Question #2: Can service be accessed from different types of devices?
In our personal lives, we are in constant movement, going from one place to the next. Even during our busy days, most of us are never “out of touch” with our friends or family. We are mobile and our communication tools have come along for the ride.
But how different is our work life? Many of us are constantly on the move, going to that next meeting, traveling to the next appointment, or focused on completing that next task on the never-ending “To do” list. It is a reality. Both our personal lives and our work lives are in motion, and we use multiple devices to manage both. And our mobile devices, specifically our smart phones, are the centerpiece to enabling our productivity.
Stats show it’s a mobile world
Consider this, according to comScore, 2015 marked the first time “mobile only” internet use surpassed “desktop only” internet use. We knew it would happen, with our mobile devices becoming smarter and smarter, their ease of use, and high speed accesses expanding—it was only a matter of time. We are moving away from static desktop computers and embracing a technology which “flows” easily in our lives.
From an IT perspective, even with most employees spending their time in front of a desktop computer, those users will also access some aspect of their work lives “remotely,” either at home, traveling, or even during lunch to check email. This means developing and delivering services, without focusing on the end device—desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone. Once we start doing that, our IT services can focus on user needs, optimizing productivity regardless of device or location. To do that requires a service management solution which seamlessly and innately supports users and supports the development and management of new IT services on any device.
Traditional IT no longer applies
In the past, focusing support on the end device made sense. We could optimize the user experience and control the ways a user could access the “work” environment by limiting the device itself—only allowing users to choose from a small set of options or giving them no options at all. In this way, limiting the device used for work meant eliminating multiple support issues. This approach created less variety in choice, but allowed for more control and kept support requirements in check.
Today, limiting users’ choices, limits their ability to work. Also, in many cases, it’s not necessary with modern users. They are familiar with different interfaces on different devices; They live with that reality on a daily basis. The key is having the interface for particular services (or applications) be consistent across all devices.
Limiting your thinking of “mobile-first” to the device will only limit your thinking in how to support your organization today and into the future. Mobile-first design is not about limiting the design or engagement with users to a mobile device. It’s about embracing mobile technologies and enabling better utilization. In essence, it’s about expanding user engagement, not limiting it.
Of course, with any discussion of devices, IT has the fear of “client” bloat—needing to create and support the interface for each type of device. As the number of end-user clients increase, there are corresponding numbers of configurations, which in turn increase the number of potential support calls (and what IT organization is looking to increase those?). The simple answer to a complex question is this: When a mobile-first design philosophy is implemented, the key is looking at commonalities across the devices first, attempting to simplify, not complicate, access for the user. So when you shop for applications that support the mobile enterprise, like a service management solution, choosing solutions built ground-up, mobile-first across all devices is crucial to success.
Designed with a “mobile-first” mentality
EasyVista is the only service management solution purpose-built as a mobile-first experience. This means it’s not just device agnostic. It leverages responsive design based on HTML5 so the experience is seamless across devices and operating systems. Without device constraints, users can begin a service request on one device, continue it on another, and check its status from yet third.
Years ago, EasyVista made a decision to purposefully develop every piece of software with a mobile-first approach. This doesn’t just mean their solutions work on any device. It means the experience is purposeful, modern, and enabling of self-service wherever possible. No other company can credibly make this mobile-first claim.
Catch up on this full series: 10 Must Ask Questions When Buying (or re-signing) a Service Management Solution
Arnie McKinnis is an industry insider with 30+ years experience in the high tech space. For the past decade, Arnie has helped develop and launch “as a Service" cloud, Service Management, and Service Integration technology products, delivering true value in the marketplace.