Success for the modern enterprise is built on change. More specifically, it is the ability to not only react and survive in a rapidly changing market but to be a leader, to push the boundaries of customer expectation and shape the market according to the strengths of your own organisation. This is why business mobility has become an investment priority for every forward-thinking CIO.
Business mobility is most clearly defined as an enterprise’s ability to change – and in this respect it is, and will remain, a journey. Organisations are already starting to put their focus on building, implementing and maintaining IT infrastructures that can support new, innovative methods of mobile working. We’ve clearly already started the journey, and so business mobility will soon be substantially changing the way we work.
Understanding the Obstacles to Business Mobility
However, while business mobility is a crucial part of any organisation’s future success, fully embracing it and achieving meaningful business results it promises will always be far from easy. In fact, CIOs are already facing a number of critical challenges in bringing its principles to their own organisation.
Firstly, although business mobility can offer an opportunity to gain a competitive edge and slash costs, budgets are still tight, which means justifying further investment – no matter how vital – is often a difficult task.
Even more problematic is bringing the entire organisation to share in its vision. It’s important to remember that businesses have not always been so forward-thinking. The idea was that if IT could stop change it would be able to pre-empt threats and maintenance issues – keeping the organisation safe and downtime to a minimum. And although IT has never been static, the industry was moving at a pace at which this was just about possible.
Of course, with hindsight we can see that this approach is somewhat flawed. Customer expectations, employee demands, and the pace of the market have meant that a failure to embrace new IT is a far bigger threat than any security issue, leaving organisations unable to compete.
The concept of business mobility offers a radical departure from traditional thinking. Change is no longer something to fear but should be embraced as a way to drive innovation and offer a competitive edge.
Once again, it is far from simple and CIOs face quite the balancing act of bringing this new approach to life while continuing to meet current service demands.
Changing Hearts and Minds through Technology
One thing that should be made clear: business mobility is not a change of technology. It is a change of management, of organisational philosophy, of culture.
As you might expect however, technology lies at the heart of the change. Business mobility is enabled through what we now term as the ‘Digital Workspace’. Most simply defined as the virtual equivalent of the traditional desk space, the concept of a digital workspace encompasses much more than a paperless office. Done right, digital workspaces offer a secure one-stop-shop for employees to access any relevant documents or services from any location, or any device. With the right technology, businesses can offer their workforce an unprecedented level of freedom – while at the same time ensure that IT still has full control over any security measures.
But while the change towards business mobility is supported through IT, it is not solely the domain of the CIO. The cultural shift must come from all areas of the business, not just the general workforce, but very much spearheaded from the top down.
For CIOs willing to make the investment the benefits can be immediately obvious. Offering the organisation the flexibility needed to not only compete with digital-first rivals, a true business mobility strategy will enable the workforce to optimise their productivity, while helping to retain staff.