It is relatively easy for businesses and brands to buy iPhones, iPads and other devices for their employees. The challenge is to master their mobile device with the right apps and productivity tools. After 10 years of training Fortune 100 companies about technology efficiency, I have seen the right and wrong ways to invest in mobile, social and cloud for businesses.

Top companies see immediate returns on their investment with increased customer service, better client relationships and reduced operating costs when they master their mobile device. Inefficiencies arise when employees use their iPhones for just surfing the web and playing Angry Birds. These handheld computers are more powerful than the giant machines used to put man on the moon, and productivity is lost on every level. Here are the five traits of companies who are masters of their “digital domains.”

  • They have a plan – Know what you are going to do with the devices before purchasing any capital equipment. Successful companies understand purchasing, distribution, training and implementation. Larger companies have a digital strategy. This strategy is the guiding principle for everything they do in the technology arena. Talking about a plan is not a plan. Company leadership, with the help of the IT department, needs to write and agree on a plan.
  • They have somebody – Employees do not automatically know what to do with their iPhones. They need training. The IT Director is busy setting up computers, preventing hacks and managing the internal server. Hire a consultant (We LOVE to help!) to training employees and answer their questions. This is a small investment that pays off with HUGE dividends.

5 Best Productivity Apps

  • They Measure – As part of an effective strategy, measure the success of your efforts. The marketing statement is true: if you can’t measure it, it doesn’t exist. Small businesses are especially focused on the bottom line – SALES. Technology also focuses on adoption, application usage and customer engagement. Review success rates every 3 – 6 months, and communicate those measures to management and employees.
  • They have an App – Merrill Lynch, Raymond James and Morgan Stanley have invested in developing an app for their clients. This shows people outside the company that you are committed to their success and satisfaction. Having an app increases the digital knowledge of your employees and their customers. Invest in training to make sure people inside and outside of your company know how to use these resources.
  • They Engage – Check in periodically with employees to make sure the digital strategy is working. Ask teams what their favorite app is and how they are using the devices to engage with customers and clients. Engagement is a measure of success, and it is more than just numbers. Ask for stories to describe interactions and relationship building.

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There are several ways to improve your business with mobile technology. For companies to truly master their mobile device, they will need to embrace cloud computing, internet security and new ways of managing client success. The power of these “Ferrari-like” devices is these capabilities are on a 5-inch screen. Scientifically Speaking improves how businesses and brands use these technologies to boost productivity. Click here for a 10-minute mobile technology consultation.

Scientifically Speaking, of course…