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An app for every occasion
Wednesday, 14th March 2012
Get on a train almost anywhere in the world and look around. What’s half the carriage doing? They’re fiddling with their phones, faces lit up with a yellowy glow. The no. 1 business requirement I hear is "Can I get that on my phone?" Organisational forays into mobile access thus far range between the all out and the tentative.
Get on a train almost anywhere in the world and look around. What’s half the carriage doing? They’re fiddling with their phones, faces lit up with a yellow-y glow.
The no. 1 business requirement I hear is "Can I get that on my phone?"
Organisational forays into mobile access range between the all out and the tentative. Here are some examples:
Goodbye to that heavy briefcase
Lawyers have always relied on vast amounts of paper, and have been swift to get into the app game. Heavy reference books weigh a lot less on an iPad. Apps for Attorneys changing the Game gives examples of popular legal apps and their benefits. The big daddies of legal research Westlaw and LexisNexis have subscription-only apps to supplement their standard services. iAnnotate offers the ability to scan and highlight relevant portions of a transcript, and Dragon dictation allows easy memo taking.
Help! I’m stuck!
People are fantastic at problem solving on the fly. I recently heard about a group of print engineers who do exactly that using their mobile phones.
The engineers mend printing machines on organisational premises and work alone. If they come across a problem that they cannot fix with the aid of a manual, they need access to a colleague in the know. Pre-mobile this would mean leaving the job and heading back to the office, delaying the completion of the job. Nowadays they simply take a photo and email it out to colleagues for a quick answer.
It would take minimal effort to build a store of photos and answers to act as a central resource and learning tool for new engineers. It goes without saying that it would be searchable via a mobile site or app.
For BlackBerry users, BBM is a quick, easy and free way to set up a community. While the information exchanged cannot be captured centrally, it does offer a very effective way to connect people to people, as thousands of teenagers will confirm.
Extend the water cooler chat
Organisations are moving towards enterprise social media to provide a “serendipity effect” for internal connectivity. In plain English, that means that people who may not come across one another in the usual course of a day virtually “bump into” one another and share ideas.
Enterprise social media usage is real time, so all the major players are offering mobile access. Data privacy concerns act as a major barrier to implementation.
Connect with your customers
Many organisations have apps for sales and product brochures, thought leadership case studies and product examples. These often follow hard copy publication format.
Their advantage is their immediacy. Details of a new product can be pushed out straight away, and commentary on an event is received hours after the event that sparked it.
For a sales person or consultant out in the field, having this content to hand is gold.
How much easier is it to share information via a phone or tablet during a coffee or lunch break than being restricted to a laptop and in-office demo?
Real-time conference activity
Running or sponsoring a conference? Then you need an app to go with your website.
These are incredibly popular, enabling participants to manage their timetable, read accompanying slides and keynotes, and tweet real-time commentary.
Organisations have spent years building intranets full of relevant, current, dynamic content (well that’s the dream anyway). As with enterprise social media, data privacy is a concern.
Newsletters – RSS or manually generated – are coming into their own again here, keeping staff in transit informed about what’s going on behind the firewall. As a result, we’re seeing “BB friendly” text only publications replace elaborately formatted email newshots.
Next post: I want an app!! Now what?
By Sarah Dillingham
Sarah Dillingham has a long track record in delivering successful knowledge management programmes. Her background includes City professional services and central government. She is fascinated with the way that people interact with technology to collaborate (or not!) and the growth of mobile.
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