By John Conley III
With over 70% of corporate enterprise adopting mobile technology into the workplace, and over 60% of adult consumers using the mobile internet every day, coming up with a coherent strategy for designing and deploying mobile solutions using becomes very important. Usually, workers tend to desire similar computing experiences they enjoy as consumers, so adopting a consumer-friendly approach to mobile technology adoption is key. Benefits to consider are increasing revenues, decreasing costs, boosting worker productivity and workplace satisfaction, as well as facilitating a better work-life balance.
But how does mobile technology fit into your company?
As with any app, you have to decide what business process is suitable for mobile technology, and what tasks within that process can be made more efficient if automated by deploying such technology. The worker who is responsible for that task would be a good subject matter expert (SME) for making this determination. Also, the worker’s manager can help in determining the impact on productivity form a team perspective and help with prioritizing the selection of task automation to be realized by mobile technology.
Once that decision is made, it is important to determine whether the content for the task should be in mobile website form or standard mobile app form. A mobile website is still just a website, but one that is designed to fit within the paradigm of the mobile device. The website should be able to automatically detect if an incoming web page request is from a mobile device or not. Your mobile website should also provide the user the option to download a mobile app, which can provide a better user experience as it is hosted directly on the mobile device, as opposed to having the content sent from the website to the device for each and every request. Judging by the fact that over 90% of those users who download mobile apps also access the mobile internet, it is sound modern business practice to incorporate a dual mobile app-website approach to your mobile enterprise architecture planning.
What features should go on mobile apps? For every business process, there are tasks in automated or manual form that are more commonly used than others. Some of these tasks are probably already realized in Excel spreadsheets that you may not be aware of. Interview the task’s SME to determine which features are more common than others, and prioritize and weight these items as a basis for a mobile app feature brainstorming session. The architect or designer will then have to determine at some point whether to create mobile presentation templates for a specific mobile platform (iPhone or Android, for instance), or design templates to be abstract enough to run on any mobile platform, the latter of which is ideal for optimal developer and tester efficiency and faster deployment turnaround time.
Let me know if you have any questions or need more specific planning assistance for your organization.