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From killer apps to 10-second apps: driving enterprise mobility strategy through simple transactions

When mobile working first became a viable reality, access to corporate email was seen as the killer app. Now, out-of-office email access is the norm. Today, enterprise mobility is driven by the need for sophisticated apps that enable complex business functions above and beyond email. One company might wish to provide its employees with mobile access to the sales pipeline while another may want a travel and expense reporting app.

The quest for the killer app in this new era of enterprise mobility continues. But the question of whether or not it exists and should companies even be searching for it, remains?

Potential cost savings of an effective mobile strategy are clear. Nucleus Research found an average productivity bump of 14.6 per cent among companies that had empowered employees with mobile CRM software.

Another survey from the Aberdeen Group found that with mobile expense management, nearly 40 per cent of companies lowered expense processing costs while 22 per cent enjoyed a higher rate of compliance with T&E policies.

However, instead of seeking to develop a single killer app, the majority of companies today would be better off deploying a mix of sophisticated apps with simpler, highly-focused applications, or ‘10-second apps’. Such 10-second apps are usually focused on relatively simple transactions or workflows, but have the potential to save significant time and money, generating a quick return on investment.

For example, one company wrote a simple mobile app for the self-approval of flight arrangements, providing that flight cost was under a certain limit. Prior to this, all corporate flight arrangements required supervisor approval. If managers didn’t approve them fast enough, the delays often resulted in costlier flights. The app is quick for the user, and preferable to the old system, yet also of huge benefit to the business because of the instant cost savings it generates.

This isn’t to deny the importance of ‘composite’ apps, those that draw together data or business processes from multiple back-end systems, business intelligence systems, or third-party sources of information such as news feeds or stock market results. 10-second apps can be developed relatively quickly and generate momentum for a company’s mobile initiatives while the more complex apps get built, adopted and refined over time.

So, how should companies go about introducing the most beneficial mix of complex and 10-second apps? IT and business leaders should devise a list of potential quick wins for the company that could be achieved by 10-second apps. Be creative! A good 10-second app can look beyond the employee-to-enterprise relationship. There are numerous examples of simple solutions in the consumer market that are flourishing – credit card readers for iPhones, for instance.

To conclude, an enterprise mobility strategy will benefit from a portfolio planning process that mixes apps that solve the big problems with a few of those that solve the smaller ones. Mobility requirements come in all shapes and sizes - companies need to recognise this in order to fully realise the potential of their enterprise mobility platform.

T.L. Neff is the Executive Vice President of Global Client Services, Verivo Software. He is responsible for leading all customer facing operations, including relationship management, professional services, support, training and hosting. He ensures that the organization has the proper alignment and execution capabilities necessary to deliver customer value and ensure customer satisfaction.