The Mobile App Revolution on its Way, Yet Enterprises Just Catching On

by James McDonald on February 23, 2016

Nine years after the iPhone was invented and 6 years after the iPad, the mobile revolution is well on its way. And with 89% of consumer’s mobile time spent on mobile applications, with some individuals spending up to thirty hours a week relying on these apps, it’s no wonder enterprises are looking to mobile technology to improve on organizational efficiencies. But until recently, numbers indicated that many businesses were still hesitant to jump onboard in furnishing their workforce with mobile tools. In fact, one study reported that 40% of those polled indicated “they had no plans to develop mobile apps for either their employees or their customers.” This is a staggering number!

What exactly has held them back and how could their unwillingness to invest in mobile technology keep them from realizing full growth potential?

Why Mobility Matters Mobile_App-Revolution.jpg

How often have you answered a work email from the comfort of your living room? Look around you at any given time and it’s difficult to ignore the impact smart, connected devices have had on how and where we work. It’s even estimated that the average American checks their phone nearly 300 times per day! With this added emphasis on mobility comes freedom and flexibility; the flexibility needed to stay connected and informed without the boundaries of normal office hours. And it has sparked a movement towards a collaborative workplace culture in which colleagues are able to share ideas with each other, working together in a way we never have before. Through these newfound opportunities, mobility has, in essence, shaped the bottom line.

While many FMs and CEOs still worry about the complexities and cost associated with integrating disparate workplace tools, business leaders are now gradually recognizing how making such investments can generate significant returns and help them gain a serious edge over the competition.

Don’t Allow Fear to Stifle Change

We all react to change differently. Some embrace it with open arms, recognizing it as an opportunity to improve; while others would rather remain content in their familiar bubble. But the reality is, change is the only constant. This is particularly true in the business world, where everything around you is evolving. And those who not only accept change, but seek it out, are the businesses that realize long-term growth and, ultimately, establish themselves as leaders in the industry.

When examining the options for change and improvement in a business environment, there are numerous factors to consider. How will the employees respond? How much will this cost us, both monetarily and systematically? How long will it take to realize a return on investment? How can we implement these strategies without sacrificing the security of our employees and our clients?

For many facilities managers, the answers to these questions has come in the form of a SaaS-based workplace management solution whose implementation timeline was short and could easily integrate with their current, valued workplace strategies and tools. Tying this system to complementing mobile applications affords the mobility that is so critical in today’s business world.

But before you dive into identifying the solution that is right for you, there might be some initial groundwork to be laid.

Do Your Current Processes Align with Future Goals and Needs?

While the benefits of mobile technology are abundant, both personally and professionally, a study conducted by CompTIA shows “the benefits of mobility are understood by many but not realized by all” businesses. One simply cannot implement workplace technology and sit back, waiting to reap the benefits. To achieve enterprise goals, companies must evaluate their business models, understand what the overall short and long-term goals are, and build a strategy accordingly. They must identify organizational inefficiencies through collected business data and communication with the workforce, applying strategies that improve on communication, collaboration, and refined functionality. 

Mobile_App_Revolution_1.jpgWhen considering what technological tools to implement, it’s important to look at the big picture. What tools, software, and mobile applications can blend with current resources to allow for inter-connectivity across all platforms? What current solutions must be abandoned entirely? And how will these changes affect your workforce, both short and long-term? This will offer the infrastructure needed to ensure the best mobile options are implemented to fulfill both organizational and workforce needs.

Transparency throughout this process is critical to the overall success of the project. Simply adopting an integrated solution isn’t enough; you must receive input from those on the frontline each day – your employees. If you truly want your investment to be accepted, maintain an open line of communication, keeping them apprised of updates along the way. By making well thought-out decisions, the potential is as boundless as the modern day, open space office.

We have quickly moved towards a society that is continuously connected and always on, blurring the lines between personal and work time. Mobile applications that allow access to real-time information and communication open the door for employees who decide to spend a few minutes on work while at the airport terminal or before cooking dinner in the evening. Recent technological advances now even offer us the potential to make recommendations based on your actions or location, further tapping into productivity potential. Through careful examination of the business from every angle, facilities leaders can develop a well thought-out mobile strategy, realizing the benefits of a more mobile workforce, both now and into the future.


James McDonald

James McDonald is a sports enthusiast, brother in Christ and once swam in a tank with the infamous TV sharks.

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