Arguably, medical devices companies helped the iPad enter the enterprise market – beginning in 2010, life sciences companies deployed iPads for salespeople to use “show and tell” applications. These applications typically allowed reps to showcase products, features and benefits, and in some cases allowed for interaction with the home office. They started out as interactive visual aid/detailing applications and, in some cases, have grown into Closed Loop Marketing solutions.
Most of these applications were developed by digital agencies or developed internally (using a company’s own software resources or contracted developers). And, these applications typically delivered what they promised. And, companies began to expand on the capabilities.
In the summer of 2011, life sciences veteran and industry prognosticator, Steve Woodruff, predicted “…it’s going to be one freaking mess.” Woodruff based his prediction on the “climb on board” scope creep that would inevitably happen and that it would hamper companies in the long term because there was no “master plan” in place.
“The solution to this will come from the vendor side, and it will take the form of an “engine” underneath to:
- handle the data flow,
- consolidate content management, and
- provide a common UX (User eXperience) interface to multiple applications.”
This is exactly what is happening. We are seeing large multi-national companies trying to rationalize their technology and workflows to implement better and more comprehensive solutions that simplify operations and lower total cost of ownership (TCO). And, these evaluations include the possibility of moving away from iPads. Yes, you read that right – companies are looking to move away from iPads to Windows tablet devices. The reasons:
- simplify administration,
- leverage the Microsoft technology stack and existing legacy applications and
- reduce the number of devices deployed to mobile employees (collapsing from 3 to 2 devices).
What does this mean for the industry?
According to Forrester Research, Inc: “Building and delivering great mobile experiences will be the beating heart of your engagement strategy for the next 10 years.”*
We believe companies need to take a holistic view of their mobility needs, redesign their businesses, and to identify vendors (partners) who can help them achieve this.
The first generation of mobile apps on iPads have served their purpose. It’s time to move on; it’s time to do it right and build scalable platforms for the enterprise.
*Forrester Research, Inc. Report: Wanted Mobile Engagement Providers by Ted Schadler and John C. McCarthy, August 6, 2013.