3 Ways Mobile Makes the Difference
Written in collaboration with AIIM Market Intelligence Analyst, Thomas LaMonte
The mobile enterprise
The ability to access information anywhere, at any time, and on any device has become an essential enterprise capability. In fact, many users carry over the same expectations they have for mobile access in their personal lives to their roles in business. In the consumer world, expectations run high for native digital design of products and services, prepackaged with mobile integration out-of-the box offering flexible access to accounts, data, and information.
The hope would be that the sophistication of mobile we enjoy in our private hours would blur into our professional life. Unfortunately, on the business front, mobile hasn’t yet conquered the enterprise, but demand from vendors to end users is reaching a boiling point.
In the AIIM industry watch report titled State of the Industry 2016, research finds that 60% of respondents say they embrace content access on mobile. However, there is a degree of disconnect between personal willingness to access content on mobile devices and corporate policy. Nearly 60% of respondents say they embrace content access on mobile, but only 43% have departmental support, and 31% company-wide support. In practice, only 22% have mobile access to ECM/RM systems, a dismal turnout, with the majority of workers and businesses today missing out on mobile benefits. (Figure 1)
Digital transformation and efforts to remove paper from business operations creates opportunities for change. Not only has paper free efforts reduced the expense of maintaining or storing paper, it has also lead to greater mobile access, granting the ability to better engage remote workers, partners, suppliers, clients, and anyone you need to conduct business with beyond the corporate walls.
As the workforce becomes more mobile, there is a growing need to improve content access, data capture at first touch point, user engagement, and process interaction. Organizations should strive to ensure their enterprise content is meeting the expectations of their customers, as well as internal workforce, and this includes a commitment to mobile access of critical information and services. In this article, we take a look at three ways mobile is making the difference from increasing enterprise agility, offering secure access to empower remote workers, and by extending the corporate walls to improve collaboration.
1) Faster Response Times
Whether we’re behind the glass answering customer requests, or firing off emails to our vendors, we wish correspondence was faster. Mobile access provides means to always be connected and active to engage in organizational duties, and do so in real time. Take for instance outside sales teams: with mobile device access to the organization, field workers and other off-site employees can be more present in their interactions with customers or partners, while remaining plugged in at full capacity with the business.
Mobile capture also quickens processing times, and ensures paper is never part of the equation. In the AIIM industry watch report titled Mobile and Cloud: accessing, capturing, and processing content, 48% of respondents cited speed of data availability as a top benefit to mobile projects. (Figure 2)
2) Secure Access
Mobile also creates more opportunities for remote workers and telecommuters. AIIM research finds that when asked what have been the biggest benefits of their mobile projects, 60% of respondents cited the ability for staff to be more able to work remotely. Today’s workers are less constrained to the traditional job hours and schedules of previous generations, and work more organically throughout their daily lives.
In addition, the world has gotten smaller, and workers are traveling across workplaces, cities, and even countries with an expectation to remain plugged in and on the job. Mobile provides a way to work across the firewall, anywhere, at any time, and on any device to increase worker efficiency and satisfaction without jeopardizing enterprise security.
Mobile access works to break down barriers to create better collaboration between internal teams, customers, partners, and vendors. Forty-four percent of respondents cite better collaboration as a primary benefit to their mobile projects. The ability to work beyond the corporate walls unobstructed is an invaluable asset in today’s complex work environments. With convenient mobile technologies, apps, or policies, experts or key players can connect for joint efforts across companies as though they are working in the same office without the related downtime and expense to physically meet. Across industries, collaboration asynchronous to time or location can open up a number of opportunities.
Closing Thoughts and Recommendations
When we talk about the mobile enterprise or even mobile devices there is an important distinction to be made. The propagation of laptops, tablets, or cellular phones to the masses is not what is giving rise to demand for a mobile enterprise; devices aren’t intrinsically mobile, people are. Going forward, organizations need to do more to enable and empower these qualities in their workforce, partners, and customers with supportive policies, technology, and management. Here are three best practices to mobilize information in your organization:
- Ensure that your employees have full access to corporate content from mobile devices, and that they can capture, edit, comment and share content.
- Scrutinize every process for the potential of mobile. Every clipboard could be a tablet, every wet ink signature could be an e-signature, and every process could start here and now, not back-at-base.
- Mobile is inevitable, but early adopters— especially competitors—can gain an advantage now. It is vital to raise the importance of mobile applications within your business to keep pace.