Schroders is rolling out a set of mobile applications from enterprise mobility experts Capriza, in a bid to simplify basic business processes for thousands of employees without having to touch its legacy systems.
The London-based asset management giant has focused on admin processes such as approvals, expenses, compliance and absence. This allows staff to tick off these jobs quickly, while on the move, instead of having to flick between various desktop applications.
Graham Kellen, chief digital officer at Schroders told Computerworld UK: "The fundamental problem we had is that people want to do work wherever they are."
He said the aim was to make employees "feel comfortable working wherever they are, data security allowing".
"Everyone has a mobile device and we want to identify everyday activities that take a few minutes and if they have fast access to the approval or the flow that needs to be actioned then that saves on the inefficiency of logging into a different system."
What are Capriza Zapps?
These mobile apps are called Zapps by Capriza and tend to be built around a single workflow. These could theoretically be designed using Capriza software for a single issue, regardless of the back end system it needs to interact with.
Zapps can be collected and managed using the WorkSimple app, complete with push notifications, and which Schroders will completely personalise with its own name and logo.
Instead of the cumbersome task of creating their own mobile applications in-house, Kellen says that Capriza allowed his team to connect the apps directly to its legacy technology infrastructure.
"The beauty of Capriza," Kellen says, "is you abstract that challenge to a more connective, enabling layer to get into the legacy platform with the functionality I want - which could be just one or two fields - without having to take the whole system into the mobile app. It allows me to move legacy platforms in lockstep with my strategy."
Another benefit is that Kellen and his mobile app designers don't have to create new security and access controls as Capriza simply inherits these from the backend system that it is abstracting data and processes from.
"It inherits the security and access controls, so once they have access to Capriza the entitlements and security is of the application that is being shone through," he says. "It is native, so if you don't have access to the system you can't us the app, so it is light in terms of that footprint."
Schroders will be going live with its first set of mobile apps over the coming weeks. Kellen says that from agreeing terms with Capriza to the first app going live will have been roughly a seven week process.