Learn from mobile apps to optimize your workflows
Consumer apps are central to how we connect in the digital era as we go about our mobile life consuming news, shopping and entertaining ourselves.
So, it’s no surprise that when someone arrives at work, they expect the same convenience, functionality and ease-of-use that their everyday mobile apps provide. Smart IT departments are taking advantage of the opportunity to learn from these, to help develop or improve and optimize their own workflows.
Improved efficiency and employee productivity are two of mobile technology’s biggest benefits. But realizing these benefits requires understanding the difference between simply making a mobile app that reproduces or replaces an existing application and using a mobile app to transform a workflow.
The mobile mindset
Adopting a ‘mobile mindset’ is the key, which is all about embracing the benefits we see from consumer apps: connectivity, convenience and functionality. At its heart it also requires a user-centric approach to all aspects of design, development and deployment, starting with:
1. Understanding the business case
For any app or workflow, the first step is to understand the organization’s objectives in the context of its strategy. Think about who the end users are, how they work, what they need to accomplish, and the business results that will define success. To do this, create use cases that include all touchpoints, and socialize these with stakeholders across the business and IT department.
2. Getting user input
Getting user input from day one is critical to ensure adoption and, ultimately, business value. Hold focus groups and share designs to ensure your users get the ease of use and experience they need to be productive. Bring in UX (user experience) expertise if needed. A design-led approach is fundamental to satisfying stakeholders and to avoid wasting time and money creating apps no one will use.
3. Embedding security, distribution, and maintenance
Effective security, distribution, and maintenance have a big impact on any app’s success, so they should be central to your development process:
- Build security directly into the app to make it as easy to use as possible.
- Create sound policies so users know how to access and use apps and managers know how to administer them in a secure way.
- Establish support and maintenance programs to eliminate downtime, increase productivity, and help ensure everyone is using the latest version.
If you understand your goals, design with a user-centric approach, and integrate post-launch support features into your app, you’ll be able to create a new workflow that streamlines existing processes, engages users and delivers benefits across the organization.