Navigating the Myriad of Mobile Financial Services

If you are a financial services organization and you build a mobile app then you’re done, right? You can check off the mobile category and get back to the joys of responding to regulatory requirements. But then something changes or- a question is asked about something that might be related -, “What about our internal people, don’t they need an app?” or ”What about security?”

Because of the explosive nature of mobile-related technology and the number of related decisions and topics in the mobile space, it is essential that any large organization have a game plan and view of how they will move forward – and specifically how they will deal with the velocity of change in this space.

This mobile world changes every day and includes many integrated and connected decisions that need to be taken in the optimal sequence and with overall alignment.  One decision that is connected but not foreseen can result in expensive reversals in design, which are especially painful given the seeming simplicity of mobile to the end consumer.  The simplest example occurs first – “how do I get this thing onto the network?” being a question that often comes up.  Using the guest network is an easy answer, and then the next question “how do I get access to my files” becomes more difficult.

The use of internal mobile applications and devices opens up a stream of additional questions around information access and device management.  The deployment of external facing apps opens up discussions around how to remain agile and current in the face of the customer and the velocity of change in the mobile space.

To start these discussions, I think it is helpful to start with an overall picture in mind and map out the topics that are relevant with a level of priority, and as importantly which topics will not be pursued or invested in.  This heat-map is the cornerstone of a pragmatic strategy that can help to anticipate the coming discussions and provide a direction and an agreed upon set of priorities.

A Mobile Map

I drew something up to help get my head around these topics and the layers in this space, and I’ve used this a few times to help organize the conversation around mobile and also to make sure that we are not forgetting something that might be related when looking at making mobile decisions.

Mobile Topics

In this version, I have done a heat-map of the mobile topics that  I see as Basics/High Priority/Future Consideration.  This is to help with crawl/walk/run discussions, as sometimes organizations want to begin with a full on sprint into mobile without considering some of the fundamental capabilities that are essential for sustained success.

Are there any topics that you would add or remove from this?  What would you suggest?


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