Is Your Business Ready to be ‘Always On?’

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iPhone 6The rapid adoption of mobile technology has triggered a customer driven transformation. As customers expect timely responses, businesses need to examine and revamp their operating model. For many businesses, this means lights need to be ‘always on’ in order to support the on-demand needs of their external customers as well as internal operation.

There are five areas that your business needs to address in revamping the operating model.

1.       Turnaround Speed

One of the main purposes of mobile technology is to address on-demand needs. The user’s expectation is instantaneous response. The implied demand on operations is integrated end-to-end processes that pose little barrier to task execution. This has significant impact on the backend infrastructure. For example, a customer wants to meet with a financial advisor. An elegant solution is to allow the customer to view advisor’s availability and schedule the meeting using his mobile device. This requires the alignment of the scheduling activities so that the response is timely and customer friendly.

2.       Content Relevancy

Google is a master search engine but the user must spend the time to screen the millions of search results. This takes time and effort. The mobile device has limited real estate for content display. In order to provide relevant content, it is crucial to pare down the content so that only relevant information is provided. Adopting a content dump approach here could be damaging to. This requires a sound understanding of the need and how the requested information would be used.

3.       Data Currency

Attaining up-to-date information is important. This might not be as simple as it looks when there are multiple sources of data. You need to identify the record of truth and find an effective way to extract the data on-demand. If you rely on external data, there could be issues with availability. For instance, an account manager needs to be able to access inventory and advise the customer on stock availability while he is at the customer’s office. Yesterday’s inventory data from a supplier could cause him to lose a sale.

4.       Support capacity

While the ideal case is to have technology automate as many tasks as possible, you still need people to handle anomalies and queries. That human touch adds volume to customer experience especially when there is a problem. It is counter-productive to implement a mobile solution when there is no support on dealing with issues. Mobile services place an ongoing demand for human support.

5.       Technology interconnectivity

The need for quick turnaround time requires the multitude of legacy technologies to work seamlessly together. The less capital intensive solution is to bridge the gaps by introducing intermediate tools. The alternate is to bite the bullet and replace the disparate tools with a fully integrated tool. The balancing act could be challenging. The evolving technology landscape requires the ongoing monitoring of your operations and frequent viability assessments. Be wary of the overhead costs associated with unproductive work.

How soon would your business need to step up and invest in the mobile transformation? Whatever the timeline might be, there really is no turning back. It is better to be proactive and identify the impacts on your operating model, and take the necessary steps to plan for an orderly transformation.

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