Infuse, not garnish: Mobility is no longer a peripheral add-on.

It must have been around a decade ago when I first received a ‘text alert’ from a bank on my mobile phone. My bank had let me register my mobile phone number with them for this and once they activated it, I started receiving text alerts after every credit card transaction I made.

Today, I still receive these alerts, but I also have an ‘app’ the bank has additionally given me, from which I can do a lot of things – check balances, look up nearest ATMs, transfer money, make utility payments and so on. It is all so cool.

Not just consumers

Things have changed at work too. To be honest none of this anywhere close to what is really possible today with mobile devices, but I can now approve travel requests someone from my team raises, approve expenses, leave requests, etc. without having to log into a portal and painfully navigate to do all that.

From being a passive platform for one way alerts, the things that can be done with mobile phones is incredible today. Things have really become two-way – data of some kind is being received and sent.


So really there are two important implications of the way mobile is impacting your organization – one is the change it is bringing on the delivery side. The interfaces, the user experience are all dramatically improving and are allowing firms to enable and engage with customers better and in radically new ways. In fact mobile apps are a great way to prompt customer self-service and even action to unlock new cross and up-selling opportunities.

The second implication – which is probably more important, is really in understanding that from a single system step that throws out data (for text alerts) to a mobile device, we are now increasing the number of points in organization processes where mobile devices are actively ‘in conversation with’. As we pack more functionality on the app, we are allowing a larger number of processes with touch points to devices. These touch points are no longer passive – they are points where two-way communication is required and in many cases, points that are really triggering new processes themselves.

Bottom line

So the bottom line is that we are no longer looking at mobile touch-points the way we saw text alerts 10 years ago. We are really not  ‘garnishing’ our processes, but actually infusing ‘mobile’ to existing processes – and so process must change, adapt and align to make it all work better in unison.  I hesitate to call it disruption – I think the word is too foreboding, but the need to ‘infuse’ mobile possibilities is going to do something close to that to processes involved. Mobile will demand a different degree of responsiveness from your existing processes. The old way of thinking of a process and workflow has to be re-visited.

And so we really are talking about a definitive strategy to respond to the mobile revolution.

And trust me, there is a sense of urgency to it. The big shift on the mobile device has definitely begun. By letting mobility in, you are opening the door to more customer interaction moments of truth. There have been instances where a single bad customer experience has rippled across the internet causing significant damage to brands and that can well happen to any brand, because there is another very important ‘revolution’ called Social Networking to which the mobile revolution is intricately intertwined with.

They are both happening from the same device – and what connects the two is merely a few flicks of the thumb.


Tags: ,

Categories: BPM, Customer Service, Disruption, Future of work, Mobility

Author:Jaisundar Venkat

Jaisundar Venkat is a process professional specialized in Business Process Management. Jaisundar leads BPM Consulting at a large technology firm and is on a mission to help companies achieve the fundamental promise of BPM. His areas of interest include BPM, CRM, SFA, Sales Performance Optimization, Corporate Performance Management and general IT industry developments & trends. He writes on these topics at his own blog, and also writes for a few popular sites specializing on Business Technology trends, specifically the crucial intersection between Business and IT.

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7 Comments on “Infuse, not garnish: Mobility is no longer a peripheral add-on.”

  1. October 9, 2012 at 8:59 pm #

    The use of the mobile device is not purely for the ‘virtual’ on-line shopper either. IDC, a global provider of market intelligence, predicts the concept of a physical store will evolve to make the most of the mobile channel. Bricks-and–mortar retailers can exploit and be exploited by the shopper’s use of mobile. Prior to even walking into a store he or she uses the mobile in many ways: checking directions to the store; opening hours; reviews; discounts, vouchers or other offers; or even see the average waiting time for checkout. Once in the outlet the mobile can be used for a shopping list with a route map for the items; scanning items for more information; product safety or latest price comparisons; in-store offers and their locations; reviews; and to display a barcode for collection of a pre-order. Once shopping is complete: using the mobile to checkout; payment; to apply coupons and loyalty bonuses; and, emailing for receipts. All of these technologies are already available and will really start to take hold in 2012.

  2. October 10, 2012 at 12:37 am #

    Great article. Now more than ever we should start designing businesses, customer experiences, processes and therefore products thinking about mobile first.

    And mobile means “mobility” not a device

    • October 10, 2012 at 1:32 am #

      Thanks! And Exactly… we really shouldn’t be ‘updating’ the process by slapping on a step here and another there. We really need to take a fresh look and ‘design’ them from scratch.

  3. October 10, 2012 at 10:09 am #

    Good points Jaisundar. Going further, isn’t ‘Mobility’ another way of talking about presentation layer interoperability and device-independence, that’s the real freedom – from any source to any target.

  4. Rajeev
    October 11, 2012 at 12:21 am #

    Interesting thought Jaisundar on the ‘D-I-Y’ option where mobile apps get the user to self service their requests to some extent.

    I think the challenge for organizations is to create that ‘buffet’ of product-services options/requests that they can host on a mobile app.

    Perhaps its that opportunity where businesses can reverse engineer personalization of consumer interaction/experiences by getting the user to involve themselves with the aid of some machine learning thrown in to create that ‘wow’ consumer moment (of truth).

    As someone said ~ Consumers are not stupid – with a smartphone in hand it not too hard at all!

  5. October 30, 2012 at 2:00 am #

    Reblogged this on the BPM freak !! and commented:
    Loved the storyline…and a very clear message to think “What’s the Bottom-line” when we talk about BPM and Mobility.
    As Ian Gotts has nicely put in one of the comments “mobile means “mobility” not a device” – very true indeed!!


  1. Infuse, not garnish: Mobility is no longer a peripheral add-on. | Bouncing Thoughts - October 13, 2012

    […] Originally published on http://www.SuccessfulWorkplace.Com If you like to be notified of future posts, subscribe to my RSS feed [click here]! Contact […]

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