Why choose Apple for digital transformation?

Why choose Apple for digital transformation?

Digital transformation is a long term commitment that radically changes the culture of an organisation. Which means that if you’re going to do it, you need to be on a platform that can change with you, and that offers you a combination of stability and flexibility. We think that’s the Apple platform. 

Earlier this year, MDM providers Jamf reported that 91% of organisations now use Mac and 99% use iPad and iPhone. This surge in popularity is partly due to employees who use iOS devices in their personal lives demanding access to the same technology in the workplace, but there are a number of compelling reasons why the Apple platform is ideal for the enterprise space, especially if you’re pursuing digital transformation.

Co-engineered hardware and software

Apple computers are known for their long lifespan and excellent build quality. Unlike most other manufacturers, Apple produce the hardware and software components of their devices, so the two are perfectly engineered to work together. This makes machines more reliable and less prone to productivity-sapping bugs and glitches. It also means that the user experience is consistent across the full range of devices, so an employee who has an iPhone will be able to figure out how to use their first desktop Mac quickly and intuitively.

As mobile working becomes more prevalent, the integration between Apple devices becomes more important. iCloud storage has been a standard part of an Apple account for some time now, and in the last few years huge strides have been made in improving the integration between desktop, iOS and cloud versions of their core apps, so users on different devices and platforms can collaborate in realtime. iOS’s Handoff functionality even allows employees to close a document on their desktop as they leave the office, and open the same document on their iPhone to work on while they travel.

Most Apple devices have a built-in camera, GPS, gyroscope and accelerometer. Apps can take advantage of these to record data that would have previously required expensive equipment, or increase visibility over your operations at low cost (giving delivery drivers an iPhone with a tracking app is probably the most common example of this). And because Apple produce iPads and iPhones in a range of sizes without much drop-off in performance, every employee will be able to find a model that meets their needs.

A focus on privacy and security

Apple devices provide the best security of any mainstream platform. This ranges from system level security, such as using Touch ID to enforce two-factor authentication, to sandboxing apps, to AES-256 bit hardware encryption for data at rest and a VPN over the transport layer when your data’s in transit.

When an Apple device in enrolled into a mobile device management (MDM) solution, the device is designed to secure important company data while protecting end user privacy. The MDM solution can only see corporate data and apps, not personal information, creating a natural separation between corporate and personal data without any need for separate workspaces. This is particularly useful in BYOD or mobile working environments, as it allows you to wipe, restrict and control corporate data without interfering with any of the user’s own files.

Apple have made it even easier to enrol your devices into a MDM solution be rolling out their Device Enrolment Programme. The DEP allows your MDM solution to save settings and profiles to Apple’s own servers. When you turn on a new device, Apple then push the appropriate profile to the device immediately, so security settings are applied from the moment the user turns on the device, so they’re never working on an uncontrolled device and there’s no chance of you losing vital data.

Streamlined deployment and management

As mentioned previously, there are number of device management solutions available for the Apple platform, and both iOS and macOS are designed to work with your management solution, not against it. Apple even introduced a Device Enrolment Programme that allows your MDM solution to communicate with their servers and automatically install the correct profile on a new device as soon as it’s turned on, enabling zero touch deployment. Once a device is active, you can manage how it accesses accounts, apps, books, domains and extensions, and dictate the user’s ‘Open in’ options when they access a file.

As for corporate apps, these can be purchased centrally and in bulk, then pushed out over MDM. Alternatively, you can host a private app store populated with whitelisted apps to ensure your employees only have access to approved content.

Another advantage of iOS in particular is the fact that, because updates are quick, easy and user-centric, over 59% of iOS devices are on the latest version of the operating system just six weeks after its initial release. Contrast that with the Android user base, which at the time of writing had only 0.6% of its membership on the latest iteration, and which has substantial numbers of users who are still several versions back.

This version sprawl increases the likelihood Android devices will be incompatible with your legacy systems, be unable to access the latest version of core apps, and generally increase the amount of time your IT have to spend on day to day support, as they have to be aware of five generations’ worth of bugs and fixes, as opposed to being able to quickly identify and correct issues they know a single generation has with your systems.

The best platform for apps 

Apple’s App Store currently houses over 230,000 apps for business. Whatever issue you’re trying to address, there’s likely to be a native app to get you started. If you don’t have time in your schedule to sift through 230,000 apps, take a look at Apple’s specially selected Mobility Partners are a great place to start. These best of breed apps have been identified as particularly innovative, comprehensive or useful within their sector, and are ideal for companies who want to engage with digital transformation.

As well as helping you find the best off the shelf solutions, Apple also aim to make life as easy as possible for in-house development teams. All of their devices are optimised for the Swift programming language, which is easy to learn and was designed with security first in mind. If you decide to build your own apps, you’ll get access to the Apple’s Xcode IDE, and Simulator testing environment.

