Smartphones are now a well-known, embedded part of our society. By 2020 more than 5.7 billion people are expected to use smartphones, and the contribution of mobile to GDP could be as high as €4,200 billion.
In a world that is moving quickly towards pervasive connectivity – in the home and at work – mobility presents huge opportunities beyond the time-consuming formalities of paperwork to improve customer experience, enable autonomy for employees and increase efficiency and productivity.
The impact that mobile is having is evident across multiple industries, where businesses are exploring apps to support everything from transportation and medical maintenance to streamlining back-end processes. Using mobile to capture and manage data will enable industries and companies to take advantage of an evolving, fast-paced digital landscape. The question is, are they ready to capitalise on this opportunity?
Enabling employees to increase business productivity and autonomy
With today’s penetration rate of the mobile workforce, more businesses are looking into potential scenarios to use employees’ mobile devices to streamline mundane and time-intensive tasks. By freeing up employees’ valuable time, they can focus more on innovation and serving core business needs.
Consider one of the major levers for increasing productivity within businesses: capturing data and essential information at the point of engagement via smartphone or tablet and transferring it to enterprise back-end systems and workflows instantly. In particular, customer facing processes benefit from tools that capture information from documents on the fly.
By arming employees with tools that capture business-driving data through the lens of their mobile cameras, or aiding workers on-the-go with the means to onboard customers at their doorstep, the stack of documents on desks will ultimately start to decline. In services like rental car delivery, hotel guest registration or admittance of patients to hospitals, people are on the move – and every industry is being touched by the newfound potential that mobility offers.
Satisfying customer demands and increasing self-service capabilities
Consumers are becoming accustomed to receiving services on-demand – everything from food delivery to banking, booking taxis to laundry – and expect easy access at any time from any location. Market competition is at all time high and businesses are at risk of losing customers if they are slow to respond. By making the information exchange easy and in real-time through mobile devices, businesses can satisfy customers at the point of interaction and retain their interests for repeat custom.
There’s more to this than keeping pace with the general trend too. Enterprises gain productivity benefits from better data quality and greater efficiency, while customers gain control over their own data which also helps to increase overall customer satisfaction.
The key to achieving this is through a mobile capture solution, converting a smartphone with a camera into an intelligent capture engine. This allows users to extract data from a variety of document types for automatic processing – directly within a mobile app or in back-end or cloud-based systems. Key examples include mobile banking apps or self-service apps within the healthcare and insurance industries.
Software applications developed and marketed today will ideally integrate perfectly into the mobile channel – be it as an operating system or as a means of data input for consumers. With tablets and smartphones, software vendors can leverage mobile and cloud technologies to expand their applications and support their customers in their own digital transformations.
Looking to the future
Mobile is bringing businesses closer to their customers and employees through empowerment – customers have access to streamlined processes that simplify their journey, while employees are able to work more efficiently processing important documentation anywhere at any time. This transition is key to accelerating digital transformation strategies.
The automated and predictive nature of digitisation presents an unprecedented opportunity for business operations, particularly regarding real-time mobility and the cloud. Cloud is at the heart of mobile, and both technologies should be considered a key part of any IT strategy as we move towards a truly digital economy.
Up-levelling enterprise engagement for faster processes, enhanced transparency, and effective control and all ends of the business cycle are all benefits that mobility brings. The opportunity exists now to transform the ways in which companies create revenue and results via innovative strategies, products, processes and experiences. Companies have to realise the potential of mobility and, more importantly, mobilise it in order to capitalise on the opportunities it presents.
Dr. Rainer Pausch is a senior director at ABBYY.