How to Implement a Robust Mobility Strategy

By CIOReview | Tuesday, July 26, 2016
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According to the data from digital analysts at GSMA Intelligence, during the second half of 2014, the number of gadgets in the planet surpassed the number of people. Nowadays, a person is likely to own more than one smart device as it continues to penetrate among the masses in various forms and types; the affect of which gave rise to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend. BYOD took on enterprises by storm and is now in full swing along the way to saturate enterprises overcoming compliance issues and bypassing skeptical differences in opinions.

Enterprise Mobility strategy delivers what it promises, although, like any technological innovation, it faces its own set of challenges and constraints – the friction ridden path to maturity. As many analysts precisely predict, it is inevitable given the pace at which technologies spiral out. From a CIO’s perspective, adopting moves that curb BYOD would only isolate possibilities for enhanced business performance.

Tech behemoths are well into the race of providing a unified experience irrespective of the access method. Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform (UWP) introduced with Windows 10 aims to consolidate the OS across desktops, laptops, smartphones, ARM tablets, Internet of Things devices, Xbox and even Microsoft HoloLens and Surface Hub. Aligning business process in tune to mobility is more than deploying a mere mobile interface or adding an extension in the form of apps.

Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) covers various subsets which include Mobile Device Management (MDM), Mobile Application Management (MAM), Mobile Content/Email Management, Mobile Collaboration, and Policy and Configuration Management. Each of the mobility solution has a linkage with one another and hence it’s quite difficult to draw a definitive line between them.

Identifying and prioritizing processes is the first step towards implementing a mobile strategy for mobility initiative need not necessarily leverage all segments of the business. Instead of attempting to rapidly wrap up entire processes in the name of mobility, weighing in Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and understanding how mobilizing apps and workflows could enhance them helps set a clear path toward achieving robust mobility initiative. This calls for a close collaboration of IT and app development team to identify the technical feasibility, effect on business value and organization readiness. Though it may sound farfetched, creating a dedicated team or personnel within the IT department to conduct a prior survey (apart from the one initiated by vendors) would be an intelligent step in mitigating chances of unforeseen hindrances. For example, ensuring that upgrades/new installations do not end up in legacy systems (such as printers, existing connected devices) being obsolete is a wise move which many firms fail to undertake and face compatibility issues. This is an instance for which even the vendor may not be accountable too.

User experience is a crucial area, where discussions with potential users would give insightful inputs that would inevitably make the workflow effective. Like any other general app available, first impression is a detrimental factor for the success of enterprise mobility. Anomalies like sluggish performance would discourage employees from working with mobile platforms. After all, in the current scenarios work through mobile generally implies to carrying out relatively smaller snippets of work at a quick pace. This calls for user friendly mobile app with simplified UI which is fast and secure.

As far as app development is concerned, organizations can adopt mobile versions of vendors' software, purchase software-as-a-service apps or build its own. A mixed-source approach to development would enable enterprises be on the edge with the competent and rapidly evolving business world, as for many a times, third party service providers excel at specific domains as opposed to a firm’s in-house development team. Also, not having to rely entirely on vendors would help cutting cost as affordability constraints owing to high vendor pricing is often cited by many firms. Figuring out what each app's tasks are and what data needs to be made accessible makes it easier to select the right model for each type of application.

As mobile devices continue to raise their standards in terms of processing power whilst being competitively compatible, the lines that demarcate them from a PC infrastructure continue to diminish. This has given rise to challenges that didn’t exist when desktops and laptops were the only players. In the near future implementing enterprise mobility will be more challenging affair with penetration of wearable tech like smart watches and glasses among the masses.