Yuval Scarlat, Chief Executive Officer of Capriza, took the audience on the journey of bringing business applications into the mobile era.
In his thought leadership address at the 2016 Chief Information Officer Leadership Forum held on May 12 in Boston, Scarlat mentioned that he’d spent most of his working life in the business applications space, where he learned how to successfully deploy these applications. “However,” he said, “once these are deployed, they’re in large containers of automated business processes that weren’t designed to be used by humans.”
With the invention of smartphones five years ago, the focus shifted to making these systems easy for people to use and making them mobile. “Every 15 years or so, there’s a massive disruption, usually driven by a technology that provides a 10-fold better return,” said Scarlat. “We’re now living the new generation—the mobile generation. Mobile is a simple concept, but it’s hard to start moving toward it.”
“We’re now living the new generation—the mobile generation. Mobile is a simple concept, but it’s hard to start moving toward it.”
Mobile fundamentally changes the architecture that’s currently in place in security practices, said Scarlat. “When people ask me what it means to be in this new generation of mobile, I talk about the ‘one-minute concept.’ Each of us, as end users, wants to consume information or complete a transaction in a very short amount of time—one minute. We want to do this in context and it needs to be personal to what we do at work. This is far from reality,” observed Scarlat, “because over the past 10 or 20 years, we got used to deploying generic systems that served the back or front office.”
Scarlat referred to Forrester, which has advised that we need to think of building an agile layer—a system of engagement—on top of the systems of record. This system of engagement must incorporate a personal touch with mobile access and the one-minute concept. “This transition isn’t so difficult when we think of the apps we use in our personal life, but apps for work suggest breaking the complexity of the back office and picking up just 1% of each task that makes sense on the go. That’s really hard.”
“Apps for work suggest breaking the complexity of the back office and picking up just 1% of each task that makes sense on the go. That’s really hard.”
The systems of record weren’t designed with this concept in mind, said Scarlat, and many of us have yet to solve the problem of transferring data to and among mobile devices.
The biggest potential of mobility in business is to extend information to places where people would never have had access to it before, observed Scarlat. Starting with functions that touch revenue, he outlined four that constantly pop up:
• Sales need to be mobile, and inputting information needs to be easy for salespeople. This process isn’t currently user friendly.
• The benefit of mobile is most evident in business and operations. “Information can be pushed out to people who currently don’t have mobile capability.”
• Support and maintenance is a more intuitive application of mobile because it mainly involves people working remotely in the field.
• “The finance team is your best friend on the mobile journey,” said Scarlat. “Finance is a fan of mobile because it expedites the approval process.”
“The finance team is your best friend on the mobile journey. Finance is a fan of mobile because it expedites the approval process.”
Many larger companies have help desks to assist employees to interact with corporate information—benefits, submitting PTOs, onboarding employees, etc. “This is a perfect place to have a mobile access that features the top-10 interactions,” observed Scarlat.
“Historically, because of cost, training, and hard-to-use systems, companies were confined to the walls of corporate. Not many systems were able to reach out to remote offices and branches or to the field force. Mobile closes this communication loop all the way to the top,” concluded Scarlat.
ABOUT YUVAL SCARLAT:
Yuval Scarlat is the CEO and Co-Founder of Capriza and a former executive and officer of Mercury Int (Nasdaq: MERQ, acquired by HP). In his 15+ year tenure at Mercury, Yuval served as SVP of Products, GM of Applications Delivery (the company’s largest business unit), President of Managed Services, and other customer and product leadership roles. Yuval is on the board of Apptio (privately held), Nolio (recently acquired by CA), and advises with passion stem-cell research companies (KadimaStem, KDST).