As reported in my previous post, there’s been a push across the enterprise landscape to develop and deploy mobile apps – to the point they often take first priority over more standard desktop applications.

However, a mobile-first strategy may not be the best route. Alan Treffler, CEO of Pegasystems, says that too many companies rush to get mobile apps out into the market, resulting in disparate channels not tightly integrated with the rest of the business. This is especially problematic for businesses – such as well-established insurance operations – that have built channels and processes well before the mobile revolution.

Treffler explained the risks of mobile-first in a recent interview with Michael Krigsman, published at ZDNet: “If you are a business of pretty much any size that operates across multiple channels, going mobile first runs the strong risk of building logic, rules, processes that diverge from the rest of your business. Or, put enormous cost pressures on your business, as you have to re-implement in multiple places.”

I had the opportunity to speak with Treffler last year, where he explained his reasoning. Favoring one channel or mode over another will lead to even more silos and dysfunction than we already have in many organizations, he said. This whole mobile-first thing is replicating a failure that we saw 15 years ago, when the web started kicking off. The result was vastly inconsistent experiences for customers — they may see one thing over the web, and get another result with the call center, and another at a physical retail location.

After years of painstaking integration work, organizations have finally brought all these touchpoints into synch. “Now companies that are going mobile-first about to fall into that same trap again,” he warns, adding that there are similar risks with the rise of cloud computing as well.

What is needed, Treffler told Krigsman, is an omni-channel approach that supports all modes of computing and communication -- mobile, phone, iPad, Web, Internet site in the contact center, and physical branches. “You need to have seamless service experiences that go across channels,” he urges.

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