ERP and Mobility Collide
While mobile devices are constantly at everyone’s fingertips the usage has been far more for communication and delivery of news than anything else. Of course the news is vital, what’s up tonight, what are we having for dinner or sorry, I have met someone else! More and more however the opportunity to use this connectivity to systems and data is evolving and we might have more important news to deal with like how are sales going this week or what are my staff up to.
For the same reason a smartphone is used less for calling and more as a “connected device” the opportunity to utilise this for a productive outcome exists. People like “playing” with a device while their hands are free and time is available. One answer therefore is to make mobile apps part of the day to day work, this will then start to replace other less productive activities during the day. However it needs to be easy, it needs to useful and probably it needs to be cool! Well maybe cool is a bit hard to achieve.
We are dealing with more instances where mobile can be adding value to a business and ERP systems are catching up. Where once the only possibility was an expensive to develop and difficult to maintain app, now many techniques have evolved. Many developers embracing HTML5 and associated technologies are dishing up new ways to get it onto the smartphone.Understanding where the need arises, finding a way to weave it into your systems and getting people to use it is now becoming the challenge. That has now become our job as ERP system implementers.
Ignore the mobile device in the ERP world and other fragmented activity will start to take over. Less efficient activities like email threads, multiple spreadsheets and instant messaging will beat you every time. We need ERP out into the hands of those doing the work or making the decisions not locked up in the backroom. There is still plenty need for a big screen and a keyboard and mouse but the smartphone and hand held tablet are ready to join in.