According to CIO.com, 71% of executives see mobile as strategic but only 18% have a mobile
strategy. Let’s stop and think about that paradox for a moment. How many
other aspects of your business have the potential to power disruptive new
innovations, transform efficiency and productivity, and allow you to
outmanoeuvre your competitors… yet you take an ad hoc approach without a clear
view of what you’re trying to achieve or how to resource it?
My personal feeling is that the mobile revolution has somewhat crept up on
organisations. Some view mobile apps simply as a way to
supersede paper-based processes for field workers, while others see them as no
more than lightweight, portable versions of desktop applications on a smaller
screen. That’s like saying a Bugatti Veyron can make your commute a bit less
tedious than your Ford Focus.
Mobile has the power to radically alter the way organisations connect consumers with
products, patients with healthcare, passengers with destinations, services with
communities and data with experiences. As smart phones and tablets become the
tools of choice for all workers, not just mobile ones, businesses need to
reconsider what the enterprise app experience can look and feel like. That means
thinking laterally about device-specific capabilities: things like audio and video capture,
motion sensors, GPS, contextual awareness, multi-touch interactions, messaging and push
notifications. And machine-to-machine is burying the notion that endpoints on a
mobile network needs to be a phone. A mobile-first approach should look for new
ways of working based on these unique features and functions in combination
with technologies such as cloud.
Some of the really sizzling mobile uses cases I’ve seen include: turning a tablet into an electronic
flight bag to replace heavy manuals on an aircraft; repurposing a smart phone
as a credit card reader; using augmented reality in a field service setting for
diagnostics; ‘black boxes’ for usage-based motor insurance; transceivers
embedded in the lid of pill bottles to monitor compliance with medication for
chronic health issues; and telematics in electric vehicles that allow you to
manage battery life. None of those things happened by someone sitting down and
planning to replicate a paper- or desk-based process on a hand-held device.
However, the real successes come when businesses think beyond one-off app development and
put in place the strategy required to become an inspiring, innovative,
mobile-first enterprise. So ask not where your organisation could take mobile,
but where mobile could take your organisation.
Get inspired with more insightful use case examples, trends and insights on our
World of Innovation page.