Mobile Devices Behavior: Slack Me – I am Over Email!

It’s that time of the year again to reflect on how we did on last year’s New Year’s resolutions. One of my goals last year was to keep up on my email and maintain a clean inbox. I tried several methods to keep my new found motivation, such as only checking and responding to emails at certain times during the day, or separate apps on my phone for business and personal email. I was successful for a few weeks but like those people taking up the machines in the gym from the regulars right now, I was only able to keep that resolution for a few weeks. My conclusion, I am over email!

The problem with email is that it’s not an effective way to communicate in an agile and mobile workplace. It takes too long to extract the important information, and it’s often not up to date because it limits collaboration to those included. And don’t get me started on inbox “clutter” such as time and expense approvals. As a manager why do I have to log in to a vpn and then a siloed application just to review and approve something? But I digress… sigh.

The reason I love Slack is because it is designed with mobile first in mind, so communication is simple instead of emails that tend to be unnecessarily long. Slack also promotes collaboration as everyone is made aware of questions or information with features like team channels. Slack is cross platform so you can easily switch between the desktop version and your mobile devices. I work from home or traveling around North America to client sites. It’s important to be productive with my time online and not uncommon to be working from the backseat of an uber or at 30,000 feet. The last thing I want to be doing when I get online is catching up on emails.

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My issues with email are not just about personal productivity, it highlights the importance of considering mobile when designing business applications.  For the process designers, how often do you have to implement super user task re-assignment in order to assure that process instances are moved along for situations in which an approval task is assigned to a user that doesn’t respond in time? Typically it’s because process monitoring reveals that it’s the approvers, not knowledge or task workers, that hold up process performance from being efficiently completed. It’s a benefit to design business applications that are easy to use in a world dominated by smartphone and other mobile devices.

Check out Deloitte’s 2016 Global Mobile Consumer Survey. The smartphone landscape is revealing that device ownership growth is beginning to slow down. The market is saturated and users around the world are attached to their mobile devices with an increase in the percentage of people using them while out shopping, at work, spending leisure time, watching tv, talking to friends and family, and while eating in a restaurant. Additionally the smartwatches, fitness bands, IoT, robotics, and the VR market is taking shape.

So what does this mean for leadership in Information Technology departments?

Design processes with mobile first in mind in order to meet user expectations. Adapt your technology to the way your users want to work. If your organization is looking to replace legacy applications, consider achieving enterprise mobility with Perficient.

You can find out more about our Appian practice enterprise mobility offering here.

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Thoughts on “Mobile Devices Behavior: Slack Me – I am Over Email!”

  1. I can’t agree more! But sometimes you have to deal with people who don’t want to give up email. You can’t force them but you can use MailClark to bring your emails into Slack. They keep using emails, you stay in Slack. Everyone is happy! Give it a try 🙂
    (Full disclosure: I work at MailClark)

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