Within the world of enterprise IT there are three huge shifts underway; the rise of mobile technology in the workspace, the uptake of cloud services and growing end-user independence. As a result of these three trends coming together, CIOs and IT managers need to start thinking seriously about a mobile strategy that makes sense for their individual organisation.
There are many issues CIOs and CFOs face on the back of these trends, but there are basic steps businesses and government entities can use to develop a mobile strategy.
Accelerate through change
When it comes to using mobile technology to its maximum benefit, most organisations confess they are not even close. Mobile assets are primarily used as an internal communication tool and not managed efficiently. Yet mobile technology has the potential to empower employees and be used as a channel to engage with external customers.
A best-in-class approach sees a three-stage structure: regain control, empower staff and build a mobile channel. If managed well, cost is released at the end of each stage which can be re-invested in getting the next phase off the ground.
The three-stage mobile strategy:
Better management of mobile users, devices and expenses ultimately reduces cost. A great place to start is the mobile policy. In most companies the policy needs an update that includes BYO considerations and a clear specification of the spend, security and level of support for each user group. You can now actively monitor and manage policy adherence through a wide range of Mobile Device Management (MDM) tools and services. Plus, mobile expense management (MEM) tools and services will help reduce your mobile cost by typically 15 to 30 percent. As a result CIOs and CFOs can regain control of their mobile environment and cost savings can be reinvested in achieving the next stage: empowering employees.
Empower internal staff
Today’s employees are expecting more collaboration to make real-time decisions faster and closer to customers. Using a range of effective apps will improve mobile productivity. MDM tools help by displaying a catalogue of recommended apps, whether propriety or external, on the users’ devices. You can then provide training and support for the recommended apps as part of your provisioning process to drive adoption and policy compliance. Remember, anyone can use a mobile device but not everyone can conduct business on a mobile.
Engage external customers
Only 10 years ago many companies were wondering whether they needed a website. “If we build it, will they come?” Now the same questions are being asked about mobile technology. We know mobile is the most available, most immediate channel to the customer. New channels enable new business models and new revenue opportunities. Developing mobile apps for this is getting easier, faster and cheaper which means the barrier to entry is no longer an excuse for getting started.
Quite apart from giving companies a framework to start them off on their mobile strategy, the main benefit of this approach is that it does it without increasing the total cost of ownership to the business.
The author is the founder and CEO of Mobile Mentor, a Trans-Tasman provider of mobile management services for enterprise and government. He was formerly a director at Nokia New Zealand.
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