A combination of customer expectations and business creativity is creating a mobile arms race. Taco Bell’s mobile ordering app or the Starbuck’s mobile app are great examples. These apps turn ordinary transactions (tacos and coffee) into what Forrester calls “mobile moments.” The firms that can best capture mobile moments will have a great advantage over their competitors.
Gaining the ability to engage customers or employees in their mobile moments depends on an organization’s ability to innovate, build, and deploy. Innovation is the word for the processes through which a firm creates new technical ideas and converts them into useful products and services. Developing and executing a successful mobile strategy requires the expertise and horsepower to build and execute on that strategy. Of course, each organization has its own unique challenges and opportunities, but following these four steps can help guide managers in the right direction:
- Develop ideas by looking at customer or employee activities.
A mobile moment is when a mobile app makes an interaction better for a customer or employee. Organizations that take time to survey when these points are will find many opportunities to enhance productivity or deepen customer loyalty. Every company has many different interactions with their employees or customers they can enhance with mobility. For a customer, it can be something like researching a product, checking on an order, or answering a question. For employees, a mobile moment might be recording the results of a sales call, entering their hours worked, or filing a status report.
- Use rapid prototyping to find what connects.
A big mistake is to go from a whiteboarding session right into development. Once you have identified at least one solid mobile moment, start getting designs and clickable demos. Giving people something to click on can help them critique its usefulness much more so than with a written description. One of the best ways to hit velocity with your mobile app prototype development is to crowdsource the development through a site like AppXpress. Through this site, a business can develop multiple app design options and a prototype with just a credit card and an idea — all in just a matter of weeks.
- Standardize on iOS.
For enterprises, limiting the variables of complexity pays dividends. Having one operating system for maintenance and security and one small family of devices lets you concentrate your efforts on innovation. Justin Stronk wrote an article in CIO magazine about how iOS 8 is “open for business.” Basically, he boils the benefits of iOS to enterprises down to three main things: stronger security, new productivity features, and better data and device management tools.
- Set up an organizational structure around learning.
Creating an effective mobile strategy depends on the ability of an organization to be nimble and learn to adapt. Managers need to focus on their team’s ability to acquire, assimilate, and process new knowledge. In a sense, organizations don’t need to be masters of code, but masters of understanding the context in which the code occurs.
Building a solid mobile strategy is perhaps the most important thing an IT team can do right now. The businesses that are most adept at capitalizing on mobile moments will be the leaders in their industry.