Like electricity, mobile apps have subtly become the backbone of our lives. Take Uber, Instagram, Caller ID, CamScanner, LinkedIn’s app etc. We use a plethora of commercial apps to tip our work-life balance towards life. It was only a matter of time for our professional lives to embrace enterprise mobility as well. In the interest of driving employee engagement, organizations have begun to employ impactful B2E (internal-facing) mobility apps that assist employees in accomplishing their day-to-day tasks more swiftly, curtailing overhead time and cost as well as boosting productivity of core functions.
The case for internal-facing enterprise mobility is strong. The newer millennial workforce gravitates toward customer-like mobile app experience for all activities. With menial processes reduced or eliminated, employees can focus most of their time and energy on strategic and value-add activities. Driving a culture of innovation and empowerment via the employment of mobile apps drives higher employee engagement and focus on the organization’s collective mission, which leads to higher talent retention.
Running internal processes like a well-oiled machine also translates into lucrative B2C interactions. Expediting field services and internal cross-team communication will add real-time value to customer service. By tracking customer preferences, organizations can provide tailored services and a streamlined and fluid purchasing experience. Adding a mobile experience, both internal and client facing, empowers customer service to be proactive and predictive rather than reactive.
Organizations also gain both time and cost savings associated with the added efficiency and productivity of internal staff. Manual, paper based procedures are replaced by sleek, functional apps that eliminate slow or repetitive processes.
How Mobile Apps can help Backoffice Functions
A 2016 study by Enterprise Mobility Exchange showed that 74% organizations have invested in mobile apps to increase productivity and 34% to reduce costs. With a forecast of 1.75 billion mobile workers by 20201, the productivity gains will multiply manifold.
These apps can cultivate high employee adoption and productivity. The trick is to tackle the administrative activities that clutter an employee’s regular workday and/or impede time spent on more critical tasks to their position. Once these tasks or processes are automated or modernized via mobile applications, efficiencies are gained.
The following are just a few of the areas where mobile functionality can provide better access to information or automate processes driving higher productivity and employee satisfaction.
Human Resources & Recruitment
- Access to
- Pay slips and Timesheets
- Travel allowance information
- New policies and approvals
- Update Personal profile
- HR notifications via text message
- Complete Performance Appraisals
- Submit Leave requests
- Find internal Subject Matter Experts
- Access and Complete Training programs
- Submit Referrals
- Review Open positions and apply
- Streamlined Client invoicing
- Expense processing and reimbursement
Sales and Marketing
- Simplified new customer processing
- Customer ID and validation
- Integrated back office communications
- Holistic view of customer profile for enhanced customer service
- Quick Project closure
- Timesheet Submission
- Access to office tools, VPN, Office messenger
- Remote ID validation from home
The first step in developing a pragmatic mobile app strategy is to evaluate the target audience. Survey the employees and collect data on the processes or tasks which are the most time-consuming and viable options to automate and mobilize. Once you create a basic blueprint of functionalities, evaluate whether it will save significant effort or cost.
64% employees2 opt out of corporate apps because of poor user experience. If you do not have the design skillsets available internally, look for an outside partner adept at creating seamless user-experiences. They should work with you as a true partnership in the planning and design, integration and implementation. Functional inputs from the end user standpoint are just as important as the technical aspects.
The final design should allow for scalability. As the organization grows and workforce dynamics shift, internal apps should have the capability to adapt to support change. Your investment in mobility should consider future demands to ensure a solid investment.
A mobile strategy isn’t complete without device management. Employees need access via smartphones or tablets either through corporate owned and managed devices or via a “Bring Your Own Device” approach. There are IT security measures that need to be put in place utilizing Mobile Device Management (MDM), to protect sensitive corporate data.
A Sample Mobility Use Case: Field Services
Let’s quickly look at a field services application we created for one of our clients. A global leader in contract food and hospitality services required a mobile solution to capture surveys with context-based dynamic questions at client locations, which may have limited or no internet connectivity. They needed a mobile application with frequent back office data sync, seamless onboarding of users, an ability to capture images and videos. The Emtec Mobility team co-developed the complete business logic with client’s technical team to build APIs that can be consumed by the application supporting multiple platforms and OSs. With this application, the client’s team can now take up surveys in offline mode and auto-sync to back office when connected. The app also provides a common model for task and assignments of activities for all contractors and employees ensuring process standardization.
Employee Training and Integration
In the U.S, 40%2 of employees from large enterprises use their personal devices to access corporate apps. These apps facilitate faster work, better office communication and higher motivation.
To ensure adoption and ROI, training programs are extremely important to ensure maximum use of the application’s functionality.
Internal mobile apps are a win-win for both the organization and workforce. If implemented the right way, these are synergistic tools drive significant gains in employee productivity and retention.
Contact us for a complimentary consultation if you would like to explore possibilities of mobilizing some of your internal processes.