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Mobility is about Users First, Technology Second

By David Barclay, National Practice Manager – Mobility, Data#3

Enterprise mobility has many facets to consider. Security, users, business processes, IT requirements, devices, policies, management – it can be a bit overwhelming trying to determine where to start and what approach to use to ensure all these facets are properly considered.

However, the starting point is really quite clear. Users. You see, no matter what your business does or how it’s structured, mobility is primarily about making your users more productive. Therefore, an enterprise mobility strategy needs to start with your users and more specifically, user segmentation. A process that looks closely at your business and answers questions like, “how is the business structured?”, “what are the different roles in the business?” and “what does each role need to be more effective?”.

Mobility

A proper user segmentation process doesn’t stop there though. You need to go into more detail, documenting things like where the staff in each of these roles work and are they mobile or office based? What do they do, and who do they collaborate with? What information do they access and how does that compare to what they should be accessing? You really need to understand exactly what your users need day-to-day to get their job done and not just superficial information about what they prefer. This also means including more than just the IT department – it’s a whole-of-business discussion.

If enterprise mobility is viewed solely as an IT project, then the starting point usually ends up as a technical one and while the intent may still be to find out what users need, the wrong questions get asked. The focus shifts towards devices, security policies, access and control with questions that users generally can’t answer as the language can get too technical.

This can lead to mobility solutions that don’t really meet the needs of the users and don’t deliver the outcomes the business expects. Frustration with the solutions provided can cause users to try and go around IT to get the tools they feel they should have received in the first place, giving rise to Shadow IT and opening the business up to new risks.

Starting with user segmentation and a whole-of-business view can prevent this from happening. But that’s only part of the equation.

Equally important is the user adoption process. Once you understand what users really need, you need to think about how they will be trained and migrated to these new tools and processes – it’s a critical success factor. You can choose the best technology solution available, but if your users haven’t been brought along on the journey and don’t know how to use it to its fullest extent, it will fail.

A well-structured user segmentation approach also provides many opportunities for your users to get more involved in the project and talk about what they do day-to-day, in their own language. Being much more involved in these early stages means they are more engaged on the overall journey which in turn makes the user adoption process simpler.

So, if you are considering enterprise mobility, put your users first. The results will more than justify the additional time you spend.

Tags: Mobility, User Segmentation

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