A great “IDEA” for delivering enterprise mobility: focus on “Mobile Moments”

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There is a lot being written about mobile computing these days, but little of it offers the clarity and practical wisdom of a new report from Forrester Research, Mobile Moments Transform Customer Experience. Whether your organization is developing a new mobile solution or planning to purchase one, you will find excellent guidance in this new report.

Forrester’s analysis begins with the observation that nearly all customers are now carrying mobile devices. Those that haven’t upgraded to smartphones will likely do so soon.

Mobile-savvy and always connected, users, including employees and customers, expect to be able to get answers to just about anything instantaneously. Forrester calls the occasion when a mobile user seeks an instant answer a “mobile moment”:

"A mobile moment is a point in time and space when someone pulls out a mobile device to get what they want in their immediate context".

 

If an organization audits the actions and desires of a customer as he or she makes purchase or uses a good or service, or if an enterprise evaluates the workflow of an employee performing a task, several mobile moments should be identified. These moments are “make or break” events for meeting user needs and delivering a great mobile experience.

Forrester advises enterprises and vendors to analyze these moments and use them as the basis for developing new mobile solutions. By focusing on mobile moments, it’s possible to create solutions that don’t merely repackage desktop experiences for smaller screens; instead, you can solve critical problems for users and realize the potential of mobile technology.

For example, Hertz observed the one of the first things travelers do once their airplane lands is check their email. The company identified this “mobile moment” as a great opportunity for communicating with customers, assuaging any concerns they might have about their rental contract, and making it easy for customers to take the next steps in renting cars. The company now sends email to customers at landing time, confirming their reservations and providing directions for finding cars in the lot.  To provide additional assistance, Hertz simultaneously sends SMS messages with links to the company’s mobile app.

In any business workflow or customer “journey,” there are likely several mobile moments like the one Hertz identified. Forrester advises organization to perform a mobile moment audit that comprises four steps. The names of these steps make up the acronym IDEA:

  • Identify the moments that matter to your users (whether they’re customers or employees).
  • Design a solution to solve the problems of users in these mobile moments.
  • Engineer your platforms, processes, and people for mobile experiences.
  • Analyze results to monitor performance and optimize the user experience.

The Engineering step is critical. Successful mobile implementations involve more than mobile apps. They often require integration with other IT systems, and they need to be designed and engineered with a total process in mind, not just a single interaction or screen.

We took just this holistic approach when we designed kiteworks. Whether we were considering how SharePoint users on the road might want to edit files stored in a central server or how a geographically distributed advertising team might want to collaborate on design ideas before sharing them with a client, we followed a process like Forrester’s IDEA process to create mobile solutions suited to specific situations and times.

The IDEA framework, which the report describes in more detail, has a lot to offer today’s mobile-first enterprises. If you’re developing new mobile solutions, use the framework to organize your development process.

And if you’re evaluating solutions for your own workforce, consider how those solutions address the daily needs of your mobile-first users.

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