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Top Three Characteristics of Successful Enterprise Mobility Strategies
 

Top Three Characteristics of Successful Enterprise Mobility Strategies

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A global online survey conducted to find out the experience companies have in planning for, implementing, and running mobile solutions uncovered trends that point to alignment between IT and lines of business, as well as leveraging vendors for mobile services, as key to building a successful enterprise mobility strategy.

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    Top Three Characteristics of Successful Enterprise Mobility Strategies Top Three Characteristics of Successful Enterprise Mobility Strategies Document Transcript

    • Market Pulse As such, enterprises are beginning to recognize the value of mobility as a competitive differentiator. To take advantage of these opportunities, IT must take an active role in developing an enterprise approach to mobile strategy. IT can no longer afford to be in reactionary mode. And yet, that’s how many organizations continue to operate. According to the CIO Market Pulse survey, “Mobility Strategy and Solutions,” 75 percent of CIOs adopt mo- bile solutions after they are somewhat or highly proven in the market. It is understandable that IT organizations don’t want to invest in “unproven” mobile solutions, but by waiting, these businesses lose valuable time that could be spent taking advantage of the innovation enabled by these solutions. They lose the competitive advantage while watching their peers successfully deploy the same solution. Investments can be made sooner and with confidence when they are guided by an enterprisewide mobility strategy. Unfortunately, many IT organizations—36 percent ac- cording to the Market Pulse survey—are making the mistake of allowing business units or departments to create individual mobility strategies. This approach can result in slow, disjointed mobile adoption that leads to operations overhead and duplication of effort across the enterprise. It does not offer much improvement on ad- Integrated, Coordinated Approach Yields Best Results The burgeoning mobility trend offers exciting opportunities for today’s enterprises. Employees are eager to embrace a new way of working—on devices of their choosing, outside of traditional work hours. But mobility is more than a means of increasing employee productivity. It also presents an opportunity to innovate business processes and service delivery. As such, enterprises are beginning to recognize the value of mobility as a competitive differentiator. To take advantage of these opportunities, IT must take an active role in developing an enterprise approach to mobile strategy. IT can no longer afford to be in reactionary mode. And yet, that’s how many organizations continue to operate. Top Three Characteristics of Successful Enterprise Mobility Strategies dressing individual requests one at a time. And it’s only going to get worse. With mobility trends expected to lead to increasing demands on IT over the next 12 months, now is the time to create an enterprisewide mobility strategy. Ideally, this strategy must be institutionwide. In other words, the mobility strategy is tightly integrated with overall business strategy. Mobile is a way of life and touches all or most business processes and departments. Armed with an institutionwide mobile strategy, IT organizations can respond more quickly to mobility demands, follow a roadmap to adopting mobile solutions and serve as enablers to business innovation. Let’s look at some of the common characteristics of in- stitutionwide mobility strategies, as found in the Market Pulse survey. Alignment Between IT and Lines of Business A common characteristic among survey respondents who describe their current mobility strategy as strategic
    • Market Pulse 2 methodologies for rapid development and measure their progress on a daily / weekly basis rather than months down the road.” This, of course, begs the question, “How can the CIO convince the business to work with the IT organization on a mobility strategy?” According to Csuka, “The an- swer is simple: ask. Deliver messaging to the key busi- ness stakeholders acknowledging the consumerization of IT and solicit their help. Let the business know that IT is fully aware of specific mobility requests and they exist to support their needs. In order to deliver what the business wants, key business stakeholders must partici- pate in the process. When this happens, the outcome is more than a mobile application. Business processes themselves can be transformed or reengineered to provide additional value benefits for the company.” When soliciting involvement from the business, it is important to set appropriate expectations. Participation is not a one-time event. As part of the overall mobil- ity strategy, business stakeholders should be part of a project team or center of excellence that meets on a regular basis—at least weekly—due to continuously evolving application requirements. Whether IT builds mobile solutions internally or the effort is outsourced, this core group needs to work together to go over cur- rent and past projects. Beyond Devices and Applications Institutional mobility strategies also often dictate how the IT organization will address other next- generation technologies that have the potential to transform the business. In fact, the Market Pulse survey respondents who report that mobility is institutional- ized at their companies are more likely than the other respondents to report that their mobility strategies encompass not only devices and applications, but also cloud computing, business intelligence (BI) and in- memory computing. Addressing all of these technologies together and (meaning an enterprisewide strategy exists or is being created and mobile solutions are deployed proactively across multiple departments or business units to address high-level business objectives) or institutionalized are significantly more likely than oth- ers to indicate that the budget for mobile initiatives is shared between IT and the business. A shared budget is important because it motivates IT and the business to work together. With the many facets of technology today, the business is becoming more involved in defining requirements and months later IT delivers its interpretation of the requirements, explains Stephen Csuka, North America Vice President, Enterprise Mobility at SAP America. “That process will not work with enterprise mobile solutions. Mobile application development has to be done with business and IT sitting side by side in order for it to be successful. The joint team should use Agile Adoption of New Mobile Solutions 12% Legacy-dominated environment, reluctant to adopt new mobile solutions 27% Only adopt mature mobile solutions after they are highly proven in the market 48% Adopt new mobile solutions cautiously after they are somewhat proven in the market 11% Adopt new, maturing mobile solutions early and quickly before they are full mature 3% Rapidly adopt cutting-edge and immature mobile solutions SOURCE: IDG RESEARCH SERVICES, JANUARY 2012
