Case-in-point: In the past, ANICO's IT department didnt know what devices independent field agents were using. Now ANICO knows agents predominately use iPhones followed by Androids and iPads, based on logs and metrics gleaned whenever devices connect to the mobile site.
Knowing what devices are being used means Walton can direct limited development resources to those specific platforms. She can also get a feel for what the fallout may be by not directing resources at other platforms.
Walton can also direct resources at functionality that agents want. "As we start pushing more capability out there, we'll see more requests come in," she says. "That's good because then we can give them the capabilities that they actually want."
By the end of the year, Walton expects 50% of employed agents using the site regularly. Its too early to tell what direction ANICO will take in its mobile strategy, but one thing is for certain: Mobility will be a big part of the discussion in almost everything IT does, she says.
"Down the road, I can see us possibly writing a hybrid or native app," Walton says. "Going from mobile Web app to native or hybrid, we can leverage the code we have today. Weve prototyped what a native app might look like."
Tom Kaneshige covers Apple and Consumerization of IT for CIO.com. Follow Tom on Twitter @kaneshige. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline and on Facebook. Email Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more about mobile/wireless in CIO's Mobile/Wireless Drilldown.