Mind the Gap - Enterprise Mobility and Digital Transformation
The gap I am referring to is the one between your customers' expectations and your ability to meet those expectations
Jan. 17, 2014 10:00 AM
The phrase "Mind the Gap" was first introduced in 1969 in London as a warning for passengers to watch for the gap between the train door and the station platform. The need to warn passengers is and was the result of some stations being located on curves and at varying heights relative to the tracks. The warning is intended to prevent injuries.
Mind the gap is also a relevant warning for organizations today. The gap I am referring to is the one between your customers' expectations and your ability to meet those expectations given your current IT infrastructure and legacy systems.
Today consumers have amazing power and real-time capabilities in their mobile devices. They have incredible user experiences and powerful apps connected to real-time analytics, transactional services, turn-by-turn navigation, mobile payments and mobile commerce capabilities. They have instant access to the world's largest knowledge base in the form of Wikipedia, and instant access to massive libraries of health care advice from companies like WebMD and Healthwise. They have one-click ordering of millions of products with Amazon's apps and instant package tracking and alerts. They can receive personalized entertainment and media services anywhere. Most of us have completely integrated instant communications, collaboration, GPS locations, instant information and social media into our everyday lives. Why would we expect anything less from the companies we are doing business with?
These capabilities were unheard of when most of our ERPs and core business systems were first designed, developed and deployed. Most of the large companies I personally work with are experiencing an increasing gap between what their customers are experiencing at home and on their personal mobile devices and what they experience and can support at work. They are concerned. They see it. They know they are falling behind.
This expectation gap between what we have and can do on our personal mobile devices, and what large enterprises can deliver to their employees and customers is a problem. For many companies the expectation gap is not narrowing, but increasing every day. This gap, is an open invitation for competitors to fill the void. If you don't fill it, others will.... I guarantee it.
It is important to recognize the source of this gap. For most companies, buying or developing a powerful, user friendly and competitive mobile app is relatively simple. It just takes a budget and experienced help. The increasing expectation gap is not simply the result of having better mobile apps in the consumer space. In my experience, the problem is most often related to having back-office and legacy systems incapable of supporting real-time mobile apps. To close this gap IT organizations must engage in an in-depth analysis and inventory of their IT systems and business processes, and flag for upgrade or replacement those that are preventing real-time support of mobility.
Mobility is a critical component of digital transformation, and a required element of success for nearly every business going forward. Your IT environment can either be a springboard for success, or an anchor that drags you to the bottom. Which is it?
The True Cost of Mobility - Companies are under tremendous pressure to develop and deploy mobile apps for their business systems, yet the traditional approach to mobile app development typically costs $250K+ and takes 6+ months for a single app. Today IT professionals are exploring platforms that radically reduce costs and time-to-market for their mobile initiatives, especially around complex applications such as SAP, Oracle, or custom applications.
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Kevin Benedict Senior Analyst, Digital Transformation Cognizant View my profile on LinkedIn Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict Browse the Mobile Solution Directory Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.