Inside the tech industry, we often tend to see technologies and trends in a rosy picture. However, enterprises usually approach newer technologies with caution, since they must weigh the possible advantages of their investments against realistic risks and practical disadvantages. Being able to tackle these issues and risks often affect business productivity. Case in point – enterprise mobility.
The rise of mobile devices and applications is driving the demand for mobility in organizations. That is driving BYOD, which in turn, is accelerating the explosion in development of applications. Testing of applications already consumes almost a quarter of the enterprise IT budget; research company Gartner predicts that mobile CRM apps alone will grow 500 percent by 2016. These trends—mobility, BYOD, and applications—present incredible opportunities for the enterprise ecosystem. They have the potential to essentially alter an organization’s competitive dynamics.
Simultaneously, the emergence of mobility, BYOD and apps present a fundamental challenge. These trends have followed customers into the enterprise, leaving enterprise processes and modules far behind. Enterprises must catch up by enabling seamless communication and collaboration across workplaces. That requires a change in the way enterprises looks at data, networks and processes. Applications today are no longer a behemoth, rather they are smaller, carrying tiny chunks of information that is crucial for business decision making.
In this environment, decision makers face significant challenges that are deeper and more complex than ever. Enabling enterprise mobility is just not a matter of transforming your organization from a web-centric to a mobile-centric environment. IT leaders must understand the vital paradigm shifts, and how are they taking businesses far away from the web world. Among many other things, enterprise mobility is a self-provisioning, self-help model. Without a shift in business strategy, information technology infrastructure will find it difficult to accommodate it.
One critical aspect CIOs must bear in mind is to accommodate the cross-platform support in their infrastructure. Since the number of devices are increasing, standardization of devices does not seem to be the way to choose for organizations, according to CIOs. Ajay Kumar Meher, VP–IT & New Media, Sony Entertainment, substantiated the importance of cross-platform support when he stated, “As of now, Apple and Blackberry devices have taken over organizations. As a customer-facing initiative, we are working on bringing live television capabilities to mobile devices, remodeling content and re-creating applications accordingly. We wouldn’t benefit much in this initiative if we go for standardization of devices.”
The other aspect, apart from multiple device support, which IT decision makers have to work on, is user experience. Jitendra Jadhwani, CIO at Tata Motors Finance, spoke about the critical nature of this particular aspect. He says, “In the ‘Shrink the Screen, Expand the Experience’ program we have initiated, we are following this strategy called BEAM – Business, Employees, Automation and Mobility. We have realized that the only customer-facing move one has to make as a part of mobility strategy is improving user experience.”
In the same line of thought, Country Managing Partner for Technology at Accenture, Manish Panjwani, recommended an effective enterprise mobility strategy. He says, “One should always follow a need-based approach while developing applications, which shouldn’t be confined only to the need of the employees, but also of the customers and related agencies. New business processes can then be engineered based on this.”
In general, most IT leaders recommend integrating virtual desktop interface with the mobility strategy of their business. Also, several organizations have taken this course and are now coming across great benefits.
All decision makers agreed that an effective strategy for enabling mobility is the need of the hour because of the emergence of cloud computing and social media in enterprise IT.