    • Market Pulse 3 the market shifts and consumers start purchasing watermelon-flavored water instead, he can send a message to retail customers letting them know that he can provide a discount on the overstock of the straw- berry product. Suddenly, the whole digital supply chain is in the hands of external and internal users in a way never before possible. Working with a Trusted Mobility Advisor Mobility encompasses a lot more than just the applica- tion. It includes the infrastructure, the provider, the car- rier, the network, the device provider, etc. Very few orga- nizations have the expertise to address each of these components, and failing to do a single one correctly can impact the entire project’s success. “Mobility is a perfect example of where IT departments should hire an outside service provider to bring the expertise for both mobility strategy and execution. The partner can work with the customer on how to setup a mobile Center of Excellence [COE]— either internally or outsourcing some or all of the activities needed to make this COE effective,” says Csuka. Organizations with an institutionwide mobility strategy tap mobile vendors for assistance in mobile strategy development, choosing and implementing solutions, and developing technology roadmaps. Therein lies the benefit of working with a trusted advisor: IT organizations have access to experience across the entire mobile spectrum, from the enterprise applications themselves to new application develop- ment and mobile strategy. Not only does the advisor have the breadth of expertise, but he also has the per- spective necessary to help IT organizations future proof their investments. These companies meet with device providers so they know what’s available today and can have their people trained on tomorrow’s technology be- fore it is even released. A trusted advisor can help CIOs put together a team of professionals that can ensure mobile success. doing so in a cost-effective infrastructure enables access to real-time information and the ability to take action on that information—whether the user is on the corporate LAN or working from a tablet PC at a customer site. The resulting benefit is a competitive advantage. Users have access to informa- tion that they’ve never had before. In the past, for example, a sales representative for a consumer prod- ucts company might receive point-of-sale information at the end of each month. For the next four weeks he thinks everyone wants strawberry-flavored water. Now he can get this data in real time, in the field. When How Vendors Can Help 40% Assistance with mobile strategy development 37% Determining which solutions can best address business objectives 36% Assistance with solution implementation 36% Providing technology roadmaps 31% Building user-centric mobile apps 30% Help in making the business case for investments for mobile solutions 28% Prepackaged or engineered planning & implementation service 23% Solution lifecycle management SOURCE: IDG RESEARCH SERVICES, JANUARY 2012
    • Market Pulse 4 Of course, not just any company will do as a trusted ad- visor. Small companies with niche expertise in mobile applications may be tempting because they are fast and affordable. But in the long run, they will turn out to be slow and expensive because they only address one piece of the mobility puzzle, leaving you to hunt for the other pieces. Find an organization that can deliver all of the pieces. It is more economical than choosing mul- tiple companies for one-offs. For accountability, look for an organization that has been in business for some time and is likely to be there for your organization five years from now. Most respondents to the CIO Market Pulse survey feel it’s at least somewhat important that their mobil- ity advisors offer engineered or packaged services (such as planning/strategy building or implementation services). And, indeed, engineered service offerings provide several benefits. The first of those benefits is a rapid time-to-value. The trusted advisor has experience performing the service and has translated best prac- tices into efficient, repeatable processes. This means the service can be delivered faster and with fewer interruptions than if the service were a custom one-off. These services offer a low cost and low risk way to get started in mobility. “We can’t afford to build an internal capability, so I think when looking at mobility, a package might be more desirable,” says Sukha Kahlon, director of IT for LLX Logistics. “I’ve worked at larger companies, and I know that this is the kind of thing that can become a very large animal that keeps on growing. It’s sometimes best to let someone else deal with the headaches and allow your limited resources to focus on the wider scope and just pay the fee and move on,” says Kahlon. Of course the partner you choose should also be capable of developing truly custom mobile solutions that can transform your business. “An app is an app. In field service, asset management might be an app, but it’s not a field service solution,” explains Csuka. “A field service solution would have all of the activi- ties someone in the field needs to use on a daily basis from -incident management, dispatch and scheduling, workforce management, replenishment, etc – these apps combined into a single comprehensive solution is where the value is derived for the enterprise,” he says. If you have a vision – or even part of a vision – for a mobile solution that will provide a competitive advan- tage, then you need a partner that understands your industry and can help you formulate the rest of that vision. Brian Miller, Vice President of IT and CIO, Davenport University, echoes the importance of this characteristic when choosing a vendor. “They don’t need to specialize in everything that we do but they need to at least understand it. That means I like a company that understands both our line of business (e.g., higher education) and I like a company that recognizes where mobile fits in the entire ecosystem of technology solutions,” he says. When a partner understands your business and pro- cesses, it can help you transform them through mobil- ity. “Mobility can be a true business outcome; a true solution that completely changes the way that you do business,” says Csuka. Conclusion An institutionwide mobility strategy offers a number of benefits. It enables the IT organization to address the business’ mobility needs proactively but, more impor- tantly, it ensures that the solutions IT puts in place take advantage of the opportunities mobility offers to in- novate and transform the business. With consideration of other next-generation technologies and the help of a trusted advisor, IT organizations can move beyond apps for apps’ sake and build robust, game-changing mobile solutions. To learn more about SAP’s mobility services, visit: www.sap.com/services. Copyright © 2012 SAP