Conceiving an Enterprise Mobility Strategy

The Time to Act is Now

Author:  Gil Carter

The field of enterprise mobility has moved extremely rapidly in the last seven years. Previous generation devices were barely usable in an enterprise setting due to limited hardware and software coupled with incomplete network cover; compare that to today where the current offerings of mobile hardware, software and the 4G network have transformed the mobility environment.

With strong adoption of mobile devices by consumers, enterprise ICT environments are now under pressure to offer the same compelling user experience that consumers now expect.

However, there is a significant journey to travel for an enterprise when application security, ICT governance, data administration and workflow changes are factored in. Mobile management tools from industry vendors are now into their second or third generation and can offer mature capabilities to assist enterprises to adopt mobile devices effectively.

So when conceiving your enterprise mobility strategy, what questions need to be considered?

Business considerations:
The first questions to consider for enterprise mobility come from the strategy in the business. For some businesses, mobility technology can significantly alter the delivery of services, sometimes needing less staff or being able to offer new services into different markets. There are some central principles from this area that will set the right agenda for mobility – whether as an adjunct to existing services, or the opportunity to radically change how the business runs.

The topics to consider are in areas such as: what should be the business approach to using mobile devices? What new possibilities might be available? How can they be harnessed effectively? What is the most appropriate starting point? How will the effectiveness of the program be assessed?

Operational Information Sharing:
How will the information gathered and accessed using mobile devices be managed? How can information be shared internally and with third parties efficiently and securely?

Technical Considerations:
What are the applications that will run on the platform? How will these applications be developed? How will applications from different sources be able to co-exist on devices from a wide range of environments?

What is the technical platform to underpin the mobility work program? How can applications be delivered onto a range of different devices whilst keeping the complexity managed?

By addressing these questions through development of a mobility strategy, an enterprise can reach an informed and supportable position on the usage of mobile devices in the organisation.

Then comes the transition:

Four Principles 
The challenge for enterprises in adopting mobility services then come from transition tasks, rather than in assessing platform viability. There are four principal areas that can present challenges:

1.     Mobile Apps Platform
Selecting a suitable mobile application platform with supporting management tools

2.     Apps Development Strategy
Developing an appropriate strategy for application development, recognising that some applications may be updated in-house and some may be delivered via a service partner

3.     Mobility Adoption Trajectory
Setting a trajectory for the organisation in adopting mobility services, establishing a suitable baseline platform to operate from and suitable projects and initiatives to migrate to a mobility platform.

4.     Organisational Transition Program
Establishing an internal transition program to reform and update work practices to take full advantage of the improvements to service delivery that a mobility platform can offer.