But there’s one area where they wouldn’t mind having a reduced number of options: mobile device apps. Let’s face it, there’s no easy way for a business person to sift through Apple’s App Store or the Android Market. Both lack useful structures and taxonomies for browsing applications and the search function is as likely to fetch Angry Birds as analytics.
Here’s an opportunity for IT to seem like a hero (for once) in mobility: Create an interface that is a simpler alternative to the ones that have to accommodate adenoidal game addicts along with business people (okay, we like games, too, but not when we’re trying to get work done). Building an easier way for employees to be productive with their mobile devices is one part of what we call the four Cs of mobility strategy:
- Consume. This is the topmost layer of a good enterprise mobility strategy. It should be a single, uncluttered interface that integrates a limited number of enterprise apps, third-party apps, and relevant customer-built apps (for example, it would help to get access to their apps that could help you serve them better). The interface could also eliminate another hassle of the app stores: lack of integration. It could be the one place your employees go to consume applications for any mobile device: smart-phones, tablets, laptops, online or offline.
- Control.The next level down in the strategy is where IT builds in the defenses necessary to keep critical data secure. Control has three components:
- Provisioning. Get the devices running and secured.
- Production. Keep device software current and the data flowing properly.
- De/recommissioning. Those devices must go blank when necessary (lost, stolen, etc.) but they also must come back to life quickly and easily as needed.
- Create. A critical layer that companies often ignore is building a flexible platform that internal and external developers can use to create new apps that are integrated and can be easily managed. Developing custom mobile apps for critical processes, such as talent management and business development, is really where it’s at for gaining competitive differentiation.
- Connect. As we mentioned in an 0000ff;">0000ff;">earlier post, the real power of mobility comes when employees use their devices for real-time analysis and decision making. That means having an infrastructure platform that can pull together business information from many different applications and data sources such as ERP, customer resource management (CRM), supply chain management (SCM), and human resources (HR) software; third-party application data sources; data storage devices; servers; and data marts.
What would you add to this strategy view? Please let us know!
To see a mobility strategy frameworkthat you can use to take action on the 4Cs read 0000ff;">0000ff;">0066b3;">The Unwired Enterprise: A Comprehensive Approach to Mobilizing for Success.