How innovative is your IT organization? Are you looking at ways to embrace current technologies and use them to make your business or organization more competitive in its market space?
One place to start looking at is how well you do mobile. As the workforce moves to the home office and as organizations become more global, mobile and collaborative technologies become the glue that holds them together. Additionally, as customers hit the social world, so must the organization. Yes, many organizations can show they have achieved the latter with Facebook pages, LinkedIn company pages and twitter accounts, but how IT empowering the business community?
While many organizations are still struggling to figure out how to enable and secure mobile devices appropriately, others have moved ahead of the curve and begun to empower mobile. For those of you that haven’t yet started the enablement journey, this month’s blog will provide some ideas.
Creating an Internal App Store
- If you offer a corporate travel portal, is it mobile yet? How well does it perform on a smart phone vs. tablet?Is it smart? Does it know where (and when) someone is traveling and push weather alerts and flight delays that might impact the flights they’ve booked?
- What about time and expense programs? Have you enabled remote entry via smart phones? This is a tremendous time-saver that help people avoid lost receipts and time spent entering expenses when they return vs. on the fly when they are incurred.
- From a technology support standpoint, how easy is it for people to log IT requests and issues from a mobile device? Do you have an on-line Service Request portal that supports mobile?
- Are your corporate CRM, ERP programs mobile-enabled? What about the other applications people use every day?
Enabling “smart” content
Knowledge Management strategy
heck off an item on a list of things IT should be doing or tools IT should be implementing. I can think of a few concrete examples of business processes supported by mobile technologies:
- Equipping facilities engineers with smart phones that have the ability to enter tickets directly into a facilities management application as they survey a location looking for issues that need to be addressed.
- Providing hotel chambermaids with an app they can use to check off a room as it is cleaned. If well thought out, it can alert a floor manager who can check and approve the room’s readiness and by interfacing this with the reservation system, front desk clerks know in an instant which rooms are ready for check-in.
- Equipping car sales people with a tablet that they can use while walking the lot with a customer or to empower Internet sales processes. Imagine doing a test drive and deciding you like the car and the sales person is able to start the deal while you’re driving back to the dealership.
- Design firms who are able to bring a table with a design application into a client’s office or home and enter dimensions then begin the design process on-site can significantly shortcut the design and approval process.
- Universities that allow students to register from a smart phone app as well as the Internet-based processes they use today.
So while the App store approach is a neat tool, the real goal is looking at the business needs and how mobile can give them a competitive edge. IT typically won’t be
doing this alone. This requires a cross-functional approach between the lines of business, senior executive managers and IT management to look at the organizations pain points as well as strengths and weaknesses. Like any innovative approach, business associates often have an idea of the gaps they need filled by IT and by engaging and listening IT has proven time and time again that it can step up and instrument these needs. It just requires stepping away from day to day operations for some brainstorming with key stakeholders.