One of the less publicly discussed enterprise mobility issues, that many companies face today, is around the new and next generation of workers. As a company, we’ve had many discussions with firms who are fully aware that if they aren’t mobile ready, they will actively struggle to hire the best future talent. This is because there is a whole generation of students and graduates who have utilised mobile technology in their education and see it as mobile as a standard tool in their lives.
In some instances, graduates are choosing the companies they work for, not because of the pay packet (though this will play a role), but because of the devices that they’ll be supplied with and how advanced the company is with mobile. This means that companies are not only seeing demand from parts of their workforce, who see the benefit of mobile apps in their own lives, but also from employees they are yet to hire.
For years now, people have talked about their mobile phones as more of an extension of their own body than a piece of technology. Even before smartphones, it was common to hear people say that they feel like they’re missing a limb if they left their phone at home. This just isn’t the way that people tend to talk about ‘technology’. Even calling a phone a tool may go beyond the way people view them.
It’s important to remember that whilst people in the UK may see their phone as just a phone, there are thousands of people around the world who see it as their lifeline to the outside world. Then, there are the millions of people in developing nations, who use their phones as their primary computing device. Indeed, the first computer children born over the past few years are likely to ever touch will be a smartphone.
Companies who view mobile devices as more than just a piece of technology and more an enabler for helping to improve the way something is done, tend to achieve more when approaching mobile. This is where we see innovation take place, where someone starts with the problem and works backwards to find the right solution. Companies who think they need an app and try to build one without it solving a problem will generally feel pretty disenchanted with the outcome.
Smart companies, who want to ensure their continued success, should therefore be looking at the issues they are trying to solve or challenges they face to see how they can best utilise mobile. For many of these challenges, such as employees spending too much time doing their expenses, there are off the shelf apps that let them do this. Anything which is operationally unique to an organisation, is where bespoke apps come into their own. This may be the systems the company is uses, process flows that have been developed over time, or any number of facets that set the company apart from its competition.
Making improvements to the way in which something is done, otherwise known as innovation, will help to not only attract the best talent, but also ensure ongoing success. Shockingly, too many companies are still stuck using computer systems that were designed in the 1990’s or early 2000’s. The speed at which the world moves on does require investment, though this is investment which ultimately pays off.
Mobile isn’t the saviour for every business problem and may not be relevant to utilise in every scenario. What companies need to realise though is that access to the right tools, to help employees do their job is what makes for happy employees and successful companies. With the current and future generation of workers being raised on smart mobile devices, they will expect to be able to continue their mobile productivity when they enter the workplace.