Consumers and businesses around the globe have entered the mobile era, and technology management leaders are shifting their organizations’ business applications toward mobile. In order to effectively make this shift, mobile teams must change their practices to simultaneously improve agility and ensure a good customer experience. This is even more critical in China — a market with unique business scenarios, technology landscapes, and competitive environments.

I’ve recently published two reports focusing on using the mobile IDEA cycle for customer engagement, including part one and part two. In these reports, I assess the current state of mobile application development planning in China and highlight four key areas that enterprise architecture (EA) professionals should focus on in each stage, namely “Identify”, “Design”, “Engineer” and “Analyze”, to enable the success of the mobile IDEA cycle. I also provide examples of how to unleash the power of digital business by analyzing the strategic mobile practices of visionary Chinese firms and highlighting how they use systems of engagement. Some of the key takeaways:

  • Understand global and domestic trends in mobile adoption scenarios to identify the right mobile moments. Data from Forrester's Business Technographics Global Mobility Survey, 2014 shows that there is a difference between global preferences and local priorities. EA professionals in China should refer to these results when identifying mobile moments, learn about future improvements from their global peers, and ensure that these moments make sense to business stakeholders for customer engagement.
  • Invest in key persona and journey maps for customer-oriented mobile design. Mobile application design is not only about cutting-edge technology and great user interfaces. Customer personas are important to understanding customers’ mobile behaviors and requirements, while customer journey maps will help determine digital touchpoints. For example, Sinorail used customer personas as the foundational element of its customer journey mapping and designed key mobile moments to maximize customer value.
  • Have a clear picture of the mobile development infrastructure solution landscape.Mobile development platforms are at the core of mobile infrastructure. EA professionals in China should choose lightweight platforms to jump-start mobile business or go with comprehensive solutions for legacy integration and the generation of end-to-end business insights. For example, the EA professionals at Tencent took the lead in aligning the firm’s solution selection criteria with its mobile business targets and striking the right balance between the technology requirements and the mobile team’s technical expertise.
  • Use mAPM and customer analytics to close the loop.The continuous improvement of mobile engagement is essential to enhancing customer satisfaction. Mobile application performance management (mAPM) will help organizations optimize their mobile apps effectively, as Feidee did, while customer analytics solutions will help them incorporate essential customer feedback into the next iteration of the IDEA cycle, which China Merchants Bank adopted to provide contextual customer insights.

Mobile development strategy is the key to enabling systems of engagement. EA professionals in China should embrace the mobile IDEA cycle as the best way to accelerate strategy execution.