Perhaps you've been thinking about implementing mobility for your organisation driven by:
- staff demanding BYOD
- the prospect of greater operational efficiencies
- requests from your customers or
- the fierce competition within your market.
Your next challenge is likely to be to identify where to start and determine the ROI to justify the investment. Sounds familiar? You are not alone.
For most organisations, mobile technology isn't their business, but it is an enabler for business outcomes. If the introduction of the internet accelerated the availability of information, then mobility can be seen as the technology that broadens and deepens the consumption of information and communication by customers and between businesses. The impact of mobility is a mix of operational efficiencies, customer experience and competitive advantage beyond organisational size and physical locations.
The Optus Future of Business Report 2012 highlighted that in three to five years 56 per cent of medium sized organisations expect to measure the success of online and or mobile applications by improved customer satisfaction, 46 per cent by reduced costs and 42 per cent by growth in online transactions.
Acknowledging the differences in company strategies, the benefits from embracing mobility technology are unlikely to be the same for every organisation and the ROI would not be the same. Many businesses look at mobility as a lever to improve customer intimacy or internal staff utilisation.
For example, retail and finance organisations focus on integrating mobile payments into their transaction models. It's not just about being innovative, but using that innovation to enrich business fundamentals and support the customer.
Identifying ROI around mobility strategies
First of all, there is no single mobility ROI formula. I would however like to share with you three steps I have learnt from organisations that have successfully begun the journey of mobility. This should help by giving you a head start.
Step 1: Start with your organisation's strategy. Your organisation probably has a mixture of growth, cost and differentiation objectives. Brainstorm across functions within your organisation what mobility technology platform could help to achieve those objectives. At this stage, avoid jumping into the detailed solution. The goal here is to identify the good ideas first. Some of these ideas could be as simple as reviewing and approving a purchase order on the go, avoiding your field staff from coming into the office to pick up the new product catalogue, or as complex as creating a customer facing app to expand your market reach.
Step 2: Quantify and qualify the potential direct and indirect benefits of these ideas which are equally important to identify the potential impacts. Efficiencies and cost savings from travel and printing are some of the easier benefits to identify. I have also seen changes in call centre volume/durations and customer experience as a result of introducing customer facing apps. Don't forget to throw in the question of "what if I do nothing". This may help to further tease out the benefits.
Step 3: Determine cost and prioritise these ideas based on ease of implementation. Many organisations choose a combination of quick-wins and mid-level complexity ideas. This would depend on your organisation's appetite for innovation and risk. Like many investments, it is critically important that you've put mechanisms in place to measure the outcome to support further implementation.
While there is no single strategy to determine the benefit of your mobility implementation, these steps are just a simple framework I have seen which may help to start or to accelerate your plan. Feel free to contact me if you'd like to share your experience.
By Aaron Tam, Optus Business Group Manager (Enterprise Mobility Applications). More from Aaron on Twitter: @tam_aaron
All views expressed are the author's own.