How Mobile Consumer Trends are Impacting the Enterprise
Every time I talk to Kevin Benedict I’m impressed by his huge knowledge about enterprise mobility, market trends, and technology.
No matter what is the topic we are discussing, it always ends up chatting about recent smartphones, tablets, competition etc.
(I guess being a mobile expert always come side by side with being a gadgets fan…)
Kevin Benedict has been in the high tech industry for over 20 years and is a known SAP mobility expert and analyst.
Here is a guest post by Kevin:
Guest Author: Kevin Benedict
Smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices are changing not only the way consumers operate today, but also businesses and employees. Often we are both consumers and employees. If we change our behavior as consumers, it is likely that we will also change our behavior as employees. Let’s take a look at some of the behavioral changes in the consumer space.
According to the Project for Excellence in Journalism, a research organization that evaluates and studies the performance of the press, the percentage of people who say they get news online at least three times a week surpassed newspapers for the first time. Local, network and cable television news, newspapers, radio and magazines all lost audience last year.
This study finds that when the public wants news and information they are increasingly reaching for their smartphones and other mobile devices, not the TV, radio or paper based products. I believe this trend will also impact the expectations of employees and consumers.
Employees will expect access to important company information on their smartphone just as they do for any news. They will want order status, shipment tracking, inventory updates, pricing, customer history, sales and services history all accessible from the customer location.
Consumers will also expect field service engineers to be able to access their account history and any other important customer service, product and sales information from mobile devices. These trends will impact how customers perceive their vendors. If a vendor cannot access mission critical information account information using a mobile device while face to face with a customer, it will leave a negative impression.
What does this mean for businesses? Companies must view enterprise mobility not just as a process improvement, but as a competitive advantage and important branding statement. Accessing important customer information using mobile devices demonstrates that your company intends to, at a minimum, meet the expectations of their customers. Companies that want to jump ahead of their competition will also enable additional self-service capabilities for their customers to access their account and product information via mobile devices.
Another trend is that it is becoming increasingly hard to distinguish between enterprise mobility solutions for employees and B2C (business-to-consumer) mobile applications, as much of the information and requirements are the same. Customers are now expecting to see nearly the same information as employees. This means companies need to be considering both enterprise mobility solutions and customer facing B2C mobile applications.
The bottom line is that if companies fail to meet the mobile information expectations of their customers, they risk losing them to companies that will.