Social Media & Mobile Technology: Changing Process Improvement
The world of work and business is changing quicker than anyone would have thought. I often wonder who hasn’t jumped into the social technology pool? Even my parents post to Facebook letting me know of their plans to come into town for a visit rather than use the “old school” phone. In 2004, when Facebook first emerged, it was nothing more than a college networking site. To even become a member, a college email address and university of attendance were required. Yesterday a video from BBC News announced that Facebook has grown to 500 million users worldwide. What’s more impressive is that as of February 2010, 100 million users were accessing Facebook from mobile devices, according to a post on the Facebook Blog.
With social media and mobile technologies quickly taking over, businesses are being forced to adapt to the new way of life by integrating their software and technologies to comply; a practice that I believe holds great value for companies, specifically as it relates to productivity. Many people, and now businesses, use social technologies as output channels for other types of communications such as:
- Knowledge transfer
- Staying abreast of the latest happenings in your field of business
- Voicing dissatisfactions
Coming from a workflow automation approach, in which tasks and requests often require management or supervisor approval before further processing can be completed, the ability to be able to access such information is critical to the process time. Mobile technologies have opened another door for companies invested in process automation suites. Approving, forwarding and handling requests while changing planes or out on the golf course are now possible, allowing the process to continue on its route without any hiccups.
Not only can critical tasks be approved on the fly, but alerts and status updates can be sent to all of the process participants notifying them of progress and providing them visibility into the process. In this on-the-go mode of operation, mobile technologies (in addition to catering to the immediate needs of a process task) also serve as “glue” holding colleagues and business partners together. Integration of mobile technologies into the execution of business processes is essential as it:
- Eliminates re-creation of work and notifications
- Provides quick and simple web based interfaces allowing critical processes to be expedited forward, reducing process wait times
- Serves as an audit trail of communication that can be traced back to the initial request
Ultimus has taken several initiatives to ensure process participants are knowledgeable of tasks and can access process updates through various social media tools. The Ultimus Adaptive Process Automation Suite provides numerous choices for interaction including:
- Alerts through Social Technology sites, such as Facebook and Twitter
- Text Messages
- Web based forms
- Alerts to pagers and beepers
- Voice based messages
Time and execution are more important now than ever before. As mobile technologies and social media sites continue to evolve, it is crucial for companies to equip their employees with the right tools to be able to effectively complete work on the fly as well as make mission critical decisions.
Is your company up to date with the latest mobile technologies? Does your company facilitate the sharing information and status updates with social media sites?
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Mary Katherine Strupe