I studied the latest activation numbers supplied by Good Technology in their Q4 2011 earnings report. The data shows financial services still activating more iPad devices than any other industry, with greater than 40 percent of all business deployments last quarter coming from financial services.
Why is this? And why are other industries so much further behind?
The answer lies in a number of areas:
- Employee pull! Employees are bringing their own devices to work and want IT to allow access–not just for email and calendar but innovative mobile analytics and process applications, too. This is driving fast adoption in banking, leaving IT struggling to respond. However, banking IT teams appear able to respond quicker than many other industry in meeting this demand and and are reaping the benefits—benefits that management can clearly see.
- Customer value. These devices enhance customer experience and understanding in face–to-face interactions. Showing videos, presentations, mobile reports, and visualizations creates incredible value and advances the sales cycles, which, in turn, drives deployment. Displaying the latest wealth management performance data or a 360-degree view of customer data alongside many other use cases is compelling for customer-facing employees.
- Mobile workforce and big data. Information is the lifeblood of financial institutions; and mobile workforces are a fact of life, with knowledge worker performing their roles from different offices/locations each day. This combination further drives iPad adoption. Employees want the latest info on the go and are using their iPads in internal meetings and client discussions to improve productivity and lessen down time like never before. The ability to absorb huge amounts of data using visual, easy-to-digest interfaces also has an impact.
- Differentiation. As the mobile era expands, this will remain an area of differentiation in financial services. Deploying mobile payments and apps is going to be key in retaining and winning new, younger customers. Therefore, enabling your own workforce with tablets is driving innovation internally and helping the them understand the power of new applications and channels. This is step one in designing new approaches and fending off the competition from within and outside the banking industry.
We’re still at the early deployment stage. Many companies are just beginning to activate the process-centric apps that allow expense processing, vacation approvals, and other B-to-B and B-to-C apps for the external customers. Financial services will still be at the top of the industry adoption curve for some years to come!
What do you think?