Enterprise mobility is a Hard Trend--it will continue to grow rapidly. In other words, think of mobile devices and the corresponding apps as a magnitude 9.6 earthquake, disrupting business as we've known it for decades. Unfortunately, most people and corporations are missing this point. As such, they're investigating mobility and asking questions like, "Should we get an Apple, Android, or Microsoft tablet or smart phone?" and "What mobile apps should we buy?" With the mobility Hard Trend upon us, a better question to ask is, "How can we use mobility to transform every business process?"
The fact is that over the next five years technology will transform how we sell, market, communicate, collaborate, train, and educate ... and mobility will be at the center of that transformation. That means having a mobile-first strategy for all aspects of your enterprise is key.
Knowing that the mobility trend is an undeniable Hard Trend, I have surveyed tens of thousands of business leaders around the world in every industry, asking about their mobility plans. Not surprisingly, I'm finding that very few large enterprises have mobile apps for purchasing, logistics, supply chain, maintenance, support, or sales. In other words, they have not mobilized their major business functions.
Why? One of the big barriers to them doing so is that their internal databases are large and complex. For example, they might be using SAP or Oracle and over the years they have added many customized functions. In addition, there are many home-grown applications that have evolved over time. So it would take a lot of money and time for them to create enterprise mobile apps that are easy to use and run well on mobile devices. In many cases it could run them $250,000 or more to develop a single mobile app because of the complexity of their large enterprise databases.
Additionally, building apps in-house using 3rd party MEAPs, IDEs, SDKs, or outsourcing still involves utilizing developers with hard-to-find skill sets, and it can take 6 to 18 months for a single app to be created. Add to that the fact that a typical enterprise has 700 applications, and each will need to be broken up into 5 to 10 workflows with discrete mobile apps. Even if a CIO decided to mobilize only the top 20, they are still looking at 100 to 200 apps just to get started. That's a huge amount of time and money being devoted to mobile apps--more than most companies, even large ones, are willing to invest.
Recently, I came across a very unique and valuable product that can help large companies create the mobile apps they need quickly. The product and company is called Capriza (www.capriza.com), and it provides a way for enterprises to quickly and easily create customized mobile apps from their large internal applications. How quickly? Here's an example: DirecTV has thousands of technicians in the field utilizing tablets and smart phones for customer activations. These technicians needed to call into a call center and read off a bar code to be able to activate a new customer on a desktop application. By using Capriza, DirecTV was able to create a valuable and usable app for their technicians in 10 days (a timeframe that is normally unheard of). Now the technicians can scan the bar code using their mobile devices and activate the systems on the spot. Instead of maintaining a costly call center and wasting customer time, the technicians now have an easy-to-use interface that is designed for mobile and makes them more efficient and productive on every job as well as saves the business a lot of money.
Because I work with many large companies and this sounded like a great solution for them, I arranged to have a demo to see Capriza in action. This gave me the opportunity to create a mobile app from both an SAP and an Oracle application. In both instances, I was able to create an extremely useful enterprise app in less than 20 minutes. I must admit that I was impressed.
As my long-timer readers know, I don't normally recommend a particular product, service, or company. That's simply not the focus of my writing. But in this case, since so many companies are struggling to harness the mobility revolution, I wanted my readers to be aware of this option. So if you're an organization with numerous applications and are in retail, high-tech, telecommunications, or manufacturing--and if you need to create powerful enterprise level mobile apps--you may want to check out Capriza.
Today, as a CEO, CIO, or IT executive, you have a unique opportunity in front of you: You can either lead the mobile revolution ... or you can sit back and have to play catch-up. Which option will you choose?