Smartphone or SmartUser

By Bob Larrivee posted 08-22-2012 09:49


I hear this term Smartphone and I envision a classroom full of phones learning how to read, do calculations and eventually graduating from Smartphone school with the designation Smartphone duly conferred upon them. Is it really the phone that is smart or is it the user who masters the capabilities of this device? No matter, the point is that there are a lot of these out there. In fact, according to an article I was reading over breakfast this morning, posted by the Online Publishers Association titled “A Portrait of Today’s Smartphone User”, their recent national survey shows Smartphone use is now at 44% or 170 million  users up from 31% last year with Android as the leading operating system. This same article projects Smartphone use to increase in 2013 to 57% or nearly 142 million users.

When asked about Smartphone use other than for phone calls, 93% or approximately 99 million users said they use it to access content and information. 59% use it to access the internet and 58% to access their emails. In this case, content and information is defined as weather, news, sports and finance among the list with weather being the number one. This report also shows that content consumption dominates Smartphone use with more than 93% indicating they access content and information regularly and 50% of those, daily.

In my view, while this report demonstrates the growth of Smartphones and Smartphone use, and though the reference to content and information may be slightly different than our industry, the indication is clear and that is Smartphones are here and their popularity is strongly on the rise. This means that organizations are faced with the challenge of addressing use of these devices for business purposes and governance over their use to maintain compliance and minimize risk. It is also an indication that Smartphone use is an opportunity to enhance the mobility of the workforce through adoption of Smartphone use for business purposes. The task at hand is how? How do you take your business applications and make them mobile ready? Do you approach it from a web access perspective or do you think in terms of Smartphone apps that will meet the need. Perhaps there is no app that meets your needs and you will need to create one.

Let’s not forget the processes related to all of this. Once the Smartphone enters your realm of approved devices, how will that impact the process? Think in terms of both access and capture of information. How will your employees work differently using Smartphones compared to the way things are done today?

My point is this, Smartphones are here and their use is increasing rapidly. Forward thinking organizations will embrace and leverage this to their advantage. Imagine being able to cut down order processing times through the use of a Smartphone. Imagine that you can now provide 24/7 customer service through a Smartphone app. Banks and many other businesses are doing it, why not you?  Think about it.  The phone itself is not “smart” but it does provide greater capability than ever before. It is the user who is smart about how to use this device that makes the difference. It is the organization who plans and implements Smartphone use in alignment with their overall strategy that establishes differentiation.  

If you are ready to move forward and are finding yourself stuck or unfocused and are not sure where to begin or what to do next, seek professional assistance and/or training to get you started. Be sure to investigate AIIM'sBusiness Process Management training program. And be sure to read the AIIM Training Briefing on BPM (authored by yours truly). Click on the image to download and read.

What say you? Do you have a story to tell? What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you have a topic of interest you would like discussed in this forum? Let me know.

Bob Larrivee, Director and Industry Advisor – AIIM
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