by Sejuti Das

Enterprise Mobility Outlook 2016: We Can’t Afford to Miss the Bigger Picture

Jan 27, 2016
BusinessCareersCollaboration Software

Mobile devices are graduating from being business tools to key components of businesses. With this evolution comes change—but resolving old issues creates new challenges. What will mobility advancements bring for 2016?

Change is in the air. A change that began to take hold in bedrooms across the globe, is now conquering boardrooms. This change has been stimulated by the emergence of enterprise mobility—and while the complexities it brings in can be massive for businesses, the consequences of overlooking it completely are even more serious.

Ever since mobility as a technology entered the enterprise scene and brought in new forms of collaboration, and business efficiencies—enterprise mobility has become the key strategy for every business. Therefore, it is not surprising that almost every organization has either already, or is actively, deploying a mobile strategy, according to research analysts.

Gartner says, BYOD is growing fast—by 2016, 38% of companies will stop providing their employees with devices. By 2017, that figure will rise to 50%.

Over the last few years, spending on mobile devices has been growing at double-digit rates YoY across the world. According to IDC’s recent Enterprise Mobility survey, more than 70 percent of respondents stated that mobility is one of their top information and communications technology priorities, but only 36 percent of the over 2,000 organizations surveyed across the APAC region have actually implemented a holistic MDM (mobile device management) solution. Part of the reason can be attributed to the inherent complexities of the solution ecosystem.

While many organizations used to believe that MDM is the only solution they needed for enterprise mobility, the same organizations have come to realize that MDM is only a component of a comprehensive mobility offering. Also, according to a recent study by NASSCOM and Deloitte, the global enterprise mobility opportunity has been pegged at $140 billion by 2020—with BFSI and retail being early adopters globally—remaining the fastest growing markets in this sector.

Look Before You Leap

Mobility is all about being responsive, enhancing productivity, and improving efficiency. But stepping into the world of mobility without proper awareness and knowledge won’t help organizations thrive, or even survive in this industry.

According to Vishal Tripathi, research director at Gartner, one needs to define their enterprise mobility strategy, which means taking a step back and making necessary efforts to get it right, both for today and tomorrow. “Enterprises need to segment customers by their mobility requirements by evaluating the types of services, applications, and devices—ensuring sufficient connectivity, improved infrastructure, and seamless network security to support mobility requirements. They also need to consider how to integrate new mobility solutions into existing IT infrastructure, and deliver it in a safe and cost-effective manner,” says Tripathi.

“The lack of strategy and in-depth knowledge can lead to failure of mobility initiatives. And as a result, which the technology will never become an enabler for growth and profit. After all, without a definite enterprise mobility strategy, one may not only be wasting money and efforts, but also putting their corporate data, customers, and long-term goals at risk,” he adds.

Approaching something as complex as the enterprise mobility ecosystem is not something every organization is equipped with. Therefore, many of them often lose sight of their ultimate goal by focusing on the wrong areas of mobility or trying to solve the wrong problems.

In the quest for enabling mobility, IT leaders should figure out what exactly their customers are looking for. Jayantha Prabhu, CTO, Essar Group, seconds that. “Trends such as worker mobility, IT consumerization and work shifting means that more people are accessing enterprise applications and data from more places and in more ways than ever before. Enterprise mobility is rapidly becoming a fundamental element of business strategy for an organization,” he says.

“The most important thing employees expect is to have seamless integration with the network. There is an increased utility of various devices among employees because of video conferencing and other collaboration facilities and one can find useful applications that reduce cost and increase productivity,” adds Prabhu.

To realize that opportunity, organizations must think ‘mobile first.’ They must put mobile at the forefront, making it a first-class citizen in the enterprise IT world. A perfect enterprise mobility solution is about mashing up disparate systems with new interfaces, along with processes that are always-on and connected to the workforce, agreed CIOs.

There are some exciting developments happening on the horizon in the enterprise mobility space right now, but, this young field is rapidly evolving. Newer developments will continue to emerge, which is why it’s so important for IT leaders to be aware of where the market is headed.