Is your mobile business intelligence (BI) strategy aligned with your organization’s enterprise mobility strategy? If you’re not sure what this means, you’re in big trouble. In its simplest form, enterprise mobility can be considered a framework to maximize the use of mobile devices, wireless networks, and all other related services in order to drive growth and profitability. However, it goes beyond just the mobile devices or the software that runs on them to include people and processes.
It goes without saying that enterprise mobility should exist in some shape or form before we can talk about mobile BI strategy, even if the mobile BI engagement happens to be the first pilot planned as a mobility project. Therefore, an enterprise mobility roadmap serves as both a prerequisite for mobile BI execution and as the foundation on which it relies.
When the development of a successful mobile BI strategy is closely aligned with the enterprise mobility strategy, the company benefits from the resulting cost savings, improvement in the execution of the mobile strategy, and increased value.
Alignment with Enterprise Mobility Results in Cost Savings
Although mobile BI will inherit most of its rules for data and reports from the underlying BI framework, the many components that it relies on during execution will be dependent on the enterprise rules or lack thereof. For example, the devices on which the mobile BI assets (reports) are consumed will be offered and supported as part of an enterprise mobility management system, including bring-your-own-device (BYOD) arrangements. Therefore, operating outside of these boundaries could not only be costly to the organization but it could also result in legal and compliance concerns.
Whether the mobile BI solutions are built in-house or purchased, as with any other technology initiative, it does not make any sense to reinvent the wheel. Existing contracts with software and hardware vendors could offer major cost savings. Moreover, fragmented approaches in delivering the same requirement for multiple groups and/or for the same functionality will not be a good use of scarce resources.
For example, building forecast reports for sales managers within the customer relationship management (CRM) system and forecast reports developed on the mobile BI platform may offer the same or similar functionality and content, resulting in confusion and duplicate efforts.
Leveraging Enterprise Mobility Leads to Improved Execution
If you think about it, execution of the mobile BI strategy can be improved in all aspects if an enterprise mobility framework exists that can be leveraged. The organization’s technology and support infrastructure (two topics I will discuss later in this series) are the obvious ones worth noting. Consider this—how can you guarantee an effective delivery of BI content when you rollout to thousands of users without having a robust mobile device support infrastructure? If we arm our sales force with mobile devices around the same time we plan to deliver our first set of mobile BI assets, we can’t expect flawless execution and increased adoption. What if the users have difficulty setting up their devices and have nowhere to turn for immediate and effective support?
Enterprise Mobility Provides Increased Value for Mobile BI Solutions
By aligning our mobility BI strategy with our organization’s enterprise mobility framework, we not only increase our chances of success, but, most importantly, we have the opportunity to provide increased value beyond pretty reports with colorful charts and tables. This increased value means that we can deliver an end-to-end solution even though we may not be responsible for them under the BI umbrella. Enterprise mobility components such as connectivity, device security, or management contribute to a connected delivery system that mobile BI will share.
Bottom Line: Enterprise Mobility Plays An Important Role
Enterprise mobility will influence many of mobile BI’s success criteria. When we’re developing a mobile BI strategy, we need to stay not only in close alignment with the enterprise mobility strategy so we can take advantage of the synergies that exist, but also consider the potential gaps that we may have to address if the roadmap does not provide timely solutions.
How do you see enterprise mobility influencing your mobile BI execution?
Stay tuned for my next blog in the series, Ten Mobile BI Strategy Questions: Technology Infrastructure.
For more on mobile BI, read my other blogs in the series.