An IBM/Oxford Economics survey of businesses around the world reports that 81 percent of them see mobile capabilities as changing the way they do business. Maintaining a mobile strategy is not easy, but the returns in attracting customers and increasing your employee productivity might be worth it to your company. Here are few considerations when planning your company’s next step into the world of mobile services.
Mobile Strategy Is Not Just About Supporting Devices
Going mobile for your customers is about creating a new user experience on their smartphones and tablets. It’s about flexible schedules and work locations for your employees. It’s thinking about how to deliver your product and service messages to consumers who take a few minutes at a time to view information on their mobile devices, and make purchase decisions in those few moments. Wired says that a mobile strategy is about redefining how your company does business on mobile tools.
The Internal and External Impact of Mobile
CIO.com states that when a company implements a mobile strategy, they too often focus on the external apps used by consumers. A complete strategy incorporates your internal staff and determines how they will do their jobs with mobile devices.
Your sales force can become more mobile with smartphones that access cloud-based customer management tools such as Zoho CRM. Your bookkeeping staff could be a collaboration between virtual assistants and full-time employees with software solutions like Intuit QuickBooks. Marketing, graphics design and social media management can collaborate on projects from anywhere with tools such as Evernote.
The challenges that come with this internal flexibility include opening your company up to potential data loss, corruption and theft. Whether you provide mobile devices for your staff or implement a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy, extra protection of the company’s digital assets is necessary.
Mobile device management (MDM) tools help you control access by mobile devices. The primary benefits of an MDM include:
- registering supported devices and only allowing them to access your systems
- creating workspaces that restrict the company information that a mobile device can access
- monitoring and logging mobile device activity
- disabling access by mobile devices reported as lost or stolen
- remotely wiping company data from lost or stolen devices
You’ll get the most from your mobility strategy if it includes the operational changes that make the best use of the technology. You won’t be able to put tablets in the hands of your bookkeepers, give them access to a cloud-based accounting system, and expect them to be productive. How can mobile make that staff more efficient?
There will be areas of your company where mobile doesn’t make sense. Don’t force it if it doesn’t fit. The bookkeeping area could be one of those areas. Your staff can still access the cloud-base apps from their desktop and laptop computers. You and other management levels can use mobile apps to review your cash flow and receivables.
The Cloud Dilemma
Mobile devices and the cloud are inseparable. This can lead to problems when members of staff download suspicious files to their devices. Those files could end up in the company systems, notes Information Week. Tight controls on where people get their files are possible by creating internally managed private clouds. Enforcing the use of tools that scan for and isolate malicious software is another part of any mobile strategy.