Powerful, transformative and trend-setting, it’s no surprise that business mobility is on the minds of the most forward-thinking organisations. While considered a cornerstone of creating a successful modern business, investment in mobility is at a crossroads – with many organisations finding that although they have already started spending on mobile solutions, they are not yet seeing the desired effects.
Throwing more money at the problem is not the answer, but instead organisations should take a step back and reassess the long term strategy surrounding business mobility investment.
At its most simple level, the issue boils down to this: most organisations have implemented only basic individual productivity applications – such as calendars and email – while too few have evolved beyond this. The next step is to begin adding team productivity solutions, helping building collaboration across the entire business. At the moment, efforts are falling considerably short of reengineering core processes, which is a business mobility requirement.
The State of the Nation
VMware’s 2015 State of Business Mobility Report has revealed that less than a fifth (17 per cent) of employee felt they were part of an organisation that has moved at least one core business process to a mobile model. Clearly there is much still to be done.
In terms of obstacles holding organisations back, budget concerns and security worries were cited as the top barriers to investing in business mobility.
However, despite this reticence, the market appetite is very much present: when successfully deployed, organisations who had embraced business mobility found a number of key benefits – including improvements to mobile workforce productivity (45 per cent), streamlined business processes (34 per cent) and a reduction in the cost of support (31 per cent). Additionally, of those that have successfully deployed, nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) said they have cut IT operational staff time by almost a third, with a further 34 per cent seeing IT costs reduced by a fifth.
Taking the Right Steps Forward
As with any new business-IT initiative, business mobility requires coordinated planning and execution. Survey respondents using VMware solutions consistently cited the following five top learnings from their business mobility deployments:
- Invest in user education before implementing software
- Understand that gains in user effectiveness will outweigh cost savings
- Account for time to properly deploy (hint: takes longer than expected)
- Implement process changes before software
- Establish a business mobility centre of excellence
Though perhaps, more than anything, organisations must understand that business mobility encompasses more than just smartphones and tablets. It is far more wide-reaching, including any key business processes that should take place using laptops or virtual workspaces. And with 61 per cent of companies now planning a move towards business mobility, instigating change in order to adapt is no longer just part of a business plan; it’s an essential survival tool.