Mobile communications and collaboration tools are an inevitable part of the business world. But increasingly, the goal is not just to keep people in touch. It’s to drive more innovation in business processes and customer service:
- Sales teams getting access to customer history, product inventory, pricing, and logistics information — while in their customer’s office — when they are closing a sale.
- Insurers using mobile solutions to exchange digital pictures and insurance coverage documents to accelerate claims settlements.
- Companies providing their customers with mobile apps to streamline access to support information and reduce the load on customer service agents.
To get a snapshot of the state-of-the-art in mobile implementations, the technology consulting firm Forrester recently conducted a survey of more than 100 top IT and business decision makers.
Some of the findings were:
Few organizations have fully deployed mobile technologies across the board, but the majority are at least evaluating and piloting mobile technologies or rolling them out in limited production.
While phone calls and e-mail are still the top mobile applications, access to calendars, the corporate directory access and IM/presence are increasingly what’s driving mobile strategy.
More than one-third of businesses report implementing, or plans to implement, mobile applications for network and systems management, sales force, help desk, or emergency and critical response applications.
According to Forrester, counting on mobility to drive innovation won’t come without effort. It counsels firms to turn to early adopters—executives, sales team, and field forces—to be evangelists for the rest of the firm. And back up your strategies with training and communications support. “Assuming that users will flock to new mobile solutions and mandating adoption are tactics that won’t work,” Forrester notes. “A clear communication of the benefits and advantages of mobile solutions is needed.”
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