Rocio Bustinza, expert in enterprise mobility – SAP solutions, Capgemini Australia and New Zealand shares her view on the maturity of the Australian mobility market, why mobile is appealing to the public sector, and how to make sure your mobility initiative delivers on its objectives.
ISAP: What are some of the key trends you have seen in enterprise mobility adoption in Australia over the last year?
Rocio Bustinza: The adoption trends have manifested in two streams; one represented by the evolution of IT offices and the other following the adoption journey of lines of business. Having said that, enterprise mobility per se is still at a maturing stage within Australian organisations.
Mobility is part of every CIO’s agenda, but firstly represented as a mobility strategy initiative. Organisations have recognised their need to develop internal Mobility Centres of Excellence to understand the competencies required to deliver and support enterprise mobility initiatives and align them to their overall IT strategy.
On the other side, many businesses across different industries have identified a range of mobile app opportunities to capitalise on. For example, retail, banking, and travel businesses have quickly released B2C applications to extend new channels for consumers so they can access their services or purchase their goods. Other industries have released mobile applications as part of marketing campaigns and to be part of the digital area. However, these initiatives are primarily tactical and not yet embedded in the organisation’s core enterprise processes and applications.
ISAP: How do you see this developing in 2015?
RB: During the course of this year, we will see more strategic mobile initiatives. Organisations will be integrating mobility to enable key business processes that already have a mobile component to them. For example, manufacturing, utilities, mining and all asset-intensive organisations have started and will continue with B2E mobile application rollouts to enable their field workers, automate business processes and increase the data quality accessed and captured in the field. Ultimately, these benefits will enable real-time decision-making and improve bottom line operational indicators.
This trend will grow this year and will soon become ‘Mobile First’ type initiatives which are more transformational. Organisations will rethink how they operate and integrate end-to-end business processes that start with mobile or are enabled by mobile across multiple touchpoints; whether it is in their supply chain triggered by an online purchase or in the field attending to repair an electricity outage.
ISAP: How much interest are you seeing from customers regarding mobility projects in the public sector, and what is driving this interest?
RB: Public sector agencies are looking for ways to reach and connect with the public, publish important information in an effective way and most recently, create a channel for self-service access to government services online. Many government agencies are joining this initiative and it would not be a surprise if their next release is mobile enabled.
Primarily the objective is to provide citizens with the necessary channels to access public services without the need to contact a call centre or go to a branch. The public sector is adopting digital practices to attain the operation and productivity gains of mobility and its 24×7 nature of service.
Additionally, this channel will allow them to centralise and increase the quality of data collected.
At this point in time, security issues are delaying the public sector’s mobility adoption of B2E initiatives, but I see security alternatives maturing, which will address these concerns in the near future.
ISAP: Have you seen any innovative projects designed to provide better service to citizens?
RB: The Department of Human Services developed their own mobile applications which they deployed in the Medicare and Centrelink branches for the use of citizens requiring services from these agencies. One of these apps, for example, allowed them to optimise the branch service levels by providing a self-service kiosk app where citizens can lodge their request without having to wait in a queue.
ISAP: In your experience, how important is user experience in delivering effective mobility initiatives?
RB: Extremely important; mobility is all about the end user.
Due to the explosion of mobile apps in the everyday consumer world, the user experience expectations are very high – meaning the end-user in the enterprise will expect nothing less. Organisations need to remember mobility is all about simplicity, performance, ease of use and an engaging user interface.
We have seen some organisations trying to replicate backend functions in a mobile device to the maximum. This is a mistake. Overflowing mobile applications with too much functionality will damage the user experience and, most likely, the performance of the application.
A very simple recipe to avoid this is to engage end users during the design of the application and throughout the build. Mobile initiatives need to be designed to support a user role rather than a process; it needs to provide only the information they need in the field, which means it needs to be context-aware.
End-user adoption is a very important success metric upon the release of an enterprise mobile application. There is no point in investing in developing or deploying an application that will not be used by the end-users because it is not user-friendly. Organisations need to remember that at all times.
ISAP: What is the best way to develop and deliver great mobile apps and platforms?
RB: We believe the only way to develop successful mobile applications is via incremental and iterative short cycles. This normally follows Agile principles. For SAP mobile applications, Capgemini has developed a suitable methodology defined as miSAP (Mobile Industrialised SAP). It is a combination of an Agile design and build with iSAP (Industrialised SAP) artefacts still required to augment the delivery.
End-users are involved during the design. The follow-on short cycles or sprints deliver a fully working solution at the end of the iterations. An incremental solution will be released with each iteration, and a demonstration to the end users should be scheduled in between iterations to build alignment and support and to receive their feedback which is absorbed into the next cycle.
When the users help design the applications based on their role and how they will use them rather than based on a business process, they will take ownership of the same and guarantee successful adoption rates and post go-live mobility benefits realisation by the organisation.
This article was first published in Inside SAP Summer 14/15.