8 Tips to Increase Mobile ROI
What does "good' return on investment look like to you? It can be mean different things to organisations, but how specifically should enterprise approach the question of determining ROI on mobility? This article gives tips on improving ROI on mobile, specifically around the area of BYOD in your organisation.
While many CFOs look to the difference between value and cost, ROI is no longer just about financial gain. Determining ROI is a complex undertaking. More than anything a ROI exercise really needs to be aligned to your business objectives. Equally critical, enterprise leaders must include the employee perspective - what it is, and what it may not be. It is important that ROI isn't just about money saved, or net new revenue generated. ROI should also be about employee acquisition, retention and morale.
With that in mind, here are some tips to get you started along the path of establishing an attractive ROI against your investment in mobile and BYOD.
- Look for love in the right places: Far too often enterprises are applying outdated century business techniques against a 21st century business opportunity. If you did that in your personal life, looking for your life long partner, just how far do you think that would get you?
- Flip the Mobile ROI question on its head: What is the cost of not investing in an area like BYOD? For some companies BYOD is a business norm. For some employees it may be considered an entitlement right (for better or worse). Ask yourself if this is an application specific initiative or an enterprise wide consideration?
- Think beyond the gadgets: Most companies over-estimate the business process or features they mobilise and underestimate the impact the mobile has on their back office infrastructure.
- Get everyone on the same page: Compounding the BYOD ROI issue in many companies is the real and imaginary forces, of accountability, politics, competitive pressures and risk. These forces are both internal and external. Marketing and sales worry about driving revenue, acquiring and supporting customers, and extending the brand. IT worries about protecting margins through technology enablement, on boarding and supporting employees and protecting the brand. Finding the common ground between these perspectives is critical. Ask yourself what you need to do, want to do and why? And make sure that you involve business, technical and employee end users as you create the answers.
- Ignore the myth that BYOD is about employees and their gadgets: BYOD can also be about customers and supply chain partners "showing up" in your store, at a campus site, on your network or at your internet doorstep with their mobile device in-hand. Yikesã?¦.
- Why buy new, when used may be better?: Too often enterprise budget holders jump head first into buying new mobile device management (MDM), security (MSM) and related middleware solutions (EMM) without assessing their current back office investments. Many of these nascent tools can bring a lot to the table, but they may also introduce new technical (scale, architecture) and business (industry consolidation, maturity) risk into your infrastructure portfolio. In the end you may be better off leveraging many of your existing systems for information access, protection and policy before spending new money, on an old problem.
- Dream big, spend practical: There is no question that mobile is changing all the rules. But it's critical to know if you are playing tennis or cricket. What are your employees' positions on the field of play? How are they feeling? What do they want/need? Your players may appreciate playing in a brand new stadium or newly surface court. But that won't help if their uniforms and equipment are crap. Lastly, don't give a cricket player a tennis racket. Spend wisely my friend.
- Don't let the numbers get in the way: Numbers are a game of liar's poker. All we have to do is remind ourselves about all those web ROI calculations we did in the 90's to remind us why...
An up and coming example of ROI is that realised from Social Media, Christine Crandell, President of New Business Strategies who recently wrote about this for Forbes. She explains "the rise of enterprise social networking is becoming the next IT battleground." Christine highlights 'this shift of consumer to business networking is causing a ripple affect for organizations looking to adopt these skills into their businesses to better reach clients and suppliers, while gaining insight on the data being created in these networks. The winners in this challenge will be able to react more swiftly to customer trends, and out-innovate competitors."
So back to the initial question at the beginning of this piece, what does "good" ROI look like to you? - My answer: Good Return on Investment is seeing the strong results that come from thinking outside the box and investing in tools and resources to innovate your organisation!
Written by Bob Egan, Executive Advisor on Mobile Business Strategies and Technologies, Founder of The Speharim Group. email@example.com
Edited by Niamh Madigan, Editor-in -Chief, Enterprise Mobility Exchange http://www.enterprisemobilityexchange.com