Bad news, desktop-focused developers: your game has changed. Well, maybe shifted is a better word — in today’s land of ever-increasing mobility, users care less about which of their devices delivers the goods, and more about how those goods are being delivered.
In other words, it’s all about the apps.
Accessibility is More About Platforms Than Portals
Up until recently, the way we’ve viewed mobility has been primarily through the lens of devices. Budgets get poured into creating faster desktop and cloud products; the sexiness of the framework takes precedence. But software is only as useful as its functions, and where the rubber really hits the road is in app usability. As a result, companies that want to cater to BYOD preferences — and even engage new customers — should focus on developing smarter mobile applications that are intuitive, versatile, and above all, steadily accessible.
The good news? Companies are catching on. Eighty-two percent of North American businesses have already developed mobile apps for employees, with more on the horizon. According to a recent report by Gartner, “mobile application development projects targeting smartphones and tablets will outnumber native PC projects by a ratio of 4-to-1.” That’s especially important when you consider that about 60 percent of people now use smartphones or tablets — and subsequently, mobile apps — to get their jobs done.
Employees and Customers Want the Same Things (for Different Reasons)
Work-life integration means that employees today often parallel customer behaviors and needs. The walls have come down when it comes to what they want, despite some remaining differences in how they’ll make use of various tools. For example, my primary goal is to socialize content, so I might use Mindjet to map out a Twitter campaign and share it with my boss. However, a citizen-user might need the same functionality to plan family meals for the week, so they can share it with whoever’s buying groceries..
Because of this confluence, businesses now have a unique opportunity to watch their target markets fluctuate internally, and they should capitalize on that.
Your Mobile Strategy and You
Mobile trends taking root today have launched businesses into an arena where classic marketing strategies just don’t cut it anymore. We can’t apply tactics that worked well for desktop or even cloud deployment to apps that rely on their own portability and convenience, location or gadget be damned. Simply put, users — including employees — will not adopt a tool that doesn’t support their own motility. Moreover, mobile is quickly becoming the best way to target and meet customers where they already are.
As we’ve mentioned, pushing efforts in mobile marketing “will require direction, familiarity, expertise and dedicated teams to manage budgets, efforts and campaigns.” It’s not the easiest thing to do — new leaders have to be established. Money has to be reallocated, perhaps to the detriment of other projects. Development teams have to shift focus without losing sight of the importance of pre-existing utility.
Many mobile strategy challenges can be dealt with by employing an enterprise mobility platform, which funnels app design updates, functionality changes and rollouts across devices, without having to individually code for different gadgets. Apps can be built and managed from a single locale, which multi-platform developers are sure to appreciate.
Bottom line: there’s just no time left for companies who want to treat mobile as a subsidiary project, and securing the resources to bring it out of the weeds will take agility, governance, and smart strategies executed by teams who understand the importance of connecting at every level.