“Mobile applications offer Chief Information Officers (CIOs) unique opportunities for streamlining business processes and empowering the organisation’s workforce,” suggests Craig Parnham, Chief Executive Officer, Sush Mobile. There has been a lot of interest in business-to-employee apps in the last six months as opposed to business-to-consumer apps, he adds.
Sush Mobile is a sponsor company at the marcus evans Australian CIO Summit 2015, in the Gold Coast, Australia, 3 – 5 August.
How can CIOs improve business processes through mobile app technology?
A noticeable trend amongst successful enterprise mobility apps has been around the digitisation of labour intensive or repetitive tasks, eliminating middlemen between activities. Work scheduling, status updates, payslip checking, or other internal-facing activities done through an app keeps people engaged and empowered. Not all employees have a desktop or laptop computer, but most have a smartphone.
One of our clients, a global tree management company, used to require staff to come in to the depot to collect work schedules, and return again at the end of the day. Now that their informa-tion is on an app, employees can view the work that needs to be done and mark it off, with all the data stored in the cloud. Since work logs are kept up-to-date digitally via the cloud, there is no need for office workers in the depot to manually re-enter data, eliminating the need for paper-based maps and work orders that can easily get lost, dirty, or blown away. Mobile apps allow people to access what they need when they need it and offer tremendous time and cost savings.
How can they ensure their apps are ahead of the competition and provide true value?
Employees are increasingly asking CIOs to utilise apps for various tasks. We have learned that it is often better to get an app deployed quickly, even if it is a pilot, to get it in the hands of the people who will use it. We can then assess how they use it, and make further refinements and enhancements from there.
That helps CIOs ensure the app is not overcomplicated and does not detract from achieving the core business objectives. We encourage customers to strip it back to the most essential features, for an app that is streamlined, fast, responsive, and intuitive.
The real measure of providing value is the ability to distil large amounts of data into useful and relevant customer insight, or to streamline existing processes and workflows to create a succinct and intuitive customer experience.
One of our award-winning apps is a home loan app for Kiwibank. They wanted an app for people to find how much they could borrow based on their income, but we took it one step further and ended up including a sun finder feature based on feedback from many customers who were searching for North-facing homes.
Now this is an app that anyone would want on their phone, whether they are a Kiwibank customer or not. You do not want people to delete your app after just a few weeks.
With wearable technology now on the market, do CIOs need to change apps to ensure effectiveness and usability with the new devices?
Wearable apps work best under very specific contexts. Customers should not be forced to use an app that is not fit for such a small screen. The interaction is at most five seconds compared to around two minutes with a smartphone, so the context must be right. It would not make sense to offer a catalogue browsing experience, but it would be useful to notify customers when their order has been shipped.
One of the most exciting challenges is around the entire customer journey, creating personalised, contextual experiences across multiple channels and now across multiple devices.
About the Australian CIO Summit 2015
The Australian CIO Summit is the premium forum bringing elite buyers and sellers together. The summit offers enterprise and government chief information officers and IT solution providers and consultants an intimate environment for a focused discussion of key drivers for IT innovation. Taking place at the RACV Royal Pines Resort Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, 3 – 5 August 2015, the Summit includes presentations on re-architecting models to digitally enable the organisation’s assets, unearthing the vast potential of data analytics, mastering the role of strategic business partner and protecting the organisation against security threats. www.australianciosummit.com