why mobile capture projects fail

According to an AIIM report underwritten in part by Papersoft, “Paper-free processes: measuring outcomes”, despite the widespread acceptance that reducing and removing paper is a best practice, there is a huge difference between the best performers and the laggards. Piles of paper contrast with clear desks, post bags and delivery vans contrast with Mobile Capture, warehouses full of boxes contrast with electronic archives, and forms-based processes contrast with automated workflows. In respect to Mobile Capture projects, some early movers are already achieving strong competitive advantages by capturing as close to the origin as possible. Meanwhile, the efficiency, effectiveness, and resilience could be greatly improved by surpassing the 8 main reasons indicated by respondents for the failure of their Mobile Capture projects.


Mobile Capture projects are intrinsically a great investment

Capturing as early on in the process as possible is critical, and many processes start off in the field or at the customer’s premises, or with the customer themselves. Every opportunity should be taken to utilize the capabilities and advantages that mobile devices offer for remote access to process content, image recording, and direct input to the process via e-forms.

For those with successful Mobile Capture projects, speed of data availability and keeping paper out of the process have been the biggest benefits. Capturing content on mobile and connecting direct to the back-office process gets the data into the system much faster than waiting for the field worker to get back to base, and much, much faster than submitting paperwork to head office. Keeping this paperwork out of the system is also a benefit in itself, and that in turn enhances back-office efficiency. Shorter end-to-end cycle times and better data accuracy are also welcome benefits. In many industries such as banking and telecommunications, mobile apps provide the opportunity to deliver expanded service offerings.


So, why there are so many Mobile Capture projects that still fail and what can you do about it?

According to the AIIM/Papersoft study, connection bandwidth, connection security, and device security have been the biggest issues, but there’s more. Here are the 8 most cited reasons why Mobile Capture projects fail and what you need to do to ensure its success when you decide to go ahead with a project of this nature:

  1. Poor connection speed/bandwidth/availability – The lack of signal or poor connection bandwidth just at the critical moment can simply block the use of a mobile capture solution. The app design can be vital here, often needing to maintain security of device-cached images prior to a delayed update to the process. What can you do? Implement a solution that features online and offline processing and start working remotely with or without connectivity!
  1. User resistance – Even technical novelty cannot be relied on to smooth over changed practice. What can you do? Implement an easy-to-use and user-centric solution with ready-to-use wizard processes! It also leverages user adoption if the platform that you choose offers contextual tips, help articles, guides, and tutorials in all sections.
  1. Security connection of device to process app/confidentiality/lost devices – Of course, secure connection of the device to the back-end application is an issue, along with the security of the device itself, and the risk from lost devices. What can you do? Implement a solution that sends the info from back-office through a secure TSL or HTTPS connection, so there are no security issues to worry about! The information stored on the device must be encrypted and transferred to the platform. If the device is lost, its information can be remotely destroyed and/or the user can recover it from the platform. Also, the information is classified as generic or private, so the confidentiality issue is completely covered.
  1. Development time/resource for on-device apps – Those never ending projects and gaps between expectations and deliverables are really a problem. What can you do? Select a vendor with the needed experience, use cases and background that leverage Mobile Capture projects success. A ready-to-use platform transparently integrated within your core systems is what you need to start!
  1. Compliance/Online and offline capture and validation – Most of the solutions in the market don’t ensure compliance whether you are online or offline, and it can be a critical issue for the success of your initiative. What can you do? Ensure embedded compliance within processes with business rules and user interface alerts guaranteeing correct transactions only. Implement a platform that enables you to perform business rules in an online or offline environment, with criteria validation – for instance, you won’t be able to use a past date as a deadline for a task.
  1. Poor scanning/capture performance of device – If the device doesn’t support a minimal image quality, you won’t be able to integrate it into your business process. What can you do? Ensure that your field team devices have a minimum of 5MP resolution and select a Mobile Capture solution able to enhance images with lower quality.
  1. Poor battery life/low storage capacity – Some solutions require a huge consumption of battery and memory, especially those that require the user to be always connected to the internet (they only work online). What can you do? Implement a low-consuming and compressed images Mobile Capture solution and you’ll be able to create hundreds of new records per day without having to recharge each mobile device. Also, ensure that these images don’t remain in the device memory after the information is sent to the core system.
  1. Customization – One size doesn’t fit all, right? You have specific requirements and challenges that must be easily embraced and addressed by the Mobile Capture solution. What can you do? Choose a fully customizable solution and you’ll be able to define the inputs and rules that fit your unique business model.


There’s no doubt that Mobile Capture is opening up great possibilities for innovative services and step-changes in competitive capability. But you can only achieve them if you are aware and are able to surpass the main reasons why mobile capture projects fail.

Count on Papersoft’s Mobile Capture solution for turning your device into an enterprise document capture and processing app – while guaranteeing compliance and security from the entry point.

To Dos:
– Before starting a Mobile Capture project, keep the above considerations in mind.
– If you think your business could benefit from a fully automated, secure, accurate, and compliant Mobile Capture approach, discover our Plans & Packages and ask for a quote.
– If you are already efficiently working with Mobile Capture, what have been the main pains and gains? Share with us in the comments.
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