by Bask Iyer

Creating a Mobile-First Mindset

Jun 26, 2017
MobileSmall and Medium Business

This is a key moment for IT to embrace becoming the business.

group of millennials using mobile devices
Credit: Thinkstock

How many times have you looked down at your device and wondered, “Did whoever created this actually ever check to see what the experience was like on a phone?”

The way we work has shifted; IT now has the responsibility to take the lead on identifying and delivering consumer-like mobile experiences to employees – empowering people with consumer simple, enterprise secure technology to enhance the way they work.

All too often, corporations fall into the rut of being so business-driven, pragmatic, and practical that we don’t take the time to dream. It’s time to go beyond MDM, calendaring, and basic enterprise apps. Now is the time for enterprise mobility to break through with creativity, context, and the use of artificial intelligence. Think apps that treat employees like consumers, on site, incorporating the latest in consumer technology for business use.

Enterprises need to dedicate themselves to a customer-first mindset. Employees are the first consumers of new products or upgrades of existing products – empowering them to provide feedback and report bugs ultimately improves the end-customer’s user experience.

At VMware, we aligned and collaborated with R&D to implement an approach that increased our accountability and responsibility; VMware on VMware is recognized as an integral part of product testing and a gating item before a product is released to GA. We encourage and demand true innovation within a supportive environment; thus the team is able to accomplish major achievements even without enhanced budgets for projects.

So far we’ve delivered key mobile apps that enhance and simplify the day-to-day activities of employees, approaching them in categories such as:

  • Transactional: Centralized approvals (for things like POs, expense reports, new hires, Invoicing), License and Service requests, Security and Safety (security escort service, ergonomics, lost and found), People Search (including a company directory).
  • Productivity: Conference Room Locator, (a Google Maps-like experience), Access to Oasis (a VMware IT desk similar in concept to the Apple “Genius” Bar).
  • Analytical: Quarter-end bookings plan.

Companies can look to make even more of an impact looking further beyond current roadmaps to voice-driven commands, machine learning, end-to-end encryption, and auto-predictive support.

This is also another key moment for IT to become the business. As customers learn about apps or services developed for internal use, they may develop an external interest in purchasing new innovations, along with your company’s existing product portfolio. I, personally, love hearing when one of our customers note they’d like to purchase one of the IT-innovated mobile apps we developed for internal use.

Everyone says mobile first without thinking about what that means. In actual practice, for enterprises, mobile version of a critical app is still a nice to have and almost always an afterthought. As a person who runs two large and talented IT departments for two different companies, I can safely say that without my enterprise mobile apps, I would not be not be able to function.