Once your app is developed, it can be hosted privately on the App Store, so you can reap the benefits of Apple’s distribution platform without making your app visible to the general public.

Partnerships

All this is impressive, but Apple aren’t determined to take on the enterprise alone. They’ve partnered with the likes of Cisco, Deloitte, SAP and IBM (who currently have the world’s largest Mac estate) to develop an integrated suite of solutions that ensures you won’t be starting from the ground up if you choose to adopt Macs.

As well as ensuring that Apple and PC systems can be integrated across your organisation, these partnerships are developing dedicated solutions for iOS devices and doing a huge amount to reassure stakeholders that iOS devices in particular can be a stable, secure part of their IT estate.

Why choose Jigsaw24?

We have over 25 years’ experience working in mixed platform environments, and were recently named the UK’s first Apple Authorised Enterprise Reseller. The staff in our dedicated Apple Practice have unrivalled expertise, knowhow and experience in providing Apple solutions. Our services cover:

Strategy on Apple ecosystem If you’re considering reviewing, updating or building your IT strategy over the next five years, and want a clear roadmap for your Apple estate, we can help by supporting mixed environments and even offering outsourced IT support.

App development and UI design With our own internal app development team, we’re able to assist with every step of getting you your own iOS app, from an initial consultation to scope out what you need, through to development and implementation, including deployment and management.

Business process optimisation Our consultants can advise on your current workflow and what can be done to improve it, with recommendations for moving forward so you can optimise your business processes.

Security and risk management We’re well equipped to consult on device security, and make sure iOS and macOS address the security requirements and regulations of your organisation.

Deployment and transition We can deploy ready-configured devices to your end users, and our device transition and data migration service ensures all devices are seamlessly transitioned and that all user data is transferred.

Support Our in-life support ensures your devices are always covered, including hardware break/fix, remote support, onsite visits and replacement devices.

Lifecycle management We provide all the services you need throughout the life of your Apple device. From a simple warranty to a complete support and management service – we can even help you release the residual value of your device when it’s time for a refresh.

Apple devices are a popular, powerful tool for business transformation. User demand for access to the Apple platform is high, and the potential for its native apps to increase productivity, efficiency and end user satisfaction is clear. If you need a more bespoke solution, the Swift programming language provides a secure, easy to learn point of entry into development for both iOS and macOS. To find out more about how we can help you begin this journey, or unlock the potential of devices already in your organisation, get in touch with the team on the details below.

If you want to know more, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email enterprise@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

What is digital transformation?

What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation has been a popular buzzphrase for years now, but a clear definition of the term is hard to come by. Some organisations see it as a technological disruption, others as more of a shift in a culture that just so happens to use some digital tools. Let’s try and break down the jargon…

First, what does it mean?
Digital transformation is used to refer to two quite different things, which is where some of the confusion arises. In organisations which are taking their first steps away from a traditional model, talking about ‘digital transformation’ will usually mean talking about a case where a specific technology was used to address a specific pain point or improve a specific metric, such as customer satisfaction.

In organisations with a more developed digital strategy, “digital transformation” means an ongoing, iterative approach to new technology be that a device or an app, designed to encourage innovation and ensure that organisations take advantage of emerging technologies more effectively than their competitors do. This is not a standalone IT policy, but a company-wide culture designed to allow constant refinement of business processes and practices, instead of a stop-and-start approach to change. .

Why two definitions?
Typically, one leads to the other. It’s pretty universally agreed that in a more digitally developed company, transformation itself becomes a driver. The company is constantly on the lookout for new and emerging technologies, encourages experimentation and innovation, and plans ahead of its current capabilities so that when new technology emerges, they are in prime position to take advantage of it before, and to a greater effect than, their competitors. IT development is a constant, iterative process rather than a four year refresh cycle with an accompanying plan, and is closely linked to workplace culture and user experience. Leaders actively encourage this ongoing change, and employees are given ready access to training and support.

However, if you’re at the start of your digital journey, selling the concept to your workforce can be challenging. Everyone understands why having a mobile device with email, calendar and contacts is more efficient than carrying round the paper equivalent, but devices like iPad and iPhone are capable of much more than that. It can sometimes be difficult to move employees out of the comfort zone and get them to explore use cases that don’t have a direct analogue equivalent.

Many organisations begin by trying something concrete, with a measurable ROI (the specific technology that addresses the specific pain point mentioned in definition one). Once stakeholders see the benefit of one or two iterative changes, it’s far easier to engage them in conversations about wider change, and to shift the culture of the organisation closer to the kind of constant transformation that’s necessary if you want to keep pace with technology.

What are my current drivers, then?
In our experience, there are three main drivers for organisations that begin the journey to digital transformation: wanting to improve their customer journey, the desire to improve internal systems, and the need to update their business model to stay competitive.

