This past Friday I spoke at the TabTimes Tablet Strategy conference in New York about mobile strategy. I was asked to speak about “The secrets of a good corporate app”. I tackled this by presenting what we see as 3 key challenges preventing companies from realizing the full potential value of the iPad, as well as 3 tips to keep in mind when executing an iPad strategy.
I won’t re-hash the entire presentation in this post, but instead, I’ll elaborate on the 3 tips.
Think Beyond Consumer Apps
Who within your organization will benefit from mobile apps? What apps should we create in what order and for whom? We call the “whom”, actors. When we initiate discussions with our clients and prospects about Mobility strategy, we often find the conversation focusing on one actor. Our clients usually have one group in mind for mobility. Oftentimes it’s the customer. Many times it’s sales or field service or key executives. What we have observed over the last few years, and have incorporated as a key component of our methodology, is that there is significant value in thinking beyond the actors you initially had in mind. Think of your partners, your resellers, your recruiters, your employees. Spend some time brainstorming on app ideas across functional areas within and outside of your organization. Two things will probably happen. First, you’ll define some great new mobile scenarios. And second, you might find (this has happened to many of our customers) that there is greater value in a mobile use case for a different actor than you initially had in mind.
An App is Not a Strategy
Just because you have one app idea, that doesn’t mean you have a strategy. How do you know the idea is a good one? When 10 more ideas come to you, which ones will you choose to develop? Resources are finite. In the mobile app world, because it’s so new and constantly evolving, it has become a little like the wild west. But don’t be fooled. There is significant value is defining a mobile app strategy. It is important to define what you are hoping to achieve with mobile. Is it to increase revenue, improve the customer experience, make your employees more productive? Could be all of the above. We recommend to our clients that they prioritize their app ideas through certain filters, one being business benefit. Will releasing this app help us achieve one of our goals? Keep in mind, while brainstorming around mobility is a wonderful exercise, the truth is, not all ideas are good ideas. Make sure you have a process in place to find the good ones.
Think Scenarios, Not Point Apps
In our view, this is perhaps the most important tip. The real value of mobility will present itself when you mobilize key scenarios. Providing access to enterprise applications on mobile devices is often where our mobile conversations begin. Accessing our CRM system, our Sharepoint repository, our BI reports, etc. Using the iPad or phone, essentially as a another screen to extend your currents apps may present some value. But this isn’t where the real value will be found. The real value will come when you start thinking about what scenarios you can enhance by using the iPad as a form factor. We have clients using iPads in their introductory sales meetings enabling them to present information across platforms all within one app to enable them to shorten sales cycles. In one banking scenario, Business Bankers are able to now do in one meeting what they have traditionally done in 3-4 separate meetings. We encourage you to think about how mobility can help you tell your story, answer questions, build relationships, and close transactions. We encourage you to challenge your traditional customer interactions and to examine how this new form factor can help you change work patterns and create new business models.
There is plenty to be gained from a solid mobile strategy. It requires some innovative thinking. Propelics can help you get there. Let me know if you’d like to talk through your mobile strategy.