Innovating to Empower the Mobile Workforce is based on a Web Forum presentation given by Dane Ingram from PwC. The report details results from PwC’s iPad Experience program as the company searches for different ways to connect their mobile workforce. This program provided a rich opportunity to look at some of the newer, more innovative technologies available as well as address the BYOD phenomenon.
A new approach meant reevaluating PwC’s core infrastructure. They needed a Managed Application Store, Single Sign-On Certificate Management, VPN on Demand, Mobile Device Management, and the ability to push VPN, WiFi, MDM, Mail Profiles, etc. Find out why they built out a separate VPN environment for mobile devices with a different set of rules and access rights.
Once the core infrastructure was in place, focus shifted towards deploying native email, calendaring, and contacts. In addition, they released a number of internally developed applications like Time Recording, Expense Reporting, PwC News, and Office Locator. PwC also identified ways to handle Word / Excel / PowerPoint files, manage secure file sharing, and support instant messaging and video connectivity.
PwC has adopted a mentality of “one size doesn’t fit all” when it comes to application development. Discover the reasoning behind this approach and why it’s important to look at apps on an individual basis. There are factors like app type, use frequency, user type you must consider during the development process. Above all though, user experience should be your top priority. If an app doesn’t make completing tasks easier or quicker for employees, don’t bother with it.
Members can download this IT report, along with hundreds of others, by logging into TheIMF.com and visiting our Reports page. Here, Mr. Ingram talks how PwC approaches their application development process:
“Despite what some say, we believe there is no “one size fits all” solution. Some of the people I talk to want to write everything in HTML5, MEAP (Mobile Enterprise Application Platform), or Native. We, on the other hand, look at apps on an individual basis in order to make a decision for their usage.
For example, when we sat down to write our Mobile Time app, we knew everybody in the firm would want to use it on a daily basis. Speed plays a critical factor with this kind of a demand so we wrote the app in Native X code. As a result, this app is quick and runs great. However, when it came time for us to write the Office Locator app, we figured usage wouldn’t be nearly as high. Since the app doesn’t contain any internal PwC data, we decided to write it in HTML5 so it works on Android and Blackberry. It allows other devices to leverage the app as well.
Look specifically at the application you’re writing and don’t worry if things are different. That’s been our philosophy. We actually wrote our first four applications in four totally different ways. One was in MEAP, another in HTML, another in Native, and the last one was a hybrid application. Fortunately, we have a lot of experience with our developers so we know what works and what doesn’t under different circumstances. Our framework is based around those learning experiences.”