Mobile Only (and beyond)
Apps are just the beginning
The explosion of smartphone and tablet adoption in the consumer world cannot be denied. And enterprises have taken note. Mobile initiatives have popped up in almost every corner of the business – looking to untether the workforce, engage customers more effectively, and reshape business-as-usual.
The mobile ecosystem is moving at lightning speed. Pattern recognition and contextual analysis, ambient access and connectivity, and mass adoption of natural user interfaces – voice, gesture and beyond – are creating new modes for user engagement. The opportunity goes well beyond using mobile apps to do what you’ve always done differently. It’s about doing fundamentally different things.
We’re entering an era of "mobile only", with outcomes that would be impossible without today’s mix of persistent connectivity, artisanal solutions that blend creativity and UX and next-generation engineering with devices.
Hear Larry Quinlan, Global Chief Information Officer, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, describe first-hand his perspective on Mobile Only (and beyond).
Shehryar Khan, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, shares an example of how one CIO in the auto manufacturing industry harnessed the power of mobile to drive innovation and realize competitive advantage.
Read more about Mobile Only (and beyond)
Where do you start?
Many companies find themselves off to the mobile races – with efforts launching across business units and across functions around the globe. Prioritization and focus remain critical, but just as important is a bold vision to think beyond veneering today’s business and processes. This puts even more pressure on the enterprise enablement front – how to secure, build, integrate, deploy and manage a new set of devices, services and assets that are necessarily dynamic. Even in this changing world, there are some foundational steps that many early achievements have followed.
- (Accelerated) digital strategy. Mobile is moving too fast for a prolonged academic exercise in strategic planning. Make no mistake – strategy is important. But it should happen in eight weeks instead of eight months. It should begin with opportunity identification – helping the business discover ideas for reshaping customer, employee, product and partner experience through mobile. And don’t forget about enablement – creating a roadmap for just enough foundational architecture, infrastructure and management capabilities to be slightly ahead of the usage scenarios.
- Cross the streams. Is your organization funding parallel efforts in content management, asset management, social, CRM, analytics, gamification and mobile? If so, you’re not alone. At best, there’s redundant work being done. At worst, connections are being missed, and competing priorities may be leading in drastically different directions. These efforts don’t necessarily have to be corralled under a single centralized team, though they increasingly are. But there are enough real dependencies and overlap that they can’t be handled in isolation, either.
- Lessons from kindergarten. Mobile is begging for show, not tell – especially as you start dabbling with advanced features. Even your most creative end users are subconsciously anchored in how things work today. You need to bring concepts to life – whether through illustrated user stories or wireframes or working prototypes. Create a mobile ‘A-team’ with a mix of talents that include creative, UX, engineering and sector and functional knowledge. Consider starting by deciding on a target platform and have them come up to speed. Let them earn their stripes on a particularly juicy use case with clear business value. Also, consider using them as the inner circle of your mobile center of excellence – guiding choices as mobile moves from an experiment to a core strategic discipline.
- Eat TechCrunch for breakfast. Inspiration is likely due more to the importing and exporting of ideas than to “eureka” moments of radical breakthroughs. Who in your organization is monitoring the start-up community and technology blogosphere for anecdotes that may seed your next big thing? Especially in mobile, use cases are remarkably portable across industries. Consider making team members accountable for staying current on what others are doing. Create social platforms for the broader organization to engage around these potential sparks – with the added benefit that ideas and commentary will likely not dissipate into the ether of isolated inboxes, but instead will remain persistent assets whose value may not be unveiled for some time.
- User down, not system up. Meeting user expectations starts with research and data-driven inquiry to understand the target users’ needs, desires and routines. These insights drive the early-stage strategy and feature ideation process. Because customers interact with companies through a variety touchpoints – from browsing a website to calling a customer service associate – it’s important to consider each interaction through the eyes of the customer.
For an airline, that may mean grounding features and functionality in the realities of the pilot and attendant experience, from pre-departure workflows to in-flight limitations such as low lighting and turbulence. For a distributor, it may mean weighing the needs of the business with the on-the-ground needs of drivers. And for a railroad, it may mean opportunities to help conductors overcome the distractions of a moving train with customizable font sizes, expanded touch areas and a task-focused architecture.
Mobile is more than just the latest step function in tech innovation. It is a fast-moving engine that is fundamentally reshaping operating models, business models and marketplaces. The start-up and venture communities have embraced this notion – but the Fortune 100 have been slow to react. Organizations should move boldly to establish themselves in the mobile era – and be prepared to ride the tsunami as it evolves. Those who do not may be left behind in its wake.