Enterprise Mobility Revisited
Enterprise mobility is the latest corporate buzzword, thanks to the new technologies that are emerging in the market. Mobile devices are increasingly becoming more sophisticated offering businesses the options of voice, internet, e-mail, chat, video and even barcode reading, among others. Moreover, the dropping prices of smartphones, PDAs and tablets are prompting business executives of larger corporations as well as SME organizations to embrace these devices.
A recent survey on Enterprise Mobility in India indicated that there has been a widespread adoption of mobility devices in the past one year. While nearly 40% of the organizations surveyed (mostly in the mid-sized segment) already deployed enterprise mobility solution in some form or the other, another 25% plans to embrace at least one mobility devices in the next 6-12 months. The maximum thrust of adopting mobility devices have been seen among Indian SMEs in the IT/ITES industry. This is followed by other industry verticals such as manufacturing, financial, retail, healthcare, media and telecom. The other verticals to join the bandwagon include education and government.
Mobility offers new possibilities to enterprises, but the path to mobility is full of significant challenges. On one hand, it presents newer opportunities to the business world such as increased collaboration, better productivity, customer relations and a number of others. On the other hand, it throws up a number of challenges to IT managers of larger enterprises and SMEs, who have to deal with issues such as provisioning, security and ongoing maintenance and management of these devices.
After talking to my IT friends who are managers and CIOs of SME organizations, the first thing I’ve noticed is that most of them do not have a clearly articulated enterprise mobility strategy. Here are a few tips for IT managers which I believe can lead to an effective enterprise mobility strategy.
Define your requirements: The first step is to understand the work pattern of employees. This should be identified on the basis of their job roles and responsibility and what are the mobility requirement of each employee that can benefit the organization.
Plan mobility projects based on budget: as a company head or an IT manager, you need to ask: Is this strategy really going to help us or give us an edge over others. If so, is it going to fit on to our technology budget? Even if it does how are we going to do it in the most cost-effective way?
Document mobility policies: it is important for Indian SMEs to write these policies, review them, approve them, and educate the employees, as part of your technology management policies. Employees need to know about the right mobility devices and how effectively these can be used.
Evaluate your mobility projects: this is a must as technology continues to evolve rapidly. You need to therefore frequently understand whether the corporate mobility devices are still optimal, whether upgrading is need at any given point and also whether these have been effectively handled by the employees.
Those Indian SME heads and IT managers who have a clearly defined enterprise mobility strategy can continue to cherish their mobility experience. If not, for the rest, a rude awakening may be in store. So it’s time to wake up folks!