Why Mobility Matters
Always-on-the-go consultants are the epitome of a highly mobile workforce – making mobility a must-have strategy for professional services firms. As early adopters of mobile devices, consultants are on the forefront of wireless technologies and applications and have high expectations of how it can improve the way they work.
They also realize that the technology exists right now – from really smart smartphones to everywhere Wi-Fi access – to support true mobility and enhanced productivity in professional services organizations. As smartphone penetration and adoption rates soar, handheld devices are poised to eclipse the desktop and laptop as must-have technologies.
The Consumerization of Technology
When it comes to mobility, employees are driving how they want to interact with information – and expecting IT departments to support a wide range of personal mobile devices and applications. Mobile applications are being developed for employees who work outside of the office, to make it easier for them to complete tasks while traveling or at a client site.
In addition, many firms are planning to support more mobile devices or smartphones for their employees – even allowing employees to bring their personal mobile devices into the office and providing some level of support to these devices as well. We see this as part of a broader trend called the “consumerization of IT” in which employees solve customer and business problems using technology that they master first at home, such as social media, mobile apps, and more.
In short, consultants want to interact with business data as easily and as intuitively as they use Facebook or Twitter.
Rising Expectations for Increased Productivity
Both client expectations and organizational needs are driving the push for increased mobility in the professional services industry. Clients, often mobile device users themselves, expect rapid and fluid response and recommendations from consultants, not to mention quick and decisive action regardless of location. For example, a client might expect a consultant to execute expert searches immediately, resolving any questions that arise, at any point in a project.
At the same time, organizational expectations are pushing consultants to be more productive – or at least to give that impression by being constantly available anytime and anywhere, with very little downtime. Mobile applications can speed processes and support rapid decision making, and both aspects translate into increased productivity. Dynamic reports let consultants make quick decisions online and communicate them to clients in the moment. Since the workforce is geographically dispersed, information needs to flow when and where consultants need it.
Speed Decisions, Accelerate Processes
Professional services firms are positioned to derive great benefits from mobilization across the enterprise, from executives to consultants to support staff. But to do so successfully, a firm must address the daunting task of supporting a wide ranging ecosystem of operating systems, devices, and applications required to empower its mobile workers.
To mobilize with power and control in a way that helps its users get the most out of mobile technology, a firm should identify those activities that provide the most opportunity. The best candidates for mobilization are complex processes that require rapid decisions based on information, analysis, or approval from multiple people. In such cases, successful mobilization can speed decision time, accelerate the process, and provide significant ROI.
What processes are ripe for mobile applications at your Professional Services firm?
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