Defining a Mobile-First Business Strategy and the Consequences of Not Having One

We live in a country of 325 million people. Today, 53% of adults access the web through mobile devices. Even more extraordinary is that of the entire population, 31% of people who can access a mobile device use it as their primary method of accessing the internet!

A Mobile-First strategy in today’s world is in essence a paradigm shift, but one that stretches even farther than our current view of software apps and the internet – it is the idea of FIRST thinking about the way information will be digested and the tools that will be used from the mobile device user’s perspective vs. having that as a secondary consideration. And not just about information and access, it is about creating an entire ecosystem around the targeted business objective that encompasses all customer stakeholders, and yet also services the needs of employees as they deliver the products and services. Across business strategy, process, design, applications, etc. – we now see those companies who have adopted a Mobile-First mindset reaping exponential rewards.

History of Mobile-First

The term “Mobile-First” really became a thought-provoking concept in 2011/2012, but the history of Mobile-First strategy truly began with Steve Job’s keynote debuting the original iPhone in January 2007. While Apple looked to create a great user experience with their mobile devices, they also helped to flip a switch in the industry to allow people to start thinking about the possibilities for delivering a Mobile-First experience using mobile devices as the platforms.

Since then, things have evolved rapidly, and we are now at the point where the EXPECTATION is mobile, not the exception.

To stay competitive in their industry, fuel growth, enhance productivity, and provide great experiences for both employees and customers — successful organizations utilize a Mobile-First business strategy when launching new initiatives. For the rest of this blog, let’s focus in on how many of our clients are building the complete mobile ecosystem that allows their employees, from sales through customer services, to deliver significantly enhanced value to the end customer.

Delaying the Adoption of Mobile-First Business Strategy Will Affect Internal Process and Employees

Ten years ago, in many organizations (and still today), mobile productivity was all-about connecting to email. Not anymore. Companies that do not adopt Mobile-First strategies can expect to lag on the productivity and quality of service needed to stay competitive within their industry. Competitive organizations provide a complete ecosystem that puts a wealth of capabilities in the hands of employees who are on-the-go or the ability for employees to do their job more efficiently with a mobile device. Here are a few examples of companies succeeding with a Mobile-First mindset – now the norm in many of our client environments.

Traditional computers are being replaced with managed Tablets in both clinical and home healthcare settings. This allows for greater flexibility in providing patient care, and maintaining accurate records.

Commercial Aviation
Digital flight manuals allow for ensuring FAA compliance with up-to-date content, create a better user experience, and in this case, drive indirect business value: one large airline stated the digital conversion would save them over $1 million annually on fuel costs by removing paper-based manuals from the aircraft.

We all benefit from Mobile Maps with GPS and real-time traffic updates, but when your bottom line depends on efficiency, having a connected fleet can be priceless. From being able to modify routes, to knowing where a resource is at any given time, in-cab mobile devices have changed the industry for the better. And leveraging well-managed standard smart-phone technology for these purposes vs. expensive built-for-purpose handhelds drives additional business value.

Mobile Point-of-Sale used to mean a cash register on a cart, but now retailers can access inventory information and process payments from anywhere using a mobile device.

All of these are great examples of giving employees important mobile-based technologies to improve the way they work, and how they deliver value to customers. But the secret sauce is not just in their daily use of the technologies.  Rather, it is the complete ecosystem we defined above, managed by IT in most organizations that provides the critical underpinnings.

And even more importantly, this entire way of doing business is the EXPECTATION of the talent today’s leading companies are trying to recruit. Showcasing a modern, efficient workplace, and letting prospective employees know that they will have tools in their hands to allow them to be successful is a hot button for many companies. This is clear even before the hiring process. Mobile is where top talent goes to search, with 70% of job seekers using mobile directly in their search and the fact that 23% of keyword searches containing the word “job” come from mobile devices.

It is an imperative for companies to invest in great mobile interfaces, streamline processes around these technologies, and continuously expand the use of mobile in their environments.

What Are the Next Steps in Defining Your Mobile-First Business Strategy?

Where are you in your Mobile-First journey? Whether you’re rolling out a new mobile app or just starting to think about better productivity in your employee base, there’s no time like the present to step back and re-evaluate your business goals. The question is: how will a Mobile-First mindset expedite your company growth and productivity in the next 3 months, 6 months, 2018 and beyond.

We strive to work with and enable our clients to develop their Mobile-First business strategy by taking the worry out of the tactical management of their mobility environment. Give us 15 minutes and we’ll give you a kick start on your journey to developing your Mobile-First business strategy.