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by Kevin Smith, Technical Director, Dootrix
Industry View from
As mobile technology matures, organisations must look to the latest innovations to attract, engage and retain customers in a constantly evolving landscape.
Do you have a strategy for mobile? In some ways, this seems like an odd question to ask in 2019. Mobile is now ubiquitous. We are bombarded with stats about people using it for pretty much everything, from browsing and shopping to fitness and banking. We engage with our mobile phones more than perhaps any other device we own.
The evidence is clear:
• National smartphone penetration has grown from 52 per cent in 2012 to 87 per cent in 2018 (Deloitte, 2018)
• 95 per cent of smartphones owners aged 16-75 used their device in the last day (Deloitte, 2018)
• The average smartphone user has more than 80 apps on their phone, and uses close to 40 of them per month – between a third and half – on average (TechCrunch, 2015)
• 80 per cent of app users engage with their apps 15 times a day (CIO, 2017)
Yet there exists a large number of organisations for which mobile is still an afterthought.
Several years ago there was a real buzz around mobile, and more specifically, apps. Marketing was shouting about the need for apps. Operations were looking to mobilise people with apps. Innovation departments were being drip-fed small change to “innovate” with apps. And IT departments were moving too slowly, or just kept saying no. This ultimately led to a complete lack of strategy and governance and a bunch of different departments doing a bunch of different things, with a bunch of different vendors.
Fast forward to today. Most of the vendors have gone bust. You don’t really know if any of the apps were successful. They were certainly unsupported and unloved, with little ongoing development or continued investment. The IT department has finally caught up and is trying to claw back some kind of control. You don’t know what to do with the apps you have, and you don’t know how to avoid the mistakes of the past.
At the same time, you are aware that mobile is a real thing now, and that it’s moving even faster than before – the fear of being left behind is lurking in the collective consciousness of the organisation.
If you’ve been sitting on the fence, have dabbled with ‘apps’, or your past endeavours got only as far as “innovation projects”, then yes – today you will need a modern strategy for mobile.
While the mobile opportunity has continued to expand, technology has also continued to develop at pace, with organisations accelerating transformation with cloud technology.
This move to the cloud is tearing down the barriers to innovation and allowing enterprises to industrialise the process of modernisation. Intelligent cloud services are enabling mobile apps to leverage artificial intelligence, machine learning, voice UX, image recognition, industrial IoT, data analytics and more – the list is long and continues to grow month by month.
Mature cross-platform tools and modern cloud services allow complex apps to be developed at pace without reinventing the wheel. Modern web and mobile channels can share business logic, integrate with common backend systems and bring intelligent experiences to your customers, while at the same time delivering a richer, and more context-based, value and utility.
Successful organisations must ensure that their strategy for mobile is matured and aligned closely with those of web and cloud. As technology continues to move at pace, and as innovation is industrialised, organisations can no longer afford for mobile to be an afterthought.
The cost of user acquisition on mobile is high. Getting a user into an app store to download your app is a fight for attention, but it is also a fight worth winning. A successful app has a little bit of screen estate on a device that follows your customer everywhere. It has the potential to be a genuine utility to serve their needs better, and will always be there when they reach for it.
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