Enterprise Mobility is Transforming BusinessesIn this fast changing world of information and communication technology, gone are the days when CIOs had to decide whether applications are best run on mainframes, minicomputers or PCs connected through local area network. In the last one to two decades, things have radically changed. Today, first time consumers are demanding technologies they want to use. Smartphones and tablets have rapidly evolved and been accepted as corporate tools. In the words of late Steve Jobs, we are headed in the post-PC era and the transition will cause unease and discomfort for some because PCs have “taken us a long way”.  He stated, “PCs are going to be like trucks. Less people will need them”.

Before we go into detail, it is very important to understand the subscription of smartphones based on the Ericsson survey in November, 2013.  As per the report, total smartphone subscriptions will reach 1.9 billion at the end of 2013 and are projected to grow to 5.6 billion in 2019. In 2019, almost all handsets in Western Europe and North America will be smartphones, compared to 50 percent of handset subscriptions in the Middle East and Africa. The number of mobile subscriptions for mobile PCs, tablets and mobile routers is expected to grow from 300 million in 2013 to around 800 million in 2019.

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Smartphone traffic will grow by 10 times between 2013 and 2019, reaching 10 Exabyte according to the study projection.  In 2013, mobile phone traffic will exceed the traffic levels generated by the combination of mobile PCs, tablets and routers.

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From above figures, needless to say, where the opportunities are. A consumer-driven revolution is happening with technologies providing people a new way to communicate, collaborate, play, interact, and work. Technology is changing people’s behaviors and the society. Today, we can experience the power of information as never before. Portable and mobile devices are becoming powerful tools because of access to network, services and applications provided at different layers.

Demands are changing. Users now want to communicate and interact with customers, employees, business partners and resources in real time – at any time and from any location. Enterprise Mobility directs companies towards mobile processes – through procedures, which make data and services available anywhere. Mobility is an integral part of the business process requiring a well-defined strategy, and is not simply another information channel similar to the web.

According to the KPMG’s Technology Innovation Survey 2013, cloud computing (32%) followed by mobile (26%) and Big Data/analytics (8%) will have the greatest impact on driving business transformation for enterprises in the next three years. Survey shows 58% view mobile and cloud as technology that will enable the next indispensable technology. We shall discuss mobility and cloud in separate articles.

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Successful mobility implementations generate several business benefits, including:

  • Anytime, anywhere connectivity to people, applications and data
  • Improved user satisfaction driven by devices and apps choice
  • Competitive advantages through efficiency and effectiveness
  • Enhanced productivity based on streamlined business procedures
  • Easily visible instant business impact
  • Minimized costs, lowered operational errors, contributing to better user experience

Despite many security and data concerns, consumers and customers are going to use mobility to bring success and comfort to their lives. Once an enterprise embraces mobility for most of its functions, it has to accept the inherent risk posed by mobility to its critical data. To combat the data risk, various security-related proactive measures must be deployed. The explosive growth in mobility, social media and cloud computing presents the enterprise with enormous opportunities and challenges. Over the next decade or even after, companies having better mobility strategy will be in a better position.

Several research studies dedicated to mobility has universally accepted that growth has been rapid and is continuing without any sign of reduction in intensity. This is clear from research conducted by IDG enterprise. The research found that only 25% respondents have active mobile strategy as mentioned below. 67% respondents are either in initial phase of implementation or in the process of formulating mobility strategy.

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Gartner has predicted that by 2015, 70% of customer interaction will originate through mobile devices. Anyone can question the accuracy of this figure but seems to be playing out in market.

Mobile by nature is very disruptive. Every six month there is a new operating system in the market. Changing versions also create problems. This very nature of mobile has left many enterprises scrambling to come up with business and technical road map for mobility. One of the biggest reasons of this problem is ad hoc approach for mobility adoption by many enterprises. Ad hoc approach to enterprise mobility comes with its own risk like data vulnerabilities, data leakage, reliability issues and insecure access. They are solving the individual problem rather than taking holistic approach.

To take the maximum from mobile device, enhance their organizational effectiveness and efficiency, companies need to adopt comprehensive outlook for mobility. This is particularly very attractive for enterprises with limited staff and resources in this entrepreneurship and innovative era. Indeed, enterprise mobility is a non-negotiable, perfect storm of change as enterprises and new businesses embrace mobility as one of their key focus areas, providing applications that work flawlessly, deliver great experience and meet customer satisfaction. Companies that fail to recognize its business potential will struggle in the marketplace. Enterprise mobility is no longer an option, rather a critical business requirement. Winning the future will require companies across industries to embrace mobility platforms that unlock productivity and competitive advantage.