Creating A Successful Mobility Roadmap

Simon Barton
Posted: 03/16/2016

The general consensus at the first session of Enterprise Mobility Exchange's Financial Services event was that by listening to the customer, a company can design their mobile application roadmaps more effectively.

Nicholas McQuire, VP Enterprise Research, CSS Insight, moderated the panel, and was joined by three other senior mobility professionals from Barclaycard, Investec and Direct Line. Here's a round-up of their discussion, using the most valuable quotes from the session.

"I favour a customer-led way, we dream of a way that the customer is going to improve what they do. The iPod is the best example. Apple saw the future. It was a combination of tech and customer vision. If you go with something that's too tech heavy, it often fails."

- Bil Ahmed, Head of Product Innovation, Investec

Bil's iPod reference is an excellent example of a customer-driven technological innovation, which had the customer at heart. It displaced devices - like the walkman and cassette player - which were entrenched in many consumers' lives. The improved convenience that we all got from the iPod made it an instant hit. And the industry hasn't looked back since.

"Things change so fast you can feel hopeless. Focus on a few things. If you try and push change on too many fronts you don't make progress, identify a few things you can do well."

- Richard Kendrick, Head of IT Strategy, Direct Line

Capabilities might change along your roadmap, and Richard's comment highlights the importance of companies only tackling an amount of issues they are comfortable with. Too many projects can cause the roadmap to derail.

"You shouldn't have a function just because someone says it's a good idea, it must be tested vigorously. If you do this, there's a high probability that it will resonate with the audience"

- Steven Hardy, Director of Digital Transformation, Barclaycard

When senior management are set on an idea, it can difficult to sway their assertions. For mobile applications, however, Steven believes it's essential that companies use an extensive testing process, where an array of opinions are used to piece together a roadmap which is practical and achievable.

"There's a lot of lip-service in organisation. You hear companies say that they want the customer front and centre, but that doesn't always happen behind closed doors"

- Bil Ahmed, Head of Product Innovation, Investec

A direct follow up to Steven's quote, Bil has also experienced senior management teams, which, despite championing the customer externally, often push their own ideas internally. It's a problem which many mobility professionals struggle with on a continual basis, and often leads to the development of apps which fail due to their poor usability.

"It's got to have clear links to the commercial message. The start and the end don't change, but the middle section definitely doesn't."

- Steven Hardy, Director of Digital Transformation, Barclaycard

The quote highlights the importance of the planning phase of the roadmap and the need to set goals which the entire team can work towards. With the industry fraught with change, the middle part of the map must be flexible, but the start and the end connect the company's main objectives.

We will be covering a number of sessions from the Exchange, so please check back to get more of the event's highlights.

Simon Barton
Posted: 03/16/2016

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