Moving to Mobile? Five Key Considerations For Mortgage Field Service

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Moving to Mobile? Five Key Considerations For Mortgage Field Service

Today’s mobile revolution promises to be as important for business as computers were in the 1980s, the Web in the 1990s, and software as a service (SaaS) in the 2000s. Today’s mobile phone is a computer, a still camera, a video recorder, a tape recorder, a barcode scanner, a fax machine, a web-device, and a collection of software applications fully integrated with your back-office systems. It’s been widely reported that the average smart phone today has far more computing power than Apollo 11 did when it journeyed to the moon.

As a consequence, mobile smartphones and tablets offer profoundly exciting opportunities for transforming business operations for mortgage services. By leveraging the power, convenience, and usability of next generation mobile devices, mortgage companies and service providers can improve the quality of the data they gather, drive efficiency and productivity, and standardize processes to minimize risk and meet compliance targets. And this is just the beginning.

Consider the trends:

• The Internet is everywhere, over Wi-Fi or cell. More than 94% of the U.S. and 72% of Europe now has broadband Internet coverage.
• Smart phones and tablets are exploding in numbers. Half of all adult Americans now own either a tablet computer or a smartphone.
• Global Internet usage will more than double by 2015, and most of these users will be mobile.
• According to IDC, worldwide IT spending in 2013 will exceed $2.1 trillion. “The biggest driver of that growth will be mobility. Sales of smart mobile devices including smartphones and tablets will grow by 20%, generate 20% of all IT sales, and drive a whopping 57% of all IT market growth. Excluding smart mobile devices, IT industry growth will be just 2.9%.”

The benefits of mobile are widely acknowledged, but how do you get started? What things should your company take into account before going mobile?

Five Key Considerations

There is an overwhelming amount of conflicting information about what mobile approach is best, and a sea of vendors competing for your attention. Here are five key considerations for successfully choosing the right mobile solution for your business.

1. Is it flexible and configurable? Choose a configurable mobile solution that lets you adapt and optimize business processes over time.
2. Does it take advantage of the latest smart phone features? Leverage the full power of mobile devices for rich data collection, including video, photos, text, audio, GPS, time stamps, signature capture, and other smart phone functionality to maximize the productivity of your field staff.
3. Is all the data centralized in a single repository? Adopt a mobile-cloud platform that lets you centralize data storage and easily analyze, manage and report on that data.
4. Does it integrate with your other systems? Ensure that your systems integrate via APIs so data flows seamlessly from mobile devices to your backend systems.
5. Is it cost effective? Consider a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution that lets you get started quickly and inexpensively, without on-premise installation, provisioning, maintenance, or setup.

Now let’s dig into each of these a little deeper …

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The rest of the article goes into considerably more detail about these considerations and offers concrete recommendations. As we note in our summary,

To stay competitive you need to constantly improve the quality of your services, increase productivity, drive down costs and keep your customers happier. The right mobile solution can be critical in achieving those objectives.

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Kamal Shah is the CEO of FotoNotes, a mobile and cloud platform that extends business processes to the field through smart phones and tablets. Michael DeLapa is the Vice President of Marketing and Strategy.