The race is on for enterprise mobility. Driving this push are consumers, who are increasingly adopting mobile devices, and innovation, as devices are regularly becoming smarter and better equipped. As the average consumer continues to integrate mobile devices and apps into their personal life, there is a whiplash demand to extend this increased functionality into the workplace. In a recent survey including 250 Chief Information Officers:

  • 30% said desktops could be replaced with tablets in the near future
  • 56% said there is strong demand from employees to support mobile devices
  • 76% said they are planning to allow BYOD policies in accessing internal databases and software
    Source: “Mobility Disrupt: A CIO Perspective” McKinsey & Company, 2012

What are the benefits of making your enterprise mobile?

  • Enhance productivity and efficiency: Mobile devices and enterprise applications support online and offline access. They also extend your business beyond its typical brick-and-mortar location. This gives your workforce access to their work, any time or anywhere. Finally, with the emergence of cloud computing, users now have access to content, despite device storage capacity.
  • Lean & align company processes: By adopting an enterprise mobile application, you will have the ability to cut out bottlenecks and funnel all tasks as they are intended to be performed. For example, consider the sales department. Statistics show that only about 29% of a salespersons time is spent selling, 84% of what is learned in training is lost without reinforcement, 90% of the materials distributed from marketing is considered useless by salespeople, and 25% of Sales executives say their sales team follows their intended sales methodology less than half the time. Using an app here will alleviate these problem areas, shorten the sales cycle, lower the cost per sale, and give the sales resource additional selling time.
  • Improve employee communication: Mobile devices and apps will go a long way to providing increased access to voice, email, calendars, messaging, and even conferencing.
  • Integration: And important piece of enterprise mobility is access to your backend systems and databases. Cloud servers allow mobile apps to communicate with your data, providing real-time access to your information. Integration is key to enhancing organizational productivity.
  • Positioning and Impression: Incorporating mobile and apps into your enterprise will also provide some intangible benefits. Chiefly, it will differentiate your organization to both employees and clients. Mobile devices and apps provide a new channel to engage your clients, as well as tool your associates with the functionality they need on the go.

What steps do I need to take if I want to adopt a mobile strategy?

  • Outline a mobile policy: Define a clear set of policies to outline IT and employee usage. Will your organization use business or personal devices? How will you maintain security and platform consistency?
  • Build your IT architecture: What components will you use to manage your mobile devices and apps? This is a time to compare vendors, and incorporate current IT policies.
  • Identify mobile users and conduct a needs analysis: Identify associates who have a need for mobile, then determine what functions will enhance overall productivity and efficiency.
  • Build / Integrate your mobile app: Build a mobile app (or find, if one aligns appropriately) and encompass all necessary functionality. Integrate your app with backend systems and databases. An app that is not fully integrated into your IT architecture will not provide a comparable productivity.

Mobile devices are the future of enterprise IT initiatives, as companies everywhere are beginning to realize the potential ROI in taking an organization mobile. CIOs are balancing cost versus productivity, and are increasingly choosing to go mobile. What is your organization waiting for?