For today’s global enterprises, technology is a key enabler of business transformation, whether that’s to increase market share, improve customer satisfaction or to cut costs. The rapid adoption of smartphones within enterprise environments is fuelling a growing trend for connected workforces. Even medium-sized organisations can significantly transform the efficiency and effectiveness of their workforce by embracing enterprise mobile applications and platforms.
In a world where almost 1.76 billion people own a smartphone, it’s critical that user experience design play a central role in delivering enterprise mobile solutions. This ensures that new apps are adopted, work effectively and deliver long-term value.
Here are five ways to ensure your business gets the most from enterprise mobility.
1) Embrace learnings from the consumer mobile experiences
In order for enterprise mobility to really work, organisations need to focus on delivering applications and data to users in ways they find both useful and engaging. A millennial workforce comes equipped with expectations of how mobile applications work.
Equally they are seeking autonomy to contribute to their organisation using new methods at any time during the day and increasingly, this is now happening through personal devices. Embracing design patterns founds in consumer mobile experiences reduces training time, increases adoption and drives loyalty .
2) Context-aware solutions
In order to keep up with the enterprise’s growing appetite for gathering user data and tracking user behaviour, software and apps are becoming more intelligent at providing the appropriate content to the appropriate interface for every situation. Providing tools and content based on context will increasingly become the norm.
Rather than monolithic systems, organisations should seek to link together more focused services and apps. Good enterprise app design will increasingly become more about understanding where, when and how to leverage organisational tools that increase productivity. The rapid growth of team collaboration app Slack is just one example of an enterprise app that places user behaviour at the centre of its strategy.
Most enterprises seek to standardise and control the devices their employees use but with many employees owning smartphones, Bring Your Own Device policies are presenting challenging and unique opportunities. Consumer-grade tablets and smartphones are more powerful than ever. As they become more secure, they present a number of unique advantages over PC devices, including better personalisation, more frequent usage, permanent accessibility, and many more sensors (such as cameras) to provide context (such as location and activity monitoring).
Increasingly, more and more organisations are also seeing the recruitment value in employees bringing their own devices and supporting them. Whilst security and mobile device management will always be a consideration, embracing BYOD enables organisations to deliver enterprise productivity gains without hardware investment costs.
4) Think small and agile
Enterprise software is starting to see a shift away from generic solutions to more bespoke enterprise apps. However, when it comes to developing the mobile apps that employees need to get work done, corporate IT teams are often short of time, budget and skills. As a result, many struggle to keep up with challenging demands for new apps.
By starting small and developing in an agile way, IT departments can identify small process changes that deliver high productivity gains. Applications needn’t be sophisticated or complex to produce immediate business results.
5) Involve employees in the design of the solution
Shifting from paper-based processes to digital ones can dramatically increase productivity and lower costs. Engaging grass roots employees in R&D to help define solutions that enable these shifts towards digitisation makes use of employees as knowledge workers and taps into their valuable insights.
At many businesses, there’s often pressure on IT teams because there are so many ideas for mobile apps. Engaging employees in the process yields smarter solutions and helps with adoption of new platforms.
By Ranzie Anthony, executive creative director of global design and technology agency at Athlon.