Mobile devices have become the centrepiece of our work and personal lives. Add cloud-enabled social tools and predictive analytics and you have a business environment that is always on the move. This new IT landscape is profoundly changing the way companies relate to their customers, interact with employees, and bring products and services to market. Enterprise mobility is not only a pathway to convenience and efficiency in this new world of work, but also a key driver of business innovation.
Enterprise mobility isnt just another IT project: It is also not about a single app or mobile web site. The most successful enterprise mobility strategies are built on a strong collaboration between business and IT. This approach allows the business the freedom to innovate while providing IT the control to do it securely.
The SMAC bundle: Mobility is one important component of a new master IT architecturesocial, mobile, analytics and cloud (the SMAC stack)that is emerging to help organisations shift from old-world industrial models to more digitally powered ways of working. Mobility is providing reach, ubiquitous connectivity and new ways of interacting with employees, partners, customers, consumers and prospects. Innovative mobile solutions can radically increase convenience and productivity for various constituencies and provide them with a superior experience.
The beginning: At the first level of enterprise mobility, or Mobility 1.0, companies seek to mobile-enable or mobile-optimise their websites, existing Web apps and digital assets to increase productivity foremployees and customers. The challenge is to keep ahead of the proliferation and constant state of flux within smart devices, development platforms and mobile operating systems.
Step 2: With Mobility 2.0, organisations typically look to transform business processes via mobility. For example, expense account reporting has always been a cumbersome process for employees, requiring them to save paper receipts, fill out forms and then send everything to corporate accounts payable for payment. By contrast, a mobile-enabled expense-submitting process is much quicker and easier. Employees need to only take pictures of their receipts with their smart device, categorise them with a simple pull-down menu, and click a submit button to send them to accounting for reimbursement.
The leap forward:To be sure, at this early stage of the smart mobility era, most companies are still at mobility levels 1.0 and 2.0. Few have yet ventured into the Mobility 3.0 territory, in which organisations leverage mobile technology to create entirely new business models and revenue streams. In Mobility 3.0, both B2B and B2C companies have greater opportunities to reach their target markets directly to improve profitability or add new customers. Mobile payments on feature phones, as well as smartphones, are enabling access to whole new continents of consumers.
Therefore enterprise mobility is no longer an option, but rather a critical business requirement. Winning the future will require companies across industries to embrace mobility platforms that unlock productivity and competitive advantage and optimise ongoing process changes that span the core operating model.
The use of mobile computing in business today goes far beyond e-mail access, messaging services and horizontal applications. The ecosystem now includes access to core enterprise applications, both services and data. Todays computationally powerful and smart devices with high-resolution screens allow employees to query, access and view business data in an engaging format in real-time, even when they are off-premises. Similarly, operational and field workforces now have the ability to capture and share corporate data in real-time, using smart devices with built-in sensors, thereby improving the ability of employees to collaborate among themselves and with customer and partners.