Enterprise Mobility Minute #2: Think Strategy First

By Dr. Ahmed El Adl Vice President, Global Mobile Solutions Services

enterprise mobilityIn today’s world of technology-driven transformation, the ability to adopt new technologies quickly – without unduly disrupting the business – is key to remaining relevant, today and in the future.

But when many breakthrough technologies emerge and converge at record speed, how do you make the right decisions to mobilize your business? How can you foresee the impact that your choices will have on the business of your company?

It’s no longer a question of simply implementing lightweight productivity apps or stand-alone solutions. Now, you need to meet the demand for real-time enterprise – which means being able to connect all the relevant activities and information, from products R&D down to sales and customer service. Until recently many organizations have focused on mobilizing sales and service management processes, however, I believe there is larger value to be gained in other areas.

Enterprise mobility – if leveraged in a strategic way – can transform the way we design, build, deliver and maintain each and every product and service we offer. Understanding your company’s overall business strategy on a global, regional and even departmental level can help you:

  • Get detailed understanding of current and possibly future requirements – number of users, line of businesses requirements and challenges, volume of data relevant to each mobile solution, data privacy and security regulations, etc.
  • Discover, define and prioritize the required mobile apps so that you can deliver the right app to the right group of users at the right time
  • Select the right mobility development platform (MADP/MEAP) and chose the suitable architecture and development paradigm for each mobile app
  • Boost user acceptance, increasing the value of each deployed app to the business
  • Choose the right device(s) and app combination for each group of users
  • Decrease or even eliminate security risks and regulatory issues upfront by choosing the right enterprise mobility management platform (EMM) and defining the appropriate security policies and usage guidelines
  • Decrease TCO and increase ROI of your mobile solutions
  • Identify opportunities to enhance your business – or even propose new business models based on new mobile capabilities

Mobile apps: The ‘glue’ that connects and transforms

Enterprise mobility is about a completely new business model where people, processes and even machines are connected in an unprecedented way. Mobile apps provide the glue that fuses technologies together and makes functionality and information available where actions and decisions are being taken – connecting all relevant business areas, layers, and even regions in real time.

Here’s an example. A single app could deliver a customer complaint to the account manager, customer support team, and product manager. Based on predefined criteria, it could then create follow up tasks and reminders for each department. The app could also provide information to an executive dashboard showing the lifecycle of customer satisfaction and product quality, based on both internal and external data including social media.

To achieve this quality of mobile business app, you need a team from business and IT working together to not only collect and analyze business requirements but also to understand the relationship between business areas, products, and services.

And this mobility team mustn’t work in a silo. They must be part of a bigger group responsible for driving business transformation via different mixes of innovative technologies. To make this approach the new norm a cultural shift within organizations is required, which will also ensure new ideas will be heard and taken seriously.

Current innovation in enterprise mobility is setting the stage for a new era of real-time business communications, analytics everywhere, and collaboration between different layers and regions of the enterprise. This is a real game changer. Get ready to understand your business before you go out and get lost in the many options of platforms, paradigms, and tools which may or may not be right for your organization.

In the next articles we’ll outline the different techniques and steps required to understand your business and create your initial enterprise business and IT mobility strategy.

Connect with me on Linkedin or Twitter @aeladl

This post originally appeared on the SAP Community Network and is republished here with permission.