process when the true game changer will be realized.
And, you guessed it – the business process expert will play a significant role in how such process renewal takes place to deliver on this inevitable enterprise experience. Business process experts must start thinking “mobility” as well if their organizations are seeking to unlock incremental value from their enterprise investments. They alone can impact this renewal by emphasizing that true business value is reaped from the mobilizing of entire processes, not merely silo functions!