Expert Note

Mobility within the company:
Windows 8, a good catalyst?
Mobile usage disrupt the digital landscape of the business.
Which strategy to follow?

Introduction

iOS, Android, Windows… smartphones and tablets revolutionise our everyday lives. These veritable “Swiss knives” of the digital world allow us to access contextual information and also to entertain ourselves – at anytime, anywhere. Which are the impacts on the business?

iOS, Android, Windows… smartphones and tablets revolutionise our everyday lives. These veritable “Swiss knives” of the digital world allow us to access contextual information and also to entertain ourselves – at anytime, anywhere. Anything that is simple and possible in everyday life should also be the same at work.

Parallel to this, the way people relate to technology is changing. Marc Prensky, an essayist and speaker on education and pedagogy, makes a distinction between two major categories of people – digital immigrants and digital natives. Digital immigrants were born before the Internet. They had to adapt to the digital world and are amazed by its boundless possibilities. This is the generation that currently holds power in companies. Digital natives are the children of the Internet age. For them, the Internet is just as essential as electricity. They are the new or future company employees.

Digital Natives - Digital Immigrants

Managing such a mixture of people is a real social and technological issue for a company, as there are two levels of demand and two modes of perception. Give everyone the means of working in any location and at any time, using different devices, and offering actions and information which make sense at that moment and in that context are the key challenges.

Integrate mobility needs at a technical level as well as at a human and organisational level has a real impact on corporate IT. On the technical side, information technology managers often believe that implementing an MDM solution (mobile device management), is an adequate response. This is not true. MDM deals with the problem of access to information but in no way does it resolve other problems relating to the management of communications, the provision of security for exchanging information and new development approaches for mobile solutions.

Information technology managers have to improve in the areas of:

  • Competencies: User experience, business analyst, technologies, architecture, security
  • Organisation: procedure for 24/7 support, mobile device management
  • Legal: Mobile usage chart and BYOD (Bring your Own device) policies

Windows 8. A double disruption!

One of the innovative aspects of W8 is the hybridisation of devices. A laptop becomes a tablet during a customer visit and then it goes back to being a laptop when returning to the office. We take one single device to the office and when we are on the road, ensuring that data is synchronised immediately.

Windows 8 (W8) signals a double disruption. The first is the large-scale integration of consumer devices with interfaces (touch screens, localisation, orientation sensor, cameras, etc.) in a business context. This provides an infinite number of options to think differently about an employee’s work for greater productivity and satisfaction.

The second disruption is to give up the metaphor of the office and its references to the real world. There is no longer decoration, the content is the interface, the behaviour aims to be authentically digital and following the existing rules of the digital world and no longer those of the real world.

Let us take the electronic diary as an example. An authentically digital approach means that the inspiration will no longer be a real diary such as a filofax but it will seek to exploit as effectively as possible the interconnection of systems and knowledge of the user context. As preparation for a meeting, the diary will be capable of showing me when I need to leave, it will allow me to buy a ticket and will show me the bus timetable. It will also be able to provide me with a summary of my most recent contacts and deals with the person I am going to meet.

W8 offers, on the same machine, a desktop and touch screen interface which reconciles desktop and mobile applications. W8 capitalises on what currently exists within the company, allows convergence to mobile digital work place which is natural, progressive and secure and simplifies implementation.

One of the innovative aspects of W8 is the hybridisation of devices. A laptop becomes a tablet during a customer visit and then it goes back to being a laptop when returning to the office. We take one single device to the office and when we are on the road, ensuring that data is synchronised immediately.

The dual interface and hybridisation are complementary: production applications run in desktop mode and mobile applications operate with a touch screen.

From business travel to a typical day

The mobile needs are not the same for all employees and there are several typical days within the company to be analysed and modelled

An employee’s working day is a journey consisting of a succession of trips and actions in different places and contexts involving several devices. If we analyse this journey, you can see what a typical day is like, ascertain what actions have to be undertaken in which place and context, and choose which equipment, applications and means of interaction are going to allow this employee to operate most effectively.

The design approach of this concept is radically new. It is:

  • Personalised: Functionalities are designed in a way that takes into account the employee’s characteristics;
  • Contextualised: The definition of the need takes the moment and place into account;
  • Authentically digital: Interactive processing exploits all the options provided by the devices (touch screen interface, sensors, permanent connection, etc.);
  • Fluid: It overcomes the constraints of stocking, exchange, standards and compatibilities;
  • Multi-device: It identifies the different devices used for dealing with functionality;
  • Professional and personal: It merges and respects the freedoms and responsibilities of the two worlds.

How to design the typical day

A typical day as a pillar of the UX strategy around mobility

Choosing the population and analysing its digital culture, determining the business scenarios and studying the contexts of use are essential stages when designing the mix of applications and the relevant means of interaction. The solution must then be validated by usability and ergonomics tests with the users.

The analysis of the employee’s typical day will make it possible to define the relevant mix of applications and devices.

Cross-cutting policies

Key factors to integrate business mobility

Migration towards mobile digital work place implies the development and implementation of cross-cutting policies in relation to mobility:

  • Managing change: Support employees as they adopt mobility;
  • Availability of information: Take the world of individual mobility into account (personalisation, confidentiality, availability off-line, etc.);
  • Portfolio of mobile applications: Offer an application catalogue depending on the target populations;
  • Information & mobility: Define the rights and responsibilities of the users of mobility with the personal or business tools;
  • Interaction of standards: Define the rules guaranteeing the coherence of the man-machine interaction between the various applications.

How we can help you

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Being at the cutting edge of digital word and through synergies with other IT experts, the UX expert’s team at ELCA supports your strategy, the concept design and the improvement of your interactive solutions.

The UX experts will advise you, facilitate the dialogue, and design the interactive concept with the greatest added value for your users, whilst supporting the company’s strategic vision and the framework of the project.

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