Photo - Guests take up their seats for the start of Computerworld Malaysia's inaugural Mobility Forum.
More than 70 invited IT professionals across different industries participated in the inaugural Mobility Forum 2015 organised by Executive Networks Media (ENM), which was held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Kuala Lumpur on 5 November 2015. With Computerworld Malaysia and CIO Asia as supporting media, the forum was part of ENM's on-going series of inaugural industry-focused events, which hone in on the business significance of emerging technology models.
Keynote speakers included industry experts and IT leaders drawn from financial services, healthcare and diversified multinational companies, who shared their experiences in creating, adapting and implementing robust and adaptive mobile strategies in line with today's business environment.
"Mobility is all about enhancing the customer experience," asserted Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia CIO Dato' Arif Siddiqui in his opening address. "As the economy is no longer defined by its material goods, customer service plays a vital role as a differentiator from company to company. Innovations that improve the customer experience can result in increased satisfaction and a healthier outcome."
He advocated listening to customers and understanding the younger generations' needs. "Enterprises are changing the way we interact with clients. We have to clearly define an efficient service experience through process management and technology whilst aligning these services to fit our brand and business model," he said. "However, any innovation an enterprise adopts must be of benefit to its customers."
Dato' Arif cautioned that not every innovative idea would take root. "The impact of any change is also not immediately noticeable. Innovation takes time to gain acceptance and to take hold, so you need to factor in time when studying the results of any change," he counselled. "Simplification is the key in innovation. Focus on supporting user experience and business process designs which optimise productivity and reduce errors."
"Evolving customer expectations has also changed the way consumers engage with insurers," said RHB Insurance vice president and head of IT, John Shew. "With target markets such as the new generations spending more time online, we have seen the diminishing effectiveness of traditional distribution and realised that we are under-serving markets which are not reached by traditional strategies."
"In adopting such channels, we have to change our infrastructure to be more flexible and work out an architecture which balances traditional and new channels while aligning IT with our business aims," continued Shew.
"Technology is not only being deployed for more effective processing and customer service support, but also being tapped to study customer behaviour in developing products. For example, the use of telematics in monitoring driving behaviour is significantly altering the auto insurance landscape," he said. "IT plays a significant role in driving such business changes."
Mobility - a piece of the business puzzle
"Enterprises cannot neglect mobility, but it must consider mobility more broadly. Mobility is just one piece of the puzzle that is an organisation's business strategy; it is intertwined with all other channels of business," argued Kumpulan Wang Persaraan director, Information Technology Department, Tai Kim Fong. "Mobility is not just a customer service tool which brings huge benefits but it has an impact on the whole enterprise."
The evolution of mobility had brought about many changes but some things remained the same. "We may have a wider choice of corporate mobile devices available to us but our primary concern remains the same - security. That has not changed," said Tai. "Data confidentiality, integrity and availability are still of upmost importance."
Enterprise mobility management (EMM) and virtual desktop (VDI) solutions were integral in implementing a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) strategy. "IT still wants to have the ability to secure and wipe data, and to separate private and corporate information within a device," said Tai. "We also want to centralise control at the data centre or virtual desktop. These are core security requirements. At the same time we have to implement measures and policies to manage risks introduced through use of mobile devices, and protect information accessed, processed or stored at teleworking sites."
Citrix Malaysia country manager Wendy Kho considered mobility a crucial factor in managing the Malaysian workforce and the new generation in particular. "Employee satisfaction, retention and productivity are factors which drive customer loyalty. Mobile productivity is no longer a luxury; it is fundamental to support a happy and productive workforce," she contended.
She continued, "There is a war for talent in the world, and mobility is a part of that equation. The workspace mind-set has shifted. The value of mobility comes from collaboration and being able to empower users to get all their work done, regardless of device, location or time through a seamless end-user experience."
Personalisation is expected
Bank Simpanan Nasional senior vice president and head of Transformation Management Department, Alain Boey believed that personalised experiences were an essential component of a successful mobile strategy. "The objective of a digital model is for user experience; it is not about systems or processes," he said. "It is about delighting your customer."
"Enterprises want to interact with customers, and today's hyper-connected customer requires companies to create personalised experiences and deliver value at each touch point," he said. "A successful digital model helps an enterprise to increase brand loyalty and drive sales. It also has the potential of converting customers to be your brand advocates. "
However, there were significant challenges involving personalisation. "Firstly, it is almost impossible to personalise every customer interaction with timely relevant information. There is also the challenge of connecting customers who want to interact with brands on their terms, across channels and whenever they want," he explained. "Finally, there is a high dependency on systems and tools to get it right."
The new workspace