How To Put Together A Mobile Adoption Strategy For Your Business
by Robin Tinker, on Jan, 30, 2014
In 2014, “going mobile” is not so much an option as it is a necessity. Businesses are becoming more agile, more sophisticated, and more streamlined thanks to the power of mobile technologies. But if you aren’t on the wagon already, adoption can be a challenging road. Fortunately, we’ve broken the process down so that your needs, your budget, and your staff can all be satisfied with the transition.
Evaluate Your Needs
Going mobile is never without purpose, and while the values of an agile business model are enough to merit the switch, tailoring mobile solutions to your operations is essential to success.
For example, industrial supply companies may not benefit from company-provided mobile phones to the same degree as tablet-powered fulfillment and tracking technologies. In the former scenario, the technology being employed delivers a disproportionately low return, simply because production and delivery staff require little communication between them to get the job done. The latter, on the other hand, touts a favorable ROI from improved efficiency and service.
Begin by examining your organization and look for inefficiencies in operations that may be solved by mobile technologies. Does your marketing resonate with customers? Do telecommuters feel disconnected from management? Do salespeople need better access to presentation assets? Each of these has an appropriate solution within the world of mobile technology.
Define Your Goals
As you’re evaluating your operational inefficiencies, it’s important to understand what you’re working toward. After all, deployment of mobile resources without metrics to determine their success is more likely to breed frustration in transition than success in practice.
Determine what “success” looks like prior to implementing new solutions. Work with your vendor and determine what constitutes a realistic goal based on the size and specifics of your operation. Determine which metrics indicate fulfillment of that goal, and avoid number blindness when evaluating efficacy. For example, a mobile-enabled sales force that does not see an increase in sales meetings, but experiences a higher sales conversion rate is not failing. The technology simply enhances a specific part of the sales process.
Select Your Solutions
The first two steps mentioned here are designed with one purpose in mind: determining what solutions are right for your business. As mentioned before, it’s often tempting to employ mobile technologies with a “magic bullet” mentality, but the technologies you employ will provide greater benefit if evaluated based on necessity.
Build a portfolio of options, select the option that provides the best cost/benefit ratio, and ensure that all decision-makers are on board before continuing. The choice you make may seem logical to your team, but management-wide acceptance of new technologies is essential to the next step in the process.
Align Your Resources
The deployment plan is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. Likely the most challenging part of your adoption strategy, the deployment plan involves aligning your IT, personnel, educational, and financial resources to make the transition as seamless and profitable as possible.
Communicate your intentions and purpose with your full IT staff and educate them regarding the new technologies. That way your intellectual capital is in full employ as less tech savvy staff member struggle with the process. Make sure your inventory system, security solutions, and licenses are in order to prevent any hiccups when the technology trickles down the chain.
Extol the benefits of the new solutions to your management team so that they too can become proponents of the process. Train them as mentors for lower-level employees in order to un-burden your IT staff of general questions and issues.
Finally, distribute resources and deploy educational resources in order to bring all new users up to speed as quickly and efficiently as possible. Make sure that safe device practices are understood in order to prevent potential security issues. Hold training workshops and establish online training resources based on need. If your organization is particularly large, consider rolling out in concentrated bursts instead of all at once, which will allow your IT and staff to more gradually adapt to the change.
Employ Mobile Evangelists
Moving forward, not all questions will be answered, no technologies will remain the same, and the implications of the transition will not be entirely clear at first blush. For this reason, mobile evangelists are a must have when going mobile.
Mobile evangelists are, effectively, tech-savvy standard bearers of changing technology that both educate staff and process their feedback. Does your marketing team need to design new assets for a mobile website? The mobile evangelist can communicate that. Is the sales staff having a hard time accessing the server? The mobile evangelist can help troubleshoot. Serving as a liaison and resource to all affected arms of your business, these individuals will ensure continued success from initial rollout through refinement, and ease the minds of overwhelmed employees.
The term “going mobile” suggests a quick transition, but the reality involves a strategic analysis, collection, and deployment of resources tailored to meet your specific business needs. Begin by understanding how your operations can benefit and define what a “successful” implementation might look like. Select the technologies you’ll employ and align company resources to facilitate the transition. Ensure continuing success with staff members trained to educate and relay feedback, and your mobile adoption will see both less headaches and greater profitability as a result.