Eliminating mobile inefficiencies in business

  • Today's mobile apps should be designed for LTE speeds and aggregated Wi-Fi network services.

  • Make sure your mobile workers aren't struggling to do their jobs on outdated screens better suited for the two-way pager days.

Long before consumers had even heard of a mobile app, enterprise pioneered the mobile technology field. That early-adopter mentality led to tremendous productivity gains early on, but time and progress continues as companies adjust. Today, many organizations can reap significant benefits by keeping a critical eye on the state and health of their mobile solutions.

Here are three ways your enterprise may be harboring inefficient mobile devices and applications:

1. Not enough rich data

High-speed cellular and Wi-Fi networks now blanket areas that were once considered connectivity deserts. A time-tested mobile solution may have been designed at a time when even wireline data transfers were often conducted at less than 1 percent of today’s LTE speeds.

Field organizations have aggressively deployed barcode and near field communication (NFC ) readers so that workers can scan—rather than type in—equipment identifiers. Yet centrally-stored details about the equipment site, date of install, and last date of service are unavailable in the field and must be manually re-entered or looked up. When applications were designed in a time of high roaming charges, questionable mobile coverage, and slow speeds, they relied on field worker input or unreliable, locally synchronized databases.

Today, high-speed connectivity is much more available, and today’s mobile applications should be designed for LTE speeds and aggregated Wi-Fi network services.

2. Cumbersome apps and devices

It’s easy to forget that today’s accepted convention of tap, swipe, and voice-controlled mobile apps is a recent development. In earlier days, miniaturized and membrane keyboards, stylus controls, and other esoteric input devices competed for acceptance. Equally easy to overlook is just how quickly large, high-resolution displays became affordable standards. If mobile workers are still struggling to do their jobs on screens that are better suited to the two-way pagers of old, they don’t have easy access to rich customer data and insights.

Use a simple user experience test to determine if a mobile app or device might have an inefficiently complex interface. Close your eyes and listen to an experienced user navigate through common tasks. If you hear a large number of clicks and taps, or if you hear different input devices used frequently, such as detaching and re-securing a stylus multiple times, then a serious user experience upgrade is likely in order.

3. Lack of remote capabilities

Some early-generation mobile devices simply have no remote management capabilities whatsoever. Others can only be managed when physically docked inside the corporate firewall or rounded up by IT. This makes it more difficult to maintain peak effectiveness without inconvenience and expense. Today’s mobile solutions can be provisioned and reconfigured remotely, giving managers and administrators greater control over how devices are used, upgraded, and disabled when necessary.

If you’re still looking for more ideas, a conversation with a mobility consulting professional can help provide other opportunities to boost productivity, reduce risk, and streamline processes.

Read more about mobilizing your business with AT&T Mobility Services.


Jason Compton is an internationally published writer and reporter with extensive experience in enterprise technologies, including marketing, sales, service, and collaboration. All opinions are his own. AT&T has sponsored this blog post.

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