One of the dimensions that is key in terms of digital readiness is the area of mobility. In this article we’ll dive into this to understand what organisations must practically do in terms of mobility, if they’re to become digitally ready.
Step 1 – Ensure your web presence is accessible on mobile
If your mobile capabilities are still nascent, the first goal is to ensure that your web presence is accessible from mobile devices. With StatCounter* reporting that over two thirds of all web traffic across Africa is from mobile devices, it’s likely that the majority of your users will come to your site from a mobile device.
Step 2 – Optimise your services for mobile
In the second step you can start considering web-based mobile applications from a ‘mobile first’ perspective, embedding eCommerce and other transactional features that are specifically designed for mobile traffic. You’ll also look towards native app development – to provide customers with another convenient channel to interact with you, and to ensure you’re always engaging ‘on the customer’s terms’.
The key word is ‘immediacy’. Mobile is perfect for those point-in-time needs, and it’s impossible to carry through all the services that you may offer on desktop, onto mobile. So pick and choose the features and services that best suit the mobile medium. Instead of asking people to enter their credit card details into a small screen format, you may give them the option of tapping on a product to add it to their basket, or to arrange for pick-up from the store (click-and-collect) for instance.
As your mobile journey develops, you may start adding mobile apps and services to enhance your interactions with your broader value chain or ecosystem – such as suppliers, partners, and of course your own staff.
Step 3 – Serve multiple stakeholders on mobile
As you gain momentum, the optimal arrangement may well be a family of related applications that serve different stakeholders – staff, suppliers, customers etc – with intelligent integration between each one. This simplifies the processes between various parties, and provides faster, more accurate and more enjoyable experiences for all types of users.
You may even look to provide limited mobile services to those who are not yet customers, proving immediate value and evoking positive brand affinity. Combine this with simple customer onboarding or registration services, and your mobile strategy could well become the lynchpin for accelerating business growth.
At this point, as we turn our attention to internal staff members, your enterprise mobility approach will be maturing. Depending on the size and nature of your organisation, this can be a complex realm, encompassing many different user profiles, devices, operating systems, networks, applications and services.
Step 4 – Unlock mobility with unlimited integration, automation, and IoT services
Now it’s time to really have some fun with mobile. Following your investment in powerful mobile tools, and as your users start to adopt the mobile channel, you’re able to start tracking customer behaviours, preferences, geographic location, and other key data-points. This enables unprecedented personalisation of your services, as you start to respond to customer needs ‘in the moment’ and even to predict what they may need next, before they explicitly indicate so.
At this point, you’re able to consider unique partnerships and ways to integrate into all-new business ecosystems. In the African context, we can look at the example of global social media firms that have partnered with local telecoms operators, to open up social communication services to users with zero-rated data costs.
Or, we could look at a local bank that has not only integrated systems from disparate corners of their own organisation, but also integrates directly into external systems such as Home Affairs and the Vehicle Licensing department. This has opened up whole new lines of business, and dramatically enhanced customer convenience, with services like estate and will handling, and vehicle license renewals.
And it’s not just about humans and their interactions. Leaders in the mobility field are able to seamlessly connect so-called ‘Internet-of-Things’ services into user services. Physical tags are added to assets, allowing users to track the ordering a delivery of goods for example, from the convenience of their mobile device.
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