Mobility is no longer a “nice to have” feature, it has become a strategic necessity. Every quarter the number of companies deploying mobile solutions for their employees and customers grows. It has truly become a global movement, relevant to all industries, that offers countless benefits. Mobile solutions offer companies the ability to track and analyze data anytime and anywhere. When customers expect immediate information on availability, status, or pricing of a product sales representatives are able to provide them with this information, speeding up decision making and productivity. Not to mention this is communicated back to the company immediately, saving time and money. Although there are numerous benefits to mobile solutions, companies should consider certain key factors to make sure a mobile solution fits with the pre-existing structure. These factors are called the “five Cs” of mobility: Connect,
Consume, Create, Consider and Control.
Every house needs a solid foundation. In order to have a successful mobile solution, a company needs to have a solid pre-existing internal platform. This platform must be able to connect all business lines, applications, and data from various sources and compile it onto servers accordingly. In order to transform this pre-existing network into a mobile solution it is essential that this platform is flexible. No new strategy is successfully introduced and implemented when the pre-existing structure is inadaptable to change. Flexibility, in conjunction with an open infrastructure, allows for heterogeneous data that is easily accessible on any source. A company that doesn’t have a solid internal platform should first spend time upgrading the internal platform before deploying a mobile solution.
When a mobile solution is successfully deployed, employees and customers not only want to receive the data, but want to analyze it anytime and anywhere. This raises a majority of problems. First, not every user will be using the same mobile device. Companies will need to make sure their mobile solutions are accessible on all the deployed operating systems. (iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile) What might look like a perfect user interface on an iOS device might look completely distorted on a Blackberry. This means companies need to have the time and resources available to make sure apps work seamlessly on all operating systems. Second, companies need to be aware of ever-changing mobile devices and upgrades. New upgrades and devices could change how the mobile applications run, which can affect user experience and reflect poorly on the company. In the chemical industry this could be disastrous. Chemical companies that transferred their entire quality inspections onto a non-flexible mobile solution could be faced with issues when a new operating system upgrade causes the application to be down for days. For this reason, it is essential that the mobile solutions themselves are flexible for the anticipated changes that will regularly be occurring in the mobile world.
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