The Future of Enterprise Mobility
This story originally appeared on design mind as part of a collection of stories about the Future of Work.
Leveraging new technology to make employees happier and more productive.The way we work has changed forever. This includes not just how we work, but also where we work. Our files live in the cloud, we fill our pockets with powerful computers, our vehicles and objects are connecting, and the Internet serves up a bounty of information anywhere on the planet within seconds. We are officially untethered from our desks, but are we more productive? The short answer is no. The reason? Companies have yet to leverage mobile technology to make people happier and more productive. We have yet to extend work processes beyond email, harness the power of these new devices, or build solutions that connect people to corporate data, to each other, and to customers on the go—but that is all about to change.
Mobile ROI is now a function of so much more than access to email, contacts, and calendars.
APPLICATIONS THAT EMPOWERSometimes people are pushed to the point of meltdown. Take Sheryl Thomas, a pharmaceutical representative for a large biotech company. In addition to the hundreds of products she must be an expert on, she is expected to coordinate, schedule, and conduct dozens of meetings every week. This morning, Sheryl has finally made her way through rush-hour traffic and is about to meet with the first of five doctors at Mercy Hospital. She is stressed out because she knows that much of the conversation with the doctors will be centered on the new drug her company has released, and every fiber in her body is telling her she is not ready to present this information. She does not want to waste their time, or worse, lose a customer who depends on her to be the expert. Then something magical happens. As Sheryl parks her car, her iPad is hard at work, sorting her company’s CRM data, listing the last set of purchase orders for each doctor she is meeting with, linking each to short training videos about the products they ordered, offering her the chance to video conference with the product manager at her office who knows the most about the new drug, and dynamically creating PDF files that will form the basis of her sales collateral and leave-behinds. The app is smart enough to know where Sheryl is, which doctor she is meeting with, and what she needs to do her job more effectively. On one screen Sheryl now has a dashboard that is customized perfectly to her needs. How that information was assembled is not important to Sheryl; what matters is that she feels smart, confident, and effective. Technology fades to the background but plays a critical role in improving the quality of her life. Sheryl’s experience is an example of a well-executed technology strategy that integrates mobile, social graph, and cloud. IT leaders have faced a tectonic shift in these areas. The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomenon has forced technology leadership to rethink the relationship between IT and employees. Successful companies have fully embraced the concept and have begun to build both hardware and software solutions that empower people to work when they want and where they want. Return hours of the day to your employees and they will love you for it. Sometimes, these hours can be found in the most obvious of places.
Tectonic plates are converging on IT departments, as the mobile workforce pushes certain needs up from the bottom of the organization and executives press unique needs down from the top.