In the movie ‘Field of Dreams’ Kevin Costner heard these exact words, which served as his inspiration to build a baseball field in the middle of his farm. In the film, Costner heard mysterious voices telling him to forgo his crops and build the field. The voices promised that if he did then the spirits of great baseball players would come to play on the field. It’s a Hollywood classic – but let me tell you, its definitely not a well thought out business plan.
It’s a movie - you however live in the real world. These words do not apply to business and technology. You’re a pragmatic business leader who needs systems that improve your operations AND will actually be used by your employees. There may be times when technical teams make system decisions ‘for the good’ of the business. No matter how grand the vision, how detailed the evaluation or how elegant the technology architecture behind the solution – if the user doesn’t use it, the technology will fail. If IT builds it, it does NOT guarantee that your users will come.
Mobility greatly exemplifies this dynamic. In no other area of technology is it more important to take into account the end user than it is when introducing mobile business applications.
Think about a mobile banking app… this is giving a customer direct access to back office banking systems. This brings convenience for the customer, ROI for the institution, and a more intimate relationship between the two. Now think about a bad experience you’ve had with a mobile app or maybe even a website – when technology doesn’t work or is not designed with the user experience in mind – you simply won’t go back. That’s bad for business.
Mobile apps are an extension of social media; people love to discover and share ‘cool apps.’ Those banks I mentioned are climbing over each other to have great mobile offerings – as they understand that it will make them more prominent if they have a great mobile app that creates a buzz.
That’s what it’s all about – providing mobile technology which enhances the relationship. It can provide on demand access, a sense of community or simply a ‘feel good’ experience.
In the end – if you build it properly – they WILL come. If you don’t, they may come once – but won’t come back. And if they don’t come back, you may find they’ve gone to your competition. That’s bad for business AND bad for you!
Matt T -