Mobile is Eating the Consumer World. What Does it Mean for Business?

By Lance Walter, CMO, Capriza

This last weekend marked a major milestone that speaks to the impact mobile devices are having on our lives. In this case, it’s a consumer milestone, but it has implications to the workplace of the future, and may be very good news for some companies and their employees.

Specifically, more than $1B in online consumer spending was done from mobile devices. Mobile platforms accounted for $1.2B of the $3.34B in total online Black Friday spending, up 21% from last year and now representing more than one-third of all Black Friday online purchases. It’s another datapoint that fits the same trendline we’ve seen for a few years, which is, as Benedict Evans from our investor Andreessen-Horowitz notes, that “Mobile is Eating the World.”

What it Means for Businesses

First of all, it means that if you’re a retailer selling online, you’d better have a mobile friendly website or a great app. But there are implications for businesses more broadly. At Capriza, we’re big believers that our experiences as consumers are shaping our expectations as employees. Put another way, if I, as a consumer, like mobile app experiences that are intuitive, personalized, and fast (think: Uber, Fandango, Airbnb), why wouldn’t I want the same from the business/enterprise applications that I use?

The answer is: I would. Just because many of us are used to “compromising” and dealing with enterprise applications that are impersonal, complex, and clunky doesn’t mean that we have to like it. Beyond that, as more internet-savvy, mobile-native young people join the workforce, it’s becoming more and more socially-acceptable to simply not use desktop-only applications or mobile apps that are complex and don’t deliver the consumer-style experience that the millennial generation expects.

Forward-looking companies have already embraced this new reality. The consumerization of IT is real. While many prospective Capriza customers model their potential ROI around real hard-dollar returns – how they can win 2% more deals by simplifying and mobilizing sales approvals, or reduce the time for a field service technician call by 20 minutes by providing direct access to the ERP system from a mobile device. We’re also having many more conversations with companies around softer benefits like “employee engagement.”

This is one of the key points of a new piece of research from Ovum (link requires registration) “On the Radar: Capriza Improves the Way Employees Interact with Enterprise Applications across a Range of Devices.” Here’s a quote from the report:

“As workers increasingly desire to adopt a more mobile way of working, organizations need to consider more than just how to enable and manage new devices. The demand to access apps and data that employees work with across multiple different devices is also increasing. Complex legacy application ecosystems that can only be utilized via a desktop interface can reduce employee productivity, so mobilizing these applications has become a priority.”

Economics as well as Convenience

There’s also a pragmatic acceptance that we’re in a BYOD world, and that means employees need access to enterprise applications from those devices. But rather than just looking at BYOD as an incremental IT/management headache, more companies are now modeling the potential economic benefits of the BYOD world, for example comparing the annual costs to support a laptop-plus-mobile employee compared to a mobile-only employee. Yes, there will be some employees who need laptops for the foreseeable future, so don’t expect your Accounting department to go mobile-only any time soon. But consider the large populations of branch, remote, or field-based workers who are selling or servicing your company’s offerings. What would seamless, personalized access from any device do to positively impact their experience as employees? What would it mean for the experience of your end customer?


A Proven Approach

We’re very fortunate to have a “blue chip” customer list at Capriza. These are industry leaders who have shown the benefits and value that can be delivered when you mobile-enable employees with seamless access to enterprise applications. Check out how DirecTV improved customer experience and field productivity, or how RPC  how Volvo Financial Services empowered field sales personnel with real-time dynamic pricing and mobile sales approvals.

Capriza is an SAP partner exhibiting and presenting at MWC. See Capriza’s Aharon Weiner present at Mobile World Congress, Wednesday, March 1, at 14:00 at the SAP Stand in Hall 3.