August 10, 2015
Mobility has been on an accelerated growth trajectory since the dawn of the new millennium and it continues to grow at a pace that is unprecedented. Hence, it comes as no surprise that mobile plays a big part today, in providing enterprises with business critical data that is both, insightful and actionable. On the other hand, the success mantra behind any digitally transformed enterprise is that they don’t stop experimenting; they’re constantly eager to explore new avenues within the digital ecosystem. Add to that, enterprises now realize that mobility is not just about embracing mobile; it is about embracing the mobile ecosystem, which comprises cloud, analytics and wearable amongst other things – the 3rd Platform, as IDC dubs it. This is why we believe that we are at the crossroads of what could possibly be the rise of Enterprise Mobility 2.0
It is also important to realize that we are staring at a new economic reality, one where there are millennials entering the workforce, mobile devices growth is pervasive and the consumerization of the mobility market has grown two-folds. This means that enterprises don’t have the luxury of relying on a long-term mobility strategy; they need to stop, introspect and reassess their strategy at every turn.
Here’s a look at the top five priorities for enterprises to help augment their mobility strategy:
1. Bring Your Own App(BYOA)
It’s probably fair to say that one of the reasons why organizations adopted a BYOD strategy in the first place was to help keep risks associated with Shadow IT in check. However, devices were only one part of the problem statement – the uncertainty over enterprise applications still linger. Today, employees demand apps that are easy-to-use, can address specific business concerns and are swift; all of which the current lot of enterprise applications may not help accomplish.
That being said, there has been a slew of enterprise applications that have surfaced recently including Android for Work, Microsoft Office for iOS, Microsoft Intune, Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility Suite, Dropbox for Business and many more. All IT needs to do here is ensure that they are constantly leveraging enterprise applications to cater to the evolving needs of the employee. In parallel, IT also needs to look at adopting a BYOA strategy to help fill the voids that enterprise apps do not fill currently.
2. Mobile Analytics
With employees increasingly choosing to access enterprise applications on the go, it is imperative that businesses provide them with mobile-friendly dashboards, including interactive data visualizations and offline data access, to empower them to be more productive even while they are on the move. Mobile analytics platforms need to be well integrated into the enterprise IT architecture to ensure that data is available anytime, anywhere; this will allow business decision-makers to analyze meaningful data and make proactive decisions.
3. Cross-platform App Development
Most businesses even today consider the iOS platform as their top priority, while other platforms like Android and Windows get a step-motherly treatment. While this logic may make sense within the organization owing to the enterprise adoption rate of iOS devices, when it comes to the average global consumer, Android is still the clear favorite. Android enjoys a market share of 81.5 percent and iOS is sitting pretty at 14.8 percent (Source: IDC) as of Q4 2014. Windows is the third favorite, with a market share of 2.7 percent
Enterprises don’t have to pick one platform over the other while deciding on which one to adopt first. That is where the cross-platform app development approach presents countless opportunities – at half the cost and half the effort, compared to a native application development approach
Read more about Cross-platform App Development
4. Mobile-Cloud Convergence
Mobile-Cloud or mCloud is an amalgamation of mobility and cloud computing, where mobile devices leverage the computational capabilities of various cloud resources, to allow faster deployment, anytime/anywhere access, multi-platform support, drag and drop features and improved storage capabilities, etc.
Seventy-five percent of existing mobile-cloud patrons are enterprise users, and for good reason – cloud based mobile apps have the potential to scale beyond the capabilities of Smartphones, using a server based infrastructure setup. For enterprises, this means improved offline data-caching, reduced server loads, improved collaboration and a boost in productivity. However, there are challenges involved as well – like data security, data latency, mobile-data congestion and migration issues etc. Enterprises need to thoroughly examine the pros and cons of adopting a mobile-cloud approach and evaluate how it fits into their Enterprise Mobility strategy, before they decide to go either way.
5. Customer-centric Strategy
The ubiquity of mobile devices and the deluge of new technologies, including mobile app analytics, mean that there’s a sea of customer information available for enterprises to sink their teeth into. Using Big Data and Predictive Analytics, enterprises can mine through this swarm of data and cull out nuggets of actionable insights which will help them understand the customer and their needs better. This will also help businesses to then go back to the drawing board and make tweaks to their incumbent business strategies, putting the focus back on the customer.
Customer-centricity however, goes beyond just mapping your services to the customer’s needs – it’s about realigning the enterprise’s mobility initiatives, to facilitate the augmentation of customer-experience and customer satisfaction.
A successful enterprise mobility strategy requires the enterprise, the workforce and vendors to work in tandem. And more importantly, adopting customer-centric strategies is crucial to an enterprise’s endeavor to become a digitally-transformed organization.
Steven Staley is a passionate business executive with 12-plus years of experience in IT consulting. Steven started his career in Chicago as a technology consultant, in the financial services sector, where he managed global development teams across China, India, Spain, and the U.K. In 2009, Steven founded a small business in Florida and invented a mobile app, for which he hired Endeavour to be his company’s exclusive mobile development partner. After selling the business in 2012, Steven joined Endeavour full-time and is now a director overseeing Endeavour’s financial services practice and global strategic alliance program.