Identifying a specific problem in one of these areas and trialling a project to fix it is a good way to make the business case for digital transformation.

Let’s say, for example, that a retailer wants to move away from your usual, impersonal sales interactions and toward clientelling. Equipping sales assistants with an app comparable to your customer-facing app. This allows them to view their customers’ purchase histories, including items they’ve abandoned in online baskets and any out of stock items they have expressed an interest in. They can then make personalised recommendations based on this purchase history, alert the customer to any new stock, and cross- and up-sell customers. If you have a customer-facing app, assistants can send personalised alerts to this app. Once your assistants have devices in hand, it’s a short step to equip them with an mPOS solution so that they can take payment from customers as soon as they’re ready, rather than asking customers to queue.

In the vast majority of cases, there will already be an off the shelf app that tackles the issue you’re trying to address. Alternatively, consider developing a custom solution (which gives you the added advantage of on-demand, iterative development, the pace of which is not dictated by a third party).

So I just give everyone an iPad?
No (although we would be very happy to sell you iPads).

The bulk of evidence suggests that leading with strategy is key to the success of digital transformation. You need to know what you’re going to try first, what evidence you hope to gather and how that will be implemented. You need to have visible C-level support for change, and a strategy for encouraging adoption (for example, retailers have effectively used a league table model to gamify training, with prizes for the ‘best trained’ store, in order to ensure people access and use digital resources). Because the changes involved in digital transformation are often drastic, it’s important that leaders are able to articulate their purpose to employees and speak with authority about the technology introduced and the cultural change that comes with it.

Do I have to become a technical expert?
No again. While it’s important that you have the requisite expertise somewhere in your organisation, top level stakeholders just need to be able to use the solutions that are introduced visibly and fluently. Having leaders publicly endorse new systems by actively engaging with them (sharing files, responding to comments, liking employee posts; visibly using the new system for whatever task it supports) is more valuable for driving adoption than having a board who all have a complete technical understanding of the solution.

Is this going to be expensive?
There is almost always an initial outlay – even if you already have all the hardware you need, you’ll still need to pay for software licences or development time.

However, giving people the best tools to do their job will increase efficiency and productivity. Employees want to work with forward-looking companies that are leaders in the field, so attracting and retaining the top talent will become easier. And most importantly of all, there’s no way you can stick to your standard issue four year refresh cycle and fixed IT shopping list without falling drastically behind the times and losing touch with your customers. Technology changes so rapidly nowadays that failing to innovate doesn’t mean you stand still, it means you actively lose ground to competitors.
 
How do I find out more? 
You can find out more about our services for enterprise here, or get in touch with our consultants on the details below.

If you want to know more, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email enterprise@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Our top ten tips for digital transformation in construction

Our top ten tips for digital transformation in construction

It’s been found that construction is among the least digitised industries. As many construction organisations grow through acquisitions, they tend to have a fragmented technology portfolio across divisions – making it more difficult to identify areas to transform.

Digital transformation enables disruptive change, which in turn provides opportunities for growth, competitiveness and lower costs. There are many new and emerging technologies that the construction industry could take advantage of, from artificial intelligence (AI) and automation, to exoskeletons. While exciting, these technologies require a large investment of both time and money to integrate or digitalise processes, and there are much quicker and easier ways to achieve digital transformation within the construction industry.

Although organisations may have invested in mobile devices across their business, many fail to realise the full potential of the devices, as tools to achieve digital transformation, and are only utilising basic features such as email and calendars. 99-100% (Jamf stat – source) of enterprises are now utilising iOS devices, and using them as a starting point for digital transformation. Chances are, all of your divisions have already deployed mobile devices, but aren’t using them as constructively as they could be (pun intended…).

If you’re looking to revolutionise your construction business and reap the benefits of disruptive technology, we’ve collected our top ten tips for achieving digital transformation in construction with Apple/iOS…

Five tips for approaching digital transformation
  1. Start small

While it’s important to have a roadmap of your overall goals, this can sometimes become a hindrance if you focus more on this than just getting out there and doing something. Pick a single process (part of something bigger, aligned to your overall goals) or single business unit to begin with. Chances are, you already have departments that are itching to use their devices for more.

  1. Define one key driver

Whether it’s to reduce paper, improve safety or gain insight into what’s costing the most (snags in the building process or materials not reaching site on time), have a benchmark to compare change against.

  1. Digitise and roll out the process

When digitising a process, some map very quickly to mobile devices. However, you need to be prepared to alter a process slightly to make it more efficient when using mobile tech. Often there is an off the shelf solution that can help you get most of the way, but if not, custom app development is becoming much more accessible. And don’t forget – as part of the roll out process, make sure your staff are trained up on the new processes.

  1. Review

Analyse results against your key driver – how well did you perform against your expected targets? This is important, but something that people can often forget or not get around to. Results can be quantitive, but don’t forget the human impact on your users, as this can be a driver for a more productive and happy workforce.

