By David Barclay, National Practice Manager, Data#3
Even within companies already making mobility a priority, mobility is bigger than most people think. Just as we couldn’t envisage at first the ways in which technology such as personal computers, LANs/WANs, the Internet and cloud computing would change the world, we haven’t yet seen the peak of what mobility will let us achieve.
Some businesses view ‘mobility’ as just another way to access or deliver information. They rush to implement basic enterprise solutions that solve an immediate need such as device management or making specific applications available to users from anywhere.
These capabilities are part of the story – and a part that IT needs to address for day-to-day operations – but rushing to implementation without an overarching plan can lead to costly errors.
Instead we need to take a step back and plan for the bigger picture – to start to envision what mobility can offer, and how it can underpin the organisation of tomorrow while guiding your decisions today.
Mobility is agility and innovation. It delivers the ‘Anywhere Workplace’, changing where we work, how we work and the speed at which we work, driving the optimisation of business processes. It supports the responsiveness that underpins internal and external customer satisfaction by delivering the simplicity demanded by both end-users and customers..
It lets us ‘seize the day’ – recapture our competitive advantage and regain the ability to rapidly evolve to take advantage of emerging opportunities, driving new revenue streams despite the presence of newer, leaner, unencumbered start-ups.
Mobility is cost savings. Mobilise the workforce to reduce dependency on costly real estate and physical locations. Deliver more services on cheaper, simpler hardware that consumers are already intimately familiar with. Collect revenue in more places at more times through payment and commerce services. Mobility allows a consistent service delivery model for business consumers regardless of their role or location.
But there are obviously challenges.
Simplicity at the front end typically means complexity at the back end. Legacy applications stuffed full of features, drop-down windows and options don’t easily translate to mobile applications.
Any mobility discussion is also a security discussion, however the focus to date has tended to be device-centric. Organisations must adapt their existing security strategies to accommodate mobility. While most organisations have taken only a device-centric approach to security in the mobile environment, more critical is to manage what information resides on the device, who is accessing that information and where the information is ultimately stored.
When it comes to devices that are used for both business and personal use, where do the rights of the staff member end and the personal user begin? This poses complex questions about the ownership of data and the right to protect it. If a device is lost and the IT department completes a remote wipe, deleting personal photos and other data, is this an intrusion on privacy?
Ultimately though the benefits of mobility outweigh the challenges, and embracing enterprise mobility is no longer a choice but a necessity for forward-thinking organisations. It has become a mandatory capability for any organisation looking to stay competitive, attract the right customers and retain the best staff.
So how does an organisation become ‘mobility enabled’?
To start, you need to expect mobility to be disruptive. Not in a ‘throw it out and start over’ way, but in a way that challenges you to change your world view.
Enterprise mobility is not something you buy, and it doesn’t rest on the shoulders of IT alone. It’s an outcome based on a whole-of-business proposition, a partnership between IT and the rest of the business to begin to recognise the opportunities that can be exploited with the right solutions from the right vendors.
This starts to frame the organisation-wide mobility discussion. Its implementation requires in-depth planning and a cohesive strategy that builds on your existing mobility foundations and investments, but with an eye for the bigger picture that only comes with open-minded, unconstrained thinking.
Mobility. Letting you build The Anywhere Workplace.