It's Not BYOD or CYOD but CYOE

By Rich Esposito, General Manager, IBM Mobility Services — June 15, 2014

Despite its meteoric rise of mobility, some organizations are still unsure where to begin while others with a mobile-enabled workforce are looking to widen their lens and move beyond BYOD to what I like to call, "CYOE" (create your own experience).

Whatever mobile adoption stage you are in, everyone must understand that mobile is more than the device. It's a pervasive lens through which organizations can interact with employees and customers; develop and deliver products and services and more.

Mobile is also about delivering employees experiences that incite them to use their device and empower them to be more connected and productive than ever before.  

That said, here are some key points all companies should consider when it comes to mobile.

To Start
Identify processes where mobility can provide faster, more engaging customer service: This can range from providing field-based personnel with mobile tools that allow them to deliver rapid answers in customer locations, to enabling employees to collaborate more easily with experts across the organization in order to solve a difficult problem.

Also consider this from a customer perspective. Mobility has the power to allow customers to engage directly with company experts and/or social networks—for example, a home owner in the process of refurbishing their home, sharing potential design ideas with friends and family while a remote salesperson provides insights into potential colors and furniture selections.

Use mobile capabilities to facilitate routine tasks: Step back and examine what everyday tasks can be executed on a mobile device and which will deliver the greatest time savings for your team. For example, by enabling customer data entry, expense reporting and approval and time and attendance reporting to be executed through a mobile device, businesses can free up employees to spend more time engaging directly with customers while allowing workers to take advantage of non-productive windows during the day.

Build in security and privacy safeguards: Security should always be a top concern, especially as sensitive data moves beyond the enterprise and to the mobile device. As you look to mobilize your team, take an active role in developing policies and guidelines to protect sensitive material including customer information, business-specific applications and the employee’s personal information.

To Do More
Leverage location-based data to improve the customer experience and drive employee effectiveness: While companies have been tracking mobile assets for many years, they now have an opportunity to identify interaction patterns of customers and employees (with their approval of course) to a much broader extent than ever before.

For example, proximity data can provide valuable insight into where employees are working in a dispersed environment at any given point in time and then enable them to be routed and scheduled on a more dynamic basis to help improve customer responsiveness and increase opportunities to generate revenue.

Customize the mobile experience for the employee: Mobile employees need access to the applications that are relevant to their specific job needs. One solution is the development of an internal "app store" that can be configured based on functions and job roles. Firms should also begin configuring personal devices as part of the larger orientation/on-boarding activities for new employees to ensure each has the tools needed to be successful.

Manage mobile devices like other corporate owned assets: As these mobile devices become more central to the delivery of key business activities, companies need to consider the need for specific processes that govern their procurement, distribution and maintenance. These processes need to address the unique considerations of mobile devices, including their shorter replacement cycles, the need to manage frequent application changes and the importance of having help desk support that goes beyond traditional office-based assistance.

These are just a few areas that businesses consider when it comes to their mobilized workforce. The bottom line is that a successful mobile strategy is about more than just giving everyone a device. 

It’s an opportunity to change how employees work and to examine what experiences are the ones that will make mobile your company’s ultimate secret weapon.

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