Why Mobile-First Matters


In our mobile-first world it’s increasingly apparent that mobile is changing how we live and work. It’s impossible to escape the importance of mobile technology. Many companies believe they have already made the transition with a mobile website for clients – what more could there be?

Mobile-first is often assumed to be only that – a customer-facing mobile website for enhanced user experience. For the enterprise however, the focus should include the employees. Their experience and level of engagement is often the most critical.

Give Them What They Want

Your employees have been using consumer level apps for years and they bring that same expectation to their work environment. The workforce demands pervasive and speedy wireless internet access. As it should, employees are more often than not on the go – they want and need to move seamlessly from devices at their desk to a mobile device with no loss of call quality. They are often carrying more than one mobile device.

Mobile-first is more than giving employees phones though, or even a BYOD policy or new mobile application. Mobile-first is the organization realizing and putting forward an approach that focuses on user needs to empower employees. Mobile-first is another way of saying you are putting the needs of your employees first.

Enhancing the Enterprise

While making employees happy is great, mobile-first can also enhance your strategic execution by driving employee engagement. Mobile helps to create a completely connected team, in which every member understands what it takes for the company to be successful and how to be involved. Mobile-first also improves execution and efficiency – a strategic dream – since the sharing of problems and statuses is near immediate.

A recent Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) report showed that employees who placed their companies among mobile-first pioneers are 16 percent more productive and 18 percent more creative

[see why creativity matters here]. Additional improvements were seen in employee satisfaction (23 percent increase) and employee loyalty (21 percent increase) when compared to companies that ranked low on mobile-first.

That’s not all. The EIU study also showed the following three strategies to drive engagement and productivity (all necessary for efficient execution):

  • Giving employees the ability to work remotely (49 percent);
  • Providing mobile access to business data (42 percent);
  • Implementing mobile collaborative tools (38 percent).

What Does it Mean

We know employees want mobile-first policies; we know mobile-first benefits the organization, but what does it mean? Mobile-first means shifting your company’s strategy and creating a new approach that is mobile-centric rather than adapting to an already available desktop format. Mobile-first is thinking critically about the mobile experience and how employees will interact with it from their many devices. Lastly, mobile-first is not just a mobile presence. It means thinking strategically about how mobile functionality can enhance your employee experience for better output.

As mobile-first enters the enterprise conversation, not only does it enhance typical company strategic goals, but it exists as its own strategy to be implemented. It requires time and effort to be done right and see the effects, as most things do. On top of this, it needs to be done quickly and efficiently to keep up with the pace of technology. While jumping into a mobile-first enterprise strategy is somewhat simple, success comes with planning a roadmap and aligning with the organization’s overall strategic objectives.