We believe that successful digital businesses create experiences that help people get things done. When we give people technology that connects things and makes life and work more enjoyable (or just less frustrating!) we create more engaged customers and employees.
But this is far from the reality in many enterprises, where employees must often travel to the office or use multiple, incompatible applications to complete a single process.
In their rush to become digital almost every enterprise is eager to use smartphones, tablets and wearable devices to maximize the productivity of an increasingly mobile and distributed workforce. From the consumer environment they have seen the potential of touch interfaces, cameras and voice recognition to collect and present information in novel and appealing ways. But the consumer focus of the first wave of mobile developer tools leaves them ill-equipped to connect into enterprise data and processes, leading to yet more scattered and insular silos of unsynchronized data.
It means connecting people to enterprise processes and data from every possible location and device – at home, on the factory floor, in the retail showroom or out on the road. By enabling mobile workers to interact with the same data and processes as their colleagues we use the power of universal connectivity to transform productivity, enhance collaboration and increase data consistency.
But delivering true enterprise mobility requires us to successfully tackle three inter-related problems.
As a first step we need to uncouple applications from a single device or location and use connectivity to empower people to work from anywhere. This requires user experiences that are independent of any particular device, operating system or platform. People should be free to start a process in a taxi on a mobile, continue to progress it on a laptop at the office and finally complete it on a tablet in bed at night. This means creating apps which can adapt to the capabilities of each device while also maintaining context as people move from mobile to desktop to tablet and back again.
Moving beyond device-independence we also need to give people a single place to access all of the apps they need. Today people are used to configuring their devices with apps which reflect what’s important to them, making them a highly personalised window into the digital world. In an enterprise context this requires a single, device independent location which provides employees with a personal view of the processes they need to do their job. This ‘enterprise process store’ can provide a single point of access together with increased visibility and governance for the whole enterprise.
As a final step towards unifying and improving the user experience we need to empower people with a dynamic, ‘at a glance’ view across all of their ongoing interactions. Such a 360 degree view allows people to visualize their total backlog of work holistically rather than forcing them to engage with disjointed, static views within separate applications. By putting people rather than apps at the centre of the experience we put them in control of their work, allowing them to decide on priorities themselves and removing the need to follow arbitrary and disjointed application-centric workflows.