At a meeting recently with a prospective client, two people from the client side were talking about their company’s need for a robust mobile strategy. It seemed like we had entered in the middle of their conversation because one was talking about standardizing the mobile devices they should support while the other was talking about having to support all available devices and form factors. It took us, and them, a while before we could figure out that one was looking inward towards a enterprise wide mobile strategy for the employees while the other was talking about a client facing mobile strategy.
As we work with more and more companies, what is emerging is that companies many times mean completely different things when they talk about their mobile strategy. So here is a quick look at broad ways in which companies are benefiting by riding the mobile wave.
1. Consumer facing mobile strategy
This is the outward looking strategy. Companies that are dealing with clients directly are looking at engaging their customers directly on the mobile platform. Such companies want to build apps that will be available on all major platforms so that they can meaningfully engage with all their mobile-totting customers. They are looking to
1. Increase awareness about their company and product(s).
2. Engage the customers
3. Drive more traffic to their web-sites and their shops
4. Improve customer retention and loyalty
We have a whitepaper on “Defining your mobile strategy” that is meant to help such companies take their first step towards conquering the mobile world. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy.
2. Enterprise mobile strategy
This is the inward looking strategy. Many companies with large workforces, especially mobile workforces are looking to extend certain portions of enterprise software on to the mobile platform, so that their employees have all the data and functionality they need available to them, even when they are on the move. Email, calendars, and status reports are some of the areas they start on before moving on to providing more complex functionality.
The challenges faced here are completely different from the challenges facing companies building consumer apps. Standardization of the mobile platform (recommended devices for employees), data plans for the organization, bill payment responsibility, data security, personal vs. professional use of the devices, are some of the issues that need to be addressed.
3. Extended enterprise mobile strategy.
This is where a company looks inward as well as towards its vendors, dealers, franchisees, contractors and other business associates. This enables the company and its partner ecosystem to work together cohesively.
We have a few interesting case studies in this area which we will publish shortly. Watch this space.