~3 min* The Development Challenge you understand, the in-Production requirements which are unique to mobile is what sinks most enterprisesAll this chaos is the tip of the iceberg.Above the waterline is the obvious challenge of supporting the various operating systems, browsers, SMS, etc.Below the waterline is the unglamorous often overlooked stuff that’s usually the largest part of the projectTransition: Kony solves the entire problemiOS (16.8%)Android (36.0%)Blackberry (12.9%)Windows Phone (3.6%)Symbian (27.4%)J2ME (4.1%)WebOS (0.2%)
The mobile revolution is not just about smartphones, tablets, and other nifty devices overtaking PCs and web browsers as the access points for enterprise applications. Certainly there are many innovative technologies. Yet from a company’s perspective, they are simply the means to achieving business results. Fundamentally, the mobile revolution transforms how customers, partners, and employees interact with information to find answers to their questions, solve problem, and do their jobs.A mobile strategy begins by recognizing that business leaders should drive this transformation. Perhaps the marketing group wants to get closer to its customers, or the manufacturing organization needs to improve its overall efficiency, or the field service group must reduce its costs of operations. Perhaps there are opportunities for sales people to finalize proposals while meeting with prospects, or for partners to book business directly from their work sites, without waiting for email confirmations from the manufacturer’s logistics group. Line-of-business managers understand the key operations and tasks, and what it takes to expedite them. They need to define the business problems requiring mobile solutions. To be sure, the IT group continues to have an essential role influencing the mobile strategy for the firm. After all, IT staff members are responsible for maintaining enterprise applications and architectures, and know how things work. With the ever-increasing need for mobile apps within the firm, support for mobile technologies, tools, and related services is a natural extension to their responsibilities. But all too often the business and IT groups do not talk to one another about requirements and plans. A mobile strategy should fix this problem, bring the business groups together with the IT group, and ensure that all are aligned around a common set of goals. If need be, there needs to be a formal mandate, driven from the executive ranks of the firm, for the business groups to collaborate closely with the IT group to mobilize enterprise operations.
Business leaders should define the operational issues where mobile enterprise apps make a difference. These mobile opportunities should increase the effectiveness, reduce the costs, and mitigate the risks of business operations. Certainly there is the “low hanging fruit” where workers are still relying on hard-copy documents and notes, and then updating enterprise applications at later points in time. Workers might better perform routine tasks and activities – including data submission, report filing, and accessing information – directly from mobile devices. At the most basic level, mobile is the ‘new paper’ where apps capture and display essential business information.But often it is not enough to just digitize these paper-driven activities. More is at stake than simply providing employees and partners with access to enterprise applications running on mobile devices. It is important to empower workers with the necessary information they need to do their jobs. These are the high-value moments of engagement where work gets done.How can business leaders identify these moments of engagement? Perhaps there are situations where front line and knowledge workers must wait for others to send them information or to upload data into an enterprise application. Perhaps workers can make better decisions by getting immediate alerts about changing situations while in the field, and having the necessary information readily at hand to take action.There is time and value associated with these moments. Business leaders should be able describe how tasks can be done faster or better using mobile devices. They can calculate the business benefits by highlighting the changes to work tasks provided by the mobile opportunities.
Information powers workers’ activities. Business leaders should identify ways to restructure tasks (and remove unnecessary ones) by delivering the information within the moments of engagement. For example, channel marketing managers might envision a mobile enterprise app where partner sales reps receive custom quotes for new equipment in the field, while engaged with their prospects on site and in the midst of designing alternative solutions. Line-of-business managers need to collaborate with the IT staff to conduct an information audit and identify the information required for each mobile opportunity. To begin with, the business and IT groups need to describe the current information flows and sources. For instance, the partner sales mobile app (described above) may entail mashing up content from multiple sources – such as the customer data maintained by the CRM system as well as the inventory and delivery information managed by the SCM system. As part of this information audit, the business and IT groups need to identify the readily accessible content. They need to match the results of the audit with the requirements for the mobile opportunity. Then they need to determine the gaps and identify the missing or not easily available data resources. Finally, they need to develop an approach for obtaining the missing information.
With the information audit in hand, the IT group needs to assess the technology capabilities within the firm and develop a strategy to integrate mobile apps with the underlying enterprise applications and information sources. Specifically, the IT group needs to define the connections with existing enterprise applications as well as how the information flows to and from mobile devices. Often it is easy to retool specific applications and expose new services to make them task-oriented. In some situations, it is also important to determine how front line workers can continue to engage with customers in the field when disconnected from their enterprise applications.Of course there are multiple approaches for mobilizing enterprise resources, depending on the capabilities of the applications and the application-level services that they support. The IT group needs to calculate the time and effort required for delivering the content specified in the information audit.
business and IT leaders should create a mobile app strategy roadmap, based on the information audit and the technology assessment. This roadmap should identify the business results from the investments in various mobile enterprise apps. The roadmap charts the path for the future. Business and IT leaders can evaluate and prioritize the opportunities, based on the degree of effort, the associated return, and the overall strategic value to the company. They can focus on the multiple mobile opportunities, rather than stand-alone mobile apps. They can sequence an overall mobile app development strategy where strategic investments up front in a suite of development tools can lead to higher productivity, lower development costs, and better results over the long run. In short, both business and IT leaders should assess technology and schedule trade-offs. With this assessment in hand, they can determine how best to channel strategic investments to deliver on the overall promise of enterprise mobility: mobilizing the moments of engagement by empowering front line and knowledge workers.
8 Steps to a Long-Term Mobile Strategy
8 Steps To A Long-Term Mobile Strategy