Embrace Mobile To Deliver A New Value Proposition For BPM Excellence

Arguably, mobile is currently the hottest trend driving both business and technology strategies for executives. If you need any additional evidence, just look at all of the enterprise buzz Apple has generated with the iPhone 5 launch. Unfortunately, today’s business and technology leaders continue to respond to the mobile opportunity with the wrong answers. Business leaders respond to mobile with, “Let’s build a really slick mobile app, put it up on iTunes and we’re done!” Technologists respond to mobile with, “We need a strong BYOD policy and to put device management tools in place!” Both of these responses completely overlook the fact that underlying legacy applications and business processes need optimizing for the mobile experience.

We run into examples of this “lipstick on a pig” approach to mobile all the time. In fact, I ran into a perfect example of this recently when I needed to order a pizza for my family after a very hectic Saturday afternoon. When I picked up my mobile phone to call the pizza delivery place, a light bulb went off over my head. Instead of dialing the pizza delivery company and waiting on hold for 15 minutes, why not download its mobile app in two minutes and order my pizza within another two minutes. I figured I could shave off ten minutes of wait time by simply downloading the pizza delivery company’s mobile app.

Take a guess how long it took me to order the pizza? A whopping 20 minutes! Why? Because the pizza delivery company did not invest time optimizing its order process for the mobile experience. In essence, it took its online web order process, slapped a mobile interface in front of it, and voilà, considered themselves mobile enabled. I deleted the app after this experience.

At our upcoming Business Architecture and Process Forums, I will take a closer look at emerging strategies for driving mobile process transformation. These strategies push beyond simply putting new mobile apps in front of legacy business processes, and focus on how to optimize business processes for the mobile experience.  Specifically, my keynote during the events will explore how to:

  • Shift your focus from process optimization to endpoint optimization.
  • Drive deeper context for business processes using unique mobile input sources.
  • Use mobile to eliminate typical process barriers that lead to poor customer experiences.

Following my keynote, we will dig into this area more deeply with a panel of blue chip customers. The panel will share insights and lessons learned for driving mobile process transformation efforts. Panelists will include British Airways, Benenden Healthcare, and Gaylord Resorts.

Be sure to join us at our Business Architecture And Process Forum, taking place in London on October 4and in Orlando on October 18–19. In addition to exploring mobile’s impact on business process transformation, the overall theme of the forum is around digital disruption, helping you unlock new business value for your organization and deal with competitors and threats coming out of left field. Hope to see you there!



Hi Clay, strange, I had the same experience last week. Wonder if it was with the same global pizza company? The app was pretty slick but much too complex so I deleted it and decided to call for a curry instead.

I seems like no one in the company decided to take the customer journey before launch.

Clay you're so right. The

Clay you're so right. The government here is spending millions on BYOD, so that people can continue to work at their desks! Yet there's almost zero effort going into solving the real problem which is the human one of how to manage and convert to a mobile, telecommuting workforce.

Wasted Opportunity

Hi Clay,

Thanks for your thoughts - this is a really good example of process optimisation with mobile done wrong... This application (which I'm pretty sure I've used too) should be an opportunity to maximise the process efficiency for the organization, and at the same time maximise the efficiency, ease of purchase, and provide value-add (what stage is the pizza at, when can I expect it) to the end-user. If all of those elements are lined up, then everyone wins. It's a shame that a holistic view of the process from the users' perspective wasn't taken, as it seems like a wasted opportunity.

Thanks for your thoughts - very interesting.
Alex Hagan

You get it

I had a comment on LinkedIn chuckling on my contention that mobile technology is the bigger wave than social, but it is. Social was a means to an end, but mobile literally delivers the value.

For companies thinking of mobile as a channel, time to retool and think of mobile as the platform, with all else as the channel.


We're in the middle of Mobility Week on Successful Workplace. Your blog was good coincidence.

Couldn't have been Dominos

Couldn't have been Dominos (their app is great!)

But yes so many pigs, and so much lipstick. So many faux apps and so many ignoring the ipad phenomenon.

It's a case of adapt or die.