Apps for Business: The 3 Stages of Going Mobile
by Orrin Broberg, on Mar 16, 2015 4:39:20 PM
As we’ve previously covered, 2015 is the year your organization needs to go mobile. The challenge is that knowing something has to happen and making it happen are two different things. Making the decision to go mobile as an organization is the hard part. Defining what mobile-readiness means and implementing a solution follow naturally.
Not every organization will have the same experience along the journey to becoming mobile enabled. Each, however, will go through three distinct stages in the process:
Stage 1: Consideration
Consideration is the first stage in becoming a mobile ready enterprise. First, you must understand what solutions may be appropriate and how they would fit into your current teams and processes. This understanding will allow you to not only explain the value of a mobile app to your team, but also to identify and determine the metrics that will measure project success. Louis Columbus, who covers CRM and enterprise software for Forbes, recently wrote that "improving the quality of decision making, improving planning and forecasting and increasing the speed of decision making are the three most common business goals and objectives driving data-driven initiatives in organizations today".
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Now who will use the app and how will it be used? If your team spans across multiple states, countries or continents, it’s important to understand how content can be segmented, translated and utilized in the correct manner within the app. Other important considerations are the abilities to maintain brand consistency across product lines and media, manage content, monitor performance and view analytics and usage data.
Once the major benefits of the app are identified, it’s time to figure out what type of device or tablet your team will be using. Or perhaps you will use a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) model. Knowing this will help you narrow down the number of options in your comparison set, as not all mobile apps are built native for each of the three major platforms (Windows, Android, and Apple).
Stage 2: Investigation
Now that you know what you’re looking for, evaluating the options will be much easier. Do you have the capabilities, resources, time and budget in-house to design and develop your app? Will building the app in-house bolster or take away from the core focus of your business? Perhaps you should choose a third party solution to help with the design, development, and maintenance. Both options are viable, of course, but it depends on how much time, human resources and capital you have to invest (More on the differences between the two options here).
Many times, an organization will choose to go with a third party app solution because it can be a quick and cost-effective option that allows them to focus on what they do best. Modus customers find that working with our solution is more affordable, and provides a shorter turnaround time than if they build the app themselves.
If you decide to move forward with a third party solution, build a comparison set of solutions providers.
Then, evaluate each option based on the key benefits defined in stage one. For example, you may need the ability to track number of views, time spent on specific marketing and sales materials, what materials get sent as follow-up, and activity level by salesperson, all within the app. Create a spreadsheet in a program like Excel for a quick, easy way to visually compare your options side by side.
It’s also important to list additional features and issues that may not come to mind immediately, but can potentially make or break the success of your mobile app. When considering an app for your organization, you need to be aware of things like:
- • Potential security issues
- • Customer privacy and data handling
- • Ability to access important information in areas with poor or no internet connection
- • Level of customer support provided for getting started, general questions and in case of emergencies
Once you have identified one or more strong potential solutions, sign up for a trial account. The trial will help you to understand how the app will work, as well as to get a feel for support and how the particular company treats their customers.
If you’re unable to schedule a free trial with the provider you’ve chosen to evaluate, you can always ask for a demo so you can see it in action.
Stage 3: Implementation
By now, you’ll have a good idea of how the app will function, and it can be helpful to start small when first implementing a mobile solution across your organization. Begin with one team and run a pilot program. When that team provides you with feedback, you’ll have a better idea of how to train the rest of your salespeople and the marketing department on how to use the app. A professional mobile solution should provide a training process that is straightforward, uncomplicated and easily adopted.
It’s also important to ensure that users have a device for in the field, that they have installed the correct app and have the proper access. All that’s left is to start using it!
What stage of going mobile is your organization currently in? Leave a comment, send us an email, or tweet your questions to @modusengagement.