If any industry is “mobile,” it’s the travel industry. But according to Glenn Gruber, a contributor to travel industry news website Tnooz, many tourism and hospitality enterprises are barely scratching the surface of what mobile can do to help their businesses.
The problem, Gruber explains, is that these companies have focused primarily on one side of the value equation.
“Most major airlines, hotels, OTAs (online travel agents), and airports have expended major resources to build robust traveler-facing experiences, primarily to support the booking and check-in phases of the travel lifecycle,” he writes.
While building customer-facing mobile apps is a competitive necessity to travel enterprises, Gruber says, so too are mobile apps that can help employees be more efficient and productive. Unfortunately, mobile apps for travel industry employees are in short supply, he argues.
The main reason for this is “lack of an overarching strategy for mobile within the enterprise,” according to Gruber:
Which roles can get the most lift from mobile? How can mobile make jobs simpler? How can we improve the accuracy of data capture? How can we get the right information to employees at the exact time they need it?
Too few organizations are asking these questions at the start of the strategy-planning process. All too often, companies lack the mechanisms for identifying mobile opportunities across the entire enterprise. Rather, projects are brought forward by individuals or teams in an ad-hoc manner, resulting in what we refer to as “Random Acts of Mobile.”
This is where employees can be invaluable. As the prospective users of mobile apps, workers know better than anyone which tools would enable them to do their jobs better. Starting with the needs of the end user is Mobile Apps Development 101.
Gruber writes that he organized a brainstorming session “with one of the largest airports in the world and we identified over 650 use cases. (And that was just the first pass!)”
That’s a lot more use cases than the chief mobile developer and a handful of department heads could generate on a conference room white board. By tapping into the knowledge and experience of employees, enterprises can collect, assess, and prioritize their mobile apps initiatives in a way that should benefit the business more — and much sooner — than “random acts of mobile.”
Does your enterprise solicit input from employees about the mobile apps that could make them more productive?