No technology has a greater impact on business productivity than wireless and mobility.
Whether it’s business-to-consumer (B2C) or business-to-employee (B2E) applications, or simple mobile email and personal information management, mobility has allowed users to access information, conduct business and stay connected regardless of where they are located. All of this translates into speed and getting the job done faster and more efficiently. While everyone seems to recognize the impact mobility has had on business, few organizations have taken the critical step of developing a mobility strategy that looks at all of the various aspects of mobility as a whole and use them to drive real business transformation.
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Form a Steering Commitee
If you are like most organizations, your first challenge in developing a mobility strategy is that no single person is charged with the overall responsibility for “mobility.” Given the wide-ranging impact of mobile technology, the best approach may be to put together a steering committee with representatives from all of the key areas involved. Typically such a committee is headed up by an IT representative but should also include representatives from information security, legal, human resources, labor relations and those business units that are heavily impacted by mobility (e.g., sales, field service, dispatch, etc.).
Look at Spending
Another priority should be to look at what you are spending. While there has been much talk about “bring your own device” (BYOD) initiatives where users are allowed to use their personal smartphones to access corporate email and other systems, the majority of enterprise mobile devices are still paid for by the company, and they represent a significant expenditure.
Address Mobile Security
It is important to recognize that as you extend network access to mobile users, a serious security exposure is created. The thought of sensitive corporate data residing on hundreds or even thousands of mobile devices, some of which may be owned by the employees themselves, and all of which are easily lost or stolen is enough to keep CSOs awake at night. While the growing adoption of bring your own device (BYOD) initiatives has sparked the heightened interest in mobile security, data and network security are issues that need to be addressed regardless of who owns the device.
Choose Mobile Apps
Once the security situation is under control, it’s time to look at apps. While virtually every organization has a B2C app, the apps that provide the real value in the way of efficiency and productivity are B2E apps, and there are a number of different paths to take. For virtually every organization, email and PIM (e.g., calendar, contacts, tasks and notes) are the starting point for mobile applications, and many have yet to move beyond those core capabilities.
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