Is your business mobile ready?

Today’s intranet designs are adequate to get the job of interdepartmental communications done, but as the people connected to your business move deeper into the 21st century, their familiarity with simple apps that are more user-friendly will grow. The old-fashioned desktop-accessible company intranet of today might be “good enough” – for now. However, in the near future, users will demand the convenience of a mobile app.  Your company must adapt to this new way of conducting its business both internally and with its customers.

Even today, it is expected that your company’s intranet allow users to conveniently send messages to other employees as well as the flexibility to target messages to specific audiences or entire lists. Employees should also be able to access almost anything from information relating to their personal life to critical corporate spreadsheets on their mobile devices. Below you can find five essential steps you should follow if you decide to upgrade your intranet to a mobile app.

In our globalizing marketplace, you must adapt your business to stay in business. Follow these steps to make your business' internal communication mobile-ready and user-friendly:

Step 1: Review existing intranet

First, review your current business intranet system. Write down its pros and cons so that when you begin looking for its replacement, you will have some idea of what will best fit your company’s needs. You should specifically name any issues in the overall information structure. It’s also important to detail technology issues, whether related to implementation or maintenance. The purpose of this is to develop the key recommendations for the mobile replacement tool.

Step 2: Determine intranet goals

Start by drafting a written business-goals document describing the expected benefits to be delivered by the new intranet system. This is integral to the new internal communication system’s success. Business goals should relate to the wider strategic direction of the company, and will help to clearly position the mobile app in relation to other strategic projects, such as providing an efficient communication channel at all levels, increasing knowledge flow within the organization and ensuring privacy and information security.

Step 3: Determine strategic and tactical recommendations

The goal of any new communications systems should be for it to be accessible to all teams and serve as the primary information carrier. Tactics needed to meet the prescribed standards must be implemented to resolve any accessibility problems and optimize the communication funnel. For optimal results, note cultural issues that may affect internal communication as well.

Step 4: Obtain management support and funding

Obtaining management support is critical. So far, you have compiled a great amount of comparative information with respect to the costs of not switching the intranet to a mobile app, versus the expected return on investment (ROI) if the switch is made. To obtain management support, outline the current issues, give a clear recommendation, and make sure to show the convenience and benefits, especially with respect to security, of implementing the new system. A considerable number of end-users are unaware of their exposure to security risks, senior management included. One tip, get advice from colleagues who have been successful obtaining funds for new initiatives in the past.

Step 5: Implement and promote the new internal communication tool

Once the proposal has been approved, it’s time to implement the communication tool and promote it within the company, as a virtual office. After the mobile app is place, proceed with a promotional launch internally to help all users within the company make a smooth transition to the new communication system. Make sure to clearly spell out the features provided by the new system, emphasizing its benefits and convenience. In this way, you can encourage your employees to login and try it out. The aim is to build momentum. Once everyone becomes comfortable with the new system and begins using it day to day then the system’s full potential of efficiency will be realized. Your enterprise is finally mobile-ready!

Invest in making your internal communication tool easy and simple. Your intranet isn’t a dumping ground for every piece of content on your corporate web site. Don’t try to port all the functionality that is in the browser into the mobile app. Besides, most likely that information isn’t relevant to the mobile user anyway. That being said, a mobile app can be an incredibly valuable tool for connecting employees and create a worthy social community. And connected employees are more likely to meet customer needs. By following this five-step process, you can launch a mobile app with substantial ease, in support of your overall business strategy. By putting in place effective content and supporting processes, you can also ensure that the app is sustainable over the long-term.

Your customers are mobile, are you?

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