Here at GoCanvas, we are constantly answering calls to convert paper and spreadsheet-based forms into mobile apps. It’s a great way to get started with a mobile platform because the app will be business relevant and can typically replace or improve a critical business process, boosting productivity immediately. However, improving doesn’t necessarily mean perfecting. Today, the best enterprise mobility teams hit a bulls-eye every time.
It's more than just using an iPad that helps large businesses stay ahead ( (Agmakonts, Source)
So, what makes an enterprise great at using apps for productivity? There are three attributes I see over and over again.
1: Leveraging technology
Many companies have been using paper forms for decades if not longer. Some made the switch to spreadsheets and word processors to capture information electronically. Oddly, the forms never changed. But great companies changed their formats, even what they collected. Why? Computers do a billion things paper can’t do.
It’s the same for mobile. Instead of taking a paper form or a spreadsheet and figuring out how to recreate it for mobile, the really smart companies figure out how to leverage the camera, GPS, touch screen, form factor, voice recognition, network connection, etc. of the device. Suddenly, it’s not a form anymore. It’s a mobile app increasing productivity in new and innovative ways.
2: Let the app define the process.
If you’re reading this, you’ve started at the top left of the screen and have worked your way here. If a company is using a paper form or spreadsheet, it’s the same idea. Everything starts at the top left and the process is completed in a linear fashion. Start at the top left on page one, when you get to the bottom right of page one, flip and start at the top left of page two.
Yet, great enterprises have broken free of this linear thinking and complete processes in the most efficient way possible. Maybe starting in the middle of page 2 is the best way to complete the process. What if because of certain conditions page 2 is skipped altogether?! Mobile apps introduce the freedom to let the information dictate the process because they can react and change their behavior in real-time.
3: Talk to/observe your end-users
To truly get great data, it’s not just about what you need in the office, but you’re your workers need on the ground. What’s the best way to know what information end-users will need? Ask them! Enterprises that dramatically improve their operations don’t do so on the first try. They refine their app and processes constantly to ensure maximum efficiency. The trick is finding a platform that is flexible enough to keep up with them.