Browse by Year:

CIO Review >> Magazine >> April - 2014 issue

Mastek: Delivering true value from enterprise mobility

By

No initiative sparks interest in CIO community throughout the world more than an Enterprise Mobility Project as part of the irdigital strategy. In IT departments worldwide,many of whom still work with Mainframe systems, the entrant of a widely popular and disruptive technology like mobile computing (often prompted as the ‘cool stuff’) has provoked tremendous interest. However, with the exception of a few well-documented cases, most enterprise mobility projects do not deliver on the intended business outcomes. We cited that 7 out of 10 mobility projects are doomed to failure from industry statistics, and interestingly those that go into production are not able to fully realize their original business goals.

Mastek has worked with many clients across the globe in unlocking true value from mobility and has developed both Intellectual Property and Processes to accelerate this process. In Mastek’s experience of implementing mobile computing projects we face few key roadblocks. I can cite some of them for you.

THINKING OF MOBILE COMPUTING AS JUST ‘BUILDING APPS’

Most IT departments consider mobile computing as only building mobile apps. This is often reflected in their requests where ‘mobile app development’ capabilities are requested sometimes without detailed specifications, or targeted business objectives for development.

Mastek has always believed that mobile computing is not about apps, but about enabling a new and potentially disruptive ‘Customer/ User Experience’ with the business and its operations. The aim of any mobile computing project should be to change the conversation with a customer, not just replicate existing web and paper based business processes on the mobile app.

Mastek has worked extensively with its customers to deliver business value by looking at processes end-to-end and challenging traditional assumptions about the business. Often, getting true value of a mobile project needs not just technical changes but also changes in the organizational structure and roles of people.

As an example, many customers in the insurance space asked Mastek to create apps for general policy servicing and claims. Many General Insurance companies have launched mobile apps that enable customers to initiate the "First Notification of Loss "(Start of Claims Process) right from their mobiles. However, our research showed that most customers probably would not use it more than once in 2-3 years!!!This defeats the very purpose of the mobile app. Users won’t even realize the app exists when they need to claim for their insurance. Such apps, no matter how well they are built, are bound to be fringe apps that won’t change anything strategically.

Instead we worked with our GI customers to figure out how to get true value from a servicing app. Besides policy servicing or claims we gave users of the apps features they would need daily like locating cashless garages, one-click call center etc. the customer would be engaged much more with the app. But the real game-changing feature Mastek built was for the insurers to tie up with retailers and push "offers" to its customers via its app. These "offers" would be discounts or extras they can avail, on showing an electronic copy of their policy (Also in the app) to partnered retail chains. In a commoditized business, this innovation has potential for disruption as customers would gravitate towards companies giving them the best ‘discount’ offers and would find it unreasonable to switch. This is often called the ‘front screen’ strategy, i.e. what features, benefits, engagement and value can we bring to have the App on the front screen of the users mobile.

Another example of such a disruptive change was a solution Mastek built for Financial Advisors. Instead of copying a paper form, Mastek built an app that allows users to ‘model’ his finances and view the impact of buying and selling various financial products giving a much more compelling and consistent sales user experience. Tests with some customers showed a more than 300% increase in sales productivity using such an app.

But the game changer was not even in the app. Mastek has created software that records the conversation between the agent and the customer and automatically analyzes them to ensure that no "miss-selling" takes place and that the agent has listed out all policy details as per policy. In the Indian/Asia-Pacific context, this is an innovative way to maintain a consistent, compliant sales process and ensure lower cancellation rates and regulatory fines.

THINKING OF MOBILITY IN ISOLATION

Most customers do not realize that mobility is just one piece in a larger digital strategy and by not tying up the various pieces and creating a "Unified Customer Experience" strategy that combines web, offline, social, mobility and analytics they are missing on key transformational opportunities.

Mastek is working with financial services companies to combine their digital channels and improve both their sales and operation costs. Mastek has developed a “Customer Experience Hub” that captures interactions of users on mobile apps, social media sites like Facebook/Twitter etc. and then run analytics on them that are used in real-time to give a unique and contextual experience to each customer. Using modern digital marketing techniques even if a user uses a mobile app once(and never uses again), companies can gain useful data to improve its targeting and re-targeting capabilities.

The software is not just for Marketing but it also allows companies to give better customer service by being where the customer is. If a customer complains on twitter for example, the company can know instantly about it and take remedial action before he leaves his policy.

EXECUTING MOBILE COMPUTING PROJECTS

Given that mobility projects are not just about development of apps it is important that CXO’s selectIT partners (and not just vendors) who have a track-record of delivering on business transformation projects.This is in stark contrast to more vanilla ‘App developers’ who can understand the underlying technology and platforms, but cannot envision the digital enterprise.

An important point that Mastek has realized is that consumers today compare mobile apps developed by enterprise firms like Banks with consumer apps like Facebook. Most people say- "Why can’t my banking app be as cool as my Facebook app and give me the upgrades every few weeks".