Some of the speakers from IntraTeam Event Copenhagen 2019 have answered questions regarding the intranet/digital workplace in the future. Below you can read what the speakers think about the question What are your thoughts on mobile/apps?
As long as they are relevant in the experience we are trying to add, then I love them. The biggest mistake I see is products/organizations building a mobile app because they feel they should have one.
Always start from what is the Job people are trying to get done and does your mobile app actually help them do that.
Cecilie Rask – Danish National Police: I think we’ll see more specialized apps rather than one app for the whole intranet.
Christian Buckley – CollabTalk: The most successful apps are simple, and do one or two things well. As apps become overly complex, they get sluggish and error-prone, which has an immediate effect on user adoption. App designers should be crystal clear on what they are trying to solve, anddo it quickly and efficiently.
Elizabeth Marsh– Digital Work Research: Progress has been slower than we might have expected, but does seem to be picking up. Developing a strategic approach is critical as well as ironing out ‘roadbumps’ for users.
It’s clear the workplace is no longer 9-5, employees need access to information around-the-clock including devices that align to their work style (mobile devices, tablets, etc.) to effectively keep up with the demands of their job and for organizations to stay competitive.Providing front-line employees mobile access to information that normally would be contained within the walls of an intranet or digital workplace can offer an array of benefits. Employees can not only be better engaged and connected to the organizations’ mission and culture through easy access to company related news and updates but also have better access to information that will aid them delivering better customer experiences.
There used to be a time in which I thought mobile and mobile apps were the future of work: help enable the present of work any place, anywhere, any time.
Finally, in a nutshell, having the opportunity to fully enable your knowledge workers to own more of their day to day work duties on their terms and not on the companies’.
Fast forward to 2018, unless you are constantly on the road with great connectivity capabilities without no longer using a laptop, nowadays I strongly believe mobile and mobile apps are that ability to enslave knowledge workers to glue them to their work, making it even more addictive and quite impossible to catch up with because of the rampant influx of content and interactions happening. Mobile no longer helps employees become more effective, but it just adds up the burden of overload, stress, anxiety, ‘always-on’ and a constant urge to keep up in order to avoid FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).
Frankly, if you are working on a laptop with great connectivity, there isn’t really a need for mobile or mobile apps. Take it as your opportunity to grab your personal life back and enjoy doing other more interesting things. Mobile will keep you enslaved to your work, even after you have done all the tasks you needed to do in the first place.
Tip of advice: get your life back before it’s too late! Learn to enjoy and thrive on JOMO! (Joy Of Missing Out!)
I believe a “mobile first” mindset is key to become a successful company in the future. Consumers consume information more and more on the go, from their mobile phones, preferring short and appealing messages. If you’re staying behind her, you will lose connection with today’s and future generations.
Mobility is the gateway to opening a company. The intranets have been so focused on office workers, but now we can even be mobile first to reach all the travelling people and the people working closest to the customers and the production too.
The biggest challenge is also the biggest opportunity. As the digital workplace is filled with more and more specialized applications tailored to specific niches, the explosion of choice will be overwhelming (it already is). Add to this the blurring of applications’ value propositions as developers add more and more features intended to grow business and claw users from lateral competition (think Dropbox adding realtime collaboration and commenting, or Slack adding conference calling features), and the ability for the intranet buyer to determine the best product set(s) for their workplace will become more and more confusing. This challenge also presents an opportunity for intranets to “double down” on their core value: a hub that connects the whole organization as well as the constellation of applications an organization uses both front- and back-office.
Fundamentally it is a DIFFERENT experience. It’s not about screen size, or OS, or protection etc. It’s about EXPERIENCE. When using a phone you use it 50 times a day for a few minutes or less. When using a desktop we use it for 5 times a day for an hour or more. When using wearables we use it 500 times a day for 5 seconds or less – it’s a fundamentally different thing to design and provide great experiences for the user when you take this into account. This is why you will see more INNOVATION in the mobile space as it relates to the digital workplace that may not appear or make sense to provide in the browser or desktop experience initially (based on increase usage and applicability for those quick win scenarios). Far more LOB mobile apps/solutions and far less ‘standard’ or commoditized Intranet and DW apps – you don’t need two or three news apps.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that mobile access to training and video is not as exciting to staff as thought by management. There are some outstanding use cases, but too often app design is being driven by egotistical thinking and not by understanding of real users’ needs. I have yet to see the successful design of a family of workplace apps that are consistent, useful and easily learnable.
Mobility is absolutely crucial for ROI. Not that all organizations should implement a mobile-first attitude; this depends on the user base.
Too many organizations assume their front-line employees who don’t sit in front of computers – think miners, retail and food service workers, nurses, etc. – aren’t technically savvy enough to leverage mobile solutions. We have found the opposite in our client work.
As for apps, I am seeing a proliferation of company apps, which confuses employee users. If I must navigate amongst half a dozen different apps to get the information I need for work, something is wrong. A new app isn’t always the right solution. The app collection should always be re-evaluated as a whole prior to creating another new app.
As the consumer world becomes more user aware and can appear to second guess what you want when you want it, the expectation from users will be that the same should happen at work.
The challenge here is that to do this, we need to record more audit about what a user is doing, when & where. Building up a bigger profile of the users interests & habits. However, this will also conflict with privacy regulation.
The big question is how does the consumer world get around this regulation and how can we replicate this model internally with just a fraction of the users compared to sites such as Google & Amazon?
It is a fact of our culture and society that mobile technology is how people engage with the world, so mobile/apps are an increasingly important part of the digital workplace, otherwise the physical workplace ends up out of step. However organisations deliver this incosistently, as IT often put layers of security on top in order for people to get on, or the mobile site is clunky to use, or the app is so stripped down it’s not worth the time to download. Apps are supposed to be simple, but digital workplaces can be complex, so this balance needs to be found more consistently. I think apps and mobiles site still need a lot of work to improve the experience of the end user.