  1. Iterate and roll out next project

After review you can update any process that isn’t quite hitting your key driver, or consider additional features or app development to get you closer to your goals. Then, it’s time to consider your next process to digitise aligned with your bigger picture. 

Five tips for getting started with digitisation

The biggest benefit to using mobile devices in the field, and digitising processes, is having access to live data, which enables your organisation to make quicker decisions and avoid costs caused by delays. Often the easier things to digitise are paper-based sign-off workflows, but here are some more ideas on places you could get started…

  1. Design and project planning

Streamline your construction management by digitising your design processes and project planning. You can use your iOS camera for virtual or augmented reality planning, building digitally within your environment or accessing blueprints on your devices whenever you need them.

  1. Onsite processes

We understand that a big concern in the construction industry is making sure that the workers that turn up on site have the correct training and certification to undertake a project. Streamline this process with digitisation, giving you full visibility of a worker’s credentials before they get to site. You can also utilise GPS to check when your staff have reached the site.

Digitisation also assists in resolving issues on site, by giving you instant access to files or snag lists. If you encounter any problems, staff can capture the issue on site, feed back to their project manager, and tasks can be quickly reassigned until the snag is completed.

  1. Communication and collaboration

Another issue that construction businesses often come up against is materials not getting to site on time, or needing to buy more materials while on site. By digitising your procurement process, you enable the ability reassign tasks if equipment doesn’t turn up when it should. Or, you’re able to order alternative materials if the ones that have been delivered won’t work for the project. You can use GPS and location services for deliveries, so you also know in advance if something is not going to be where it should.

On top of managing and digitising your own workflow, you will often be working with a multitude of contractors for different areas of the build. Mobile devices can be used to better communicate with contractors, utilising FaceTime or mobile conferencing. Extending your digital processes to them means that they can capture completed jobs, and use similar management tools as project managers, boosting their productivity.

  1. Tracking, analysing and project sign off

More immediate access to data using a mobile device means that you can use data collected from a build to understand areas that need improvement, for example staffing, training, snags or contractor performance.

Digitisation of paper processes, such as signing off a project, means that you can bring your client on site, have the documents needed all in one place, show them the completed work and get the contract digitally signed off there and then.

  1. Marketing and sales

Access to live and upcoming projects on mobile devices allows you to gain insight into the latest tenders, review and market to them. Also, having marketing content and reference sites available to you gives your sales arm access to all your latest customer references, and even live data from current builds.

How Fieldwire and GoCanvas can help

Apple iOS is the construction industry’s platform of choice for maximising digital transformation. Apple Mobility Partners such as Fieldwire and GoCanvas Partners – best-of-breed, tailor made industry apps endorsed by Apple – allow you to transform your construction company and realise greater business benefits.

Fieldwire enables better project planning and execution, allowing you to complete builds quicker and improve construction management. With key features such as lightning fast plan viewing, mobile construction management and lean construction scheduling, Fieldwire can reduce your admin time by five hours per user, per week.

You can read the full case study on how Fieldwire helped UK building contractor Speller Metcalfe here.

Canvas works by digitalising paper-based manual workflows, reclaiming huge chunks of wasted time for your business. True Homes were able to streamline inspections and increase sales by up to $1 million by using Canvas, and recovered $22,880 in paper costs annually.

You can read the full case study on how GoCanvas helped property construction company True Homes here.

How else can we help you transform your workflow?

At Jigsaw24, we can offer a range of solutions and services to help you transform your construction business.

Apple Mobility Partners

We work with a range of Apple Mobility Partners, best-of-breed apps for industry that have been hand-picked by Apple themselves as digital leaders in their sector. This means we can provide you with the best tools to get the most our of your devices, and the support to get you up and running as soon as possible.

Custom app development

Grow revenues, increase brand awareness and get real-time feedback with a custom app for your business. Our team of developers can create iOS, Android and web apps, or purchasing portals, and offer support throughout the lifecycle of your app.  Our integrated mobility solutions have seen tremendous ROI – furniture company Welcome Furniture were able to digitize their paper-based logistics and delivery processes with a customer app, saving them £130,000 on returns per year.

Mobile device management

Get simple, centralised control of your Apple devices with our hosted or managed Jamf Pro solutions. We can host Jamf Pro for you in the cloud, so you get all the benefits of fast access and high availability, without having to worry about hardware. Or, we can manage your Jamf Pro deployment for you, pre-configuring, pre-staging and enrolling devices, with all your corporate apps pre-installed and managed, so all you have to do is hit the power button.

Want to find out more about how we can help you achieve digital transformation in your construction business? Give us a call on 03332 400 888 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com to speak to our experts. You can also keep up with all the latest news by following us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 or liking us on Facebook.