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There is a raft of enterprise mobility options out there for businesses to choose from, however just because a solution exists that doesn’t mean it’s the right option for your business. 60% of Google Store apps have never been downloaded, 20 % used only once and 95% of apps are abandoned within 1 month! It is therefore the task of the management team to ensure they select the right solution for their business. If businesses fail to take the time to do this they will be left with a solution that may look the part, but will fail to be the right fit for their business. This in turn can cause low user adoption and may actually decrease productivity and revenue.
We advise companies to start by defining the business problem(s) that they believe can be best solved via a mobile solution. By doing this companies refine their enterprise mobility search based on what matters most to their business. This will become even more important as the raft of start-ups developing niche SAAS software solutions for business continues to rise. Instead of getting sucked into believing that the latest solution on offer will be a panacea for your business, those businesses with a clear enterprise mobility strategy can take a more objective, critical review of the solutions on offer asking the key question ‘how will this solution add value to my business?’
The Mobile First trend and the hype surrounding it would also lead you to believe that businesses should be able to do everything via their phones but this is simply not true or viable, especially for an enterprise wide system. There are still quite complex tasks where it doesn’t make sense to translate that functionality to a mobile device. Fitting complex screens, workflows etc. onto smaller forms will simply result in limited usage and adoption and the destruction of your ROI. So we are seeing a hybrid model emerging where certain ERP functionality can and should be extended to mobile smartphones, perhaps further extended for tablets (and keyboard driven tablets) and then where limitations arise desktop becomes your application of choice.
When we developed our enterprise mobility platform we adopted this approach extending the functionality of our ERP software to mobile, where relevant. We took a common sense approach asking the simple question ‘by making this functionality mobile how will it add value for our customers?’
We then recognised that if we were to introduce one app where customers could access all of this functionality the user experience would be negatively impacted. We wanted to deliver the nuggets of functionality that individuals, not companies, required on their mobile device. So we diverted from the industry norm of a one size fits all approach. We made the application flexible enough so that we can tailor the functionality of our app to our customers’ requirements at company-wide, role and, even individual user level. For example, my own Intact Software app enables me to see what’s happening back at base, view sales CRM activity, keep a close eye on our financials and active project progress. Whereas, our sales team only want to view sales related interactions and record activities and for a delivery team, they may want to purely see route lists and use the signature capture functionality. What we have found is that by personalising the employee’s enterprise mobility experience to their position/task user acceptance rates are much higher and training is minimal.
Many businesses are fearful of adopting an enterprise mobility solution due to the security risk associated with safeguarding devices that interact with corporate networks and data. We absolutely get that and there is no way to fully negate the risk but it can and should be minimised. Within Intact Software we reduce the risk by only sending the data relevant to that person to their mobile device, thereby limiting the level of company data on their device. In addition, we can also remote wipe data. In the event of device loss, the app data can be remotely deleted by headquarters.
If, however the device is hacked the worst that can happen is that the hacker can view the data on the device but they cannot hack into your main ERP system via the device. Your exposure is therefore limited to the data on that user’s app. If you are using an enterprise mobility platform, like the one we provide, your exposure is limited as data is delivered to the device based on individual user requirements.
For us it’s all about empowering employees, improving productivity, boosting revenue and getting ahead of the competition. If your BYOD (bring your own device) strategy isn’t delivering these benefits it is simply not fit for purpose. An interesting statistic from global Wi-Fi service iPass claims companies who facilitate mobile working gain an extra 240 hours of work per year from their employees.
In addition, it’s a low cost, high adoption solution. People may be using their own device or one currently supplied by the company, thereby reducing the hardware cost. In addition, 99.9% of staff will already be familiar with the use of mobile phones & related apps so adoption should be high. Businesses also benefit from the new trend ‘nomophobia – the fear of being without a mobile device or internet connection.’ Employees know that the excuse of ‘I didn’t get that email’ or ‘I forgot to bring my laptop’ is no longer viable as their work-related tasks/info are now directly accessible via their personal mobile device.
What we are seeing is not only a boost to productivity for those workers using BYOD for work purposes. It’s also had a dramatic impact on office based employees. Time is being freed up as staff on the road no longer need to phone back to base to access information, place orders, get contact details etc. with all of the information and functionality they require in the palm of their hands. Customer service levels are also improved as field based teams can provide immediate answers to customer queries given the access they have to real time information via their enterprise mobility platform.
Leading Intact Software is Justin Lawless. With vast experience in delivering quality software and hardware infrastructure projects, he is considered an expert in his field. When he's not implementing Intact's growth plans, Justin enjoys family time, all things guitar and surfing off the west coast of Ireland.