How to plan for enterprise mobility

Mobility has changed the world. It’s changed everything in less than a decade. It’s altered many aspects of our lives – especially the way we work and communicate. It’s been an incredible journey so far and enterprises are only now starting to understand ways in which mobility will continue to change the workplace in the next decade. Right now there are nearly 7 billion devices connected to the web. It’s estimated that by 2020 there will be 20 billion devices connect to the web (Business Insider). So if you think the mobile revolution has happened pretty quickly in the past ten years, the next phase of the mobile growth trajectory is likely to be equally staggering (if not more so). If you haven’t already developed an enterprise mobility strategy, it’s not too late, but the clock is ticking. You need to be prepared to move fast.

“Enterprise mobility management (EMM) is the set of people, processes and technology focused on managing mobile devices, wireless networks, and other mobile computing services in a business context. As more workers have bought smartphone and tablet computing devices and have sought support for using these devices in the workplace, EMM has become increasingly significant.”

Getting enterprise mobility right means adapting to dramatic changes in the workplace and how your staff operate. Your employees now demand the ability to operate via any device, from any location at any time. This means that your data needs to be available via smartphones, tablets and desktop PC’s. It means that your data needs to be stored in the cloud so employees can access it via any location. It means that in order to be more productive as an organisation, you need to think about how you empower employees by offering them a greater degree of flexibility. Getting to grips with enterprise mobility is about enabling your company and your staff to become more productive in order to enhance your bottom line (see our article on mobile ROI). The fact is – investing in mobile right now could be the smartest move your company ever makes.

In theory all of this sounds fantastic. But the reality of facilitating enterprise mobility can be an entirely different ball game. For a start, recruiting the right mobile talent can be extremely challenging when it comes to executing your mobile vision. If you’re serious about mobile, it’s time to start asking some big questions about whether your company is actually equipped to deal with such a radical transformation and dramatic shift in working practices. Recent studies suggested that less than one in five companies were adequately geared up to take advantage of the mobile revolution. This is alarming given that enterprise mobility can actually represent the difference between business success and failure. Today we want to explore how your business can plan for enterprise mobility.

If you’re an enterprise looking to get into mobile, it’s probably worth asking yourself the following questions:

Can your company cope with the demands of a world that is constantly connected?
Can employees easily access back-end systems to increase productivity?
Can you cope with large scale demand based on your customers shift to mobile?
Can you balance consumer/employee privacy needs with enterprise security?
Does your current infrastructure support multiple apps, devices and sensors?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, it’s time to start asking some serious questions about how to mobilise your company. Enterprise mobility is much more than just implementing a BYOD policy. It represents a wholesale shift in the way your company does business across the board. You need to consider enterprise mobility in terms of how it can help you to deploy new products and services. This is about adding value to your end user experience by making it easier to consume your products and services via mobile.

There are huge windows of opportunity your company can exploit via the world of mobile but it’s just understanding how this can be achieved. This is actually more to do with attitude than anything else. Enterprise mobility works well for agile, forward thinking companies who place value on innovation. If you can’t see the value in mobile or don’t understand the value it can unlock, it’s probably not for you. If you’re going to get it right and plan for enterprise mobility effectively, you need to actively remove any barriers internally that are likely to stifle innovation. Remember – if you can remove these barriers and constraints on innovation you can recoup your investment in mobile very fast.

Security is a massive consideration when it comes to enterprise mobility. What’s more critical is making sure you react fast and do something with mobile quickly. Deciding to do the right thing comes first, you can develop a detailed security strategy in tandem. The fact of the matter is, many of your competitors are already deeply involved with mobile and reaping it’s lucrative rewards. You need to think very carefully about the potential ROI of mobile, how it can be used to enhance organisational efficiency and boost your overall level of productivity.

But above all else, what really matters, is starting with the end in mind. We say this time and time again to all of our new and existing customers. Whenever it comes to embarking upon a new enterprise mobility strategy, you must always start with the end in mind and work backwards from that precise point. This means understanding your business goals and how mobile actually fits into the wider mix. Once you have a keen understanding of what your business goals are, then you can start to think about enterprise mobility and how to implement your chosen strategy.

Mobile could be the smartest move your company ever makes. For some, enterprise mobility represents an adventure and a bold new way of doing things. Like any great adventure, it’s essential to understand your destination. This means getting into mobile for the right reasons. Doing enterprise mobility because your competitors are doing it is not the right reason. Doing mobile because it’s fashionable is also not the right reason to start in the first instance. Doing mobile for the wrong reasons will create more problems further down the line. Think about your business goals and how you can use mobile technology to deliver against these goals.


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