The UK was an early adopter of Enterprise IT. The world's first ever commercial computer was developed here over sixty years ago. These days the UK has some of the most archaic systems powering the very core of our large businesses. Perhaps, this explains why we are lagging so far behind other G7 economies when it comes to employee productivity.
Yesterday's software, which drove the first waves of productivity, now condemns employees to working practices which are difficult to change. They are a sure-fire way to maintain poor performance and to frustrate employees.
These, now business-critical, legacy systems, built decades ago, were not made with worker mobility in mind. They have taken, in many instances, years to implement, often at massive cost. So understandably, even if companies wanted to 'rip and replace' their systems, the complexity and cost of change are prohibitive.
So, today's employees are stuck with inflexible and unsuitable tools yet asked to meet the demands of modern work best practice. This is asking for trouble. I have seen first-hand the time it can take for workers to sift through the various computer screens and devices needed just to find a single piece of information.
This all begs the question, how are world class employees meant to deliver world class performance if the tools they are given are holding them back? In the digital age, poor IT equals poor productivity. Nothing more and nothing less. It's time for a change, a culture shift, to empower employees and drive productivity.
Meeting today's employee expectations
Today's workforce needs intuitive, simple and personalised technology, at their fingertips. Modern technology can do this. Mobile micro-applications are designed exclusively with the user in mind. They can simplify and mobilise any legacy system in days without any coding or upgrades, and with minimal employee training. Put simply, they provide organisations with a chance to revolutionise their IT without the enormous cost of replacing core legacy platforms.
The beauty of micro-apps is, they make the user feel 'old' systems are now working with them, not against them. Key functions include alerts when Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs, are drifting off track and notifications for items that need actions, delivered on a mobile device, with a simple and easy-to-use interface, and designed with productivity in mind.
Demand for this type of technology is driven by easy-to-use consumer applications such as Uber, Facebook, Spotify, and others. These simple and intuitive apps are creating a workplace revolution and changing worker's expectations of corporate life. Why would today's tech-savvy employees be okay using ancient systems when they can order a Domino's pizza with a few clicks of a button? Or spend thirty minutes filing expense claims when they can order a taxi in under a minute?
Younger workers, in particular, will not tolerate unproductive corporate technology. Why would they? Their consumer experience, and the experience of their peers who work at forward-thinking companies, shows them how easy-to-use technology could transform their productivity.
Understanding this is critical for businesses hoping to retain talent and recruit the 'cream of the crop'. Who wants to work for a dinosaur business? Today's work needs to mirror our consumer-influenced lifestyle. Micro-apps can join the dots, making the enterprise 'Uber-simple'.
Reaping the benefits
The benefits of enterprise mobility have already been felt by many forward-thinking organisations including the City of LA, DirecTV, Volvo Financial Services, and Schroders. We have seen these leading organisations increase productivity by up to 150%, saving up to millions of pounds in the process, just by going mobile.
The benefits of enterprise mobilisation are clear. Failing to address this will not only decrease employee satisfaction but also significantly hamper a business's ability to compete against more pioneering, agile competitors. So, when an employee is struggling through the numerous screens it takes to pull up a customer record or issue an invoice, remember when you next use a smartphone how easy it is to get exactly what you want with just a few clicks of a button.