The Seven Things You Must Do to Succeed with Enterprise Mobility

Mobility has fast become a technology that most of us, be it in our personal lives or professional careers, can't live without. Fuelled by mobility and connectivity, businesses are transforming their interactions with customers, employees and partners. They need to redefine systems of engagement and seize opportunity. They need to accelerate time to value.

Moreover, mobility is taking the world by storm and upending one industry after another. As a prime example, Kodak failed to see this wave coming, and after nearly a century and a quarter, they recently declared bankruptcy as mobile phones supplanted the need for digital cameras.

And think about what life in this world of smart mobility is like for companies named Garmin, Magellan or TomTom. Who needs a stand-alone GPS device when they already have their smart phone with them?

Today, global enterprises are grappling with just how mobility can be deployed and leveraged to reach their ever-connected customers and workforce.

So, here are the suggestions of EME Advisory Council member Jeff Wallace. The Seven Things You Must Do to Succeed with Enterprise Mobility based on his experience at Brillio Mobility, working with hundreds of mobility engagements for numerous Fortune 1000 clients across all industries.

1. Form a proper "Mobility Council"

One thing we have seen across countless enterprise clients within all industries is that when the term "Mobility Centre of Excellence" is spoken, business line executives seems to lose interest, believing that what comes after those words is only relevant to the IT department. So, we have determined that a slight change in semantics can make a world of difference.

For us, it is clear that and as we like to say, "Mobility is not an IT thing, it is an enterprise thing." So, in order to make Enterprise Mobility relevant to the entire enterprise, we have changed the nomenclature to "Mobility Council".

Going back to the observations mentioned, we believe that this situation indicates what is really needed is a proper governance structure for all things mobile. This governing body, what we call a "Mobility Council" must be appropriately cross-enterprise represented, based upon the needs and objectives of the enterprise.

This group can function in various ways, depending on the company and how they choose to empower this group. In some companies, the Mobility Council establishes and enforces organisational standards for mobility initiatives. In other companies, Mobility Councils actually own total responsibility for mobility, including standards creation, prioritization of mobility initiatives and execution of mobility projects.

Finally, it is up to this group to help the enterprise determine where they are within their mobility maturity product cycle, and once this is clearly understood, they can help steer the organisation in a forward-moving direction to ensure appropriate execution of mobility initiatives.

2. Develop an Enterprise Mobility strategy & roadmap

Once the Mobility Council is formed, next, as an organisation, they need to develop a comprehensive Enterprise Mobility strategy. Companies need to understand the business justification. Will they be using mobility to fit into their existing business or will they use it to innovate? And they need to address all of the other aspects that are affected by an enterprise move towards mobility: the ROI, the process implications and the technology implications.

Ideally, organisations will establish an internal working group for mobility and then clearly define what the success of the Enterprise Mobility efforts really means, be it cost savings, revenue generation or brand enhancements.

"Technology without a strategy is wasted," and we think this statement sums it up in a nutshell. They really have to understand the justification for Enterprise Mobility and prioritise your efforts, before you begin to develop your applications.

3. "Future proof" your mobile investments

The upgrade now problem clearly highlights that organisations need to understand how to manage this constant change effectively and to understand the ways to "future proof" their investments. While open source tools surely exist for creating mobile applications, often times the best way to do that is to offload the risk of volatility to a solution provider or a services partner.

Be sure to find the right solution provider to help you accomplish your stated objectives, and make sure to obtain an SLA, or service level agreement, which offers you the protection needed from this seemingly endless market volatility.

Letting these solution providers absorb "the risks" on your behalf via their SLA, combined with a very comprehensive testing strategy, allows you to future proof your investments and make sure that that situation that we saw referenced in the prior observation doesn't cause heartache within your mobile application development team.

4. Give business the freedom it demands while giving IT the control it requires

How do we begin to referee this tug of war? Brillio Mobility has developed what we call our "freedom within a framework" methodology. Our approach allows organisations to have the freedom they need in order to build the application desired, while simultaneously empowering IT to maintain the control it needs in order to ensure the stability and security of the mobility initiatives across the board. It is up to IT to build a frame which incorporates the technology, the governance, the compliance and security aspects, and ultimately, the support for mobility initiatives.

Meanwhile, non-IT organisations own what's inside the frame. They have the ability to drive market driven solutions to support core business objectives. For example, what are the use cases? What is the user experience? What is it going to look like? How will they use mobility to truly innovate?

So the business gets to make whatever decisions they want as long as what they're doing stays within the confines of the IT group's frame and as long as business stays in compliance with these boundaries, they can have all the freedom desired to innovate.

5. Create an approved BYOD policy

The creation of a comprehensive and solid BYOD policy is an absolute necessity with all companies, small, mid-size and large. At Brillio, we believe there are two approaches that organisations can take as it relates to BYOD, you can do it now or you can do it later. Yet, be assured that the request to "make this device work" for me, is not going to stop today or tomorrow.

And to be sure, BYOD is not really a technical challenge. Rather, it is an issue of people and policy. The privacy and reimbursement matters converge with the security aspects, and create challenges that must be dealt with by Human Resources and Legal departments, not just IT departments.

Without a doubt, organisations need to get their arms around this issue and figure out a plan to empower their employees to use these devices, but to do so within a structure in which the enterprise ultimately has the control it needs.

Every enterprise will ultimately need to establish an approved set of devices and mobile OSs that it will support so that their employees and their workforce can be as productive as they can be. Lastly, investigate the possibility of leveraging mobile device or mobile application management solutions based upon your business and device security requirements.

6. Don't underestimate the importance of UX

At the heart of this tip is what Brillio Mobility believes to be the absolute truth: that functionality is merely table stakes and not the end in and of itself.

We advise our clients to address the user experience right from the outset and leverage proven techniques such as personas and user journeys to ensure usability, functionality and overall user experience meet the ever-increasing demands of your mobility users.

Even when it comes to enterprise-facing applications, no longer is "good enough", good enough. The consumerization of IT has found its way to mobility, and enterprise users now have much higher expectations about how an app should look, work and make them feel!

As we say within the Brillio mobility practice, user experience drives user adoption and user adoption drives ROI. So, without a clean, crisp UX, users won't be compelled to use the app, and without usage, the ROI is not going to end up where it needs to be. Whatever you do, don't underestimate the importance of UX.

7. Find a true Enterprise Mobility partner

Finding a partner to guide you on your mobility journey, hand-in hand, is critical to ensuring the success of your efforts.

At Brillio, we serve as a co-innovation partner with our clients. We work together to decipher, comprehend and understand the bigger picture of mobility, using a broad and wide definition of Enterprise Mobility.

Businesses need to understand all of the implications that will be brought about from the mobility undertakings, be they the IT aspects, the business aspects, the people aspects, or development process required to create these apps solutions properly. Enterprises need to work with someone who can support all of the broad application development initiatives within the overall Enterprise Mobility strategy and framework.

This article was written by Jeff Wallace, Head of Mobility Practice and Business Leader, Brillio.