Many organizations have rolled out laptops and mobile phones, but newer form factors like media tablets mean that it’s time for IT to take a more strategic look at mobility. Enterprises with well-planned mobility strategies do better at maximizing corporate performance, while organizations that take an ad hoc approach often waste resources and dramatically lower their ROI.
According to a survey conducted by Dimensional Research and sponsored by Model Metrics—“Enterprise iPad and Tablet Adoption”—51% of organizations have “no clearly articulated strategy for adopting iPads and tablets.” (And I’m guessing that at least a few of the 49% who said they had a strategy might be stretching the truth a bit.)
That’s a problem, because chances are your business users are pressuring IT to use consumer-oriented mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets. Not only that, but when you look at mobility through the lens of an overall strategy of using IT to enable business transformation, you want to explore ways of using mobile technology to add value to the business.
An enterprise strategy for adopting mobile technology enables your IT department to identify solutions that can generate the biggest bang for the buck. You can maximize economies of scale in procurement, training, and support. And you can reduce your risk by implementing uniform policies and procedures.
So how do you create your strategy? It’s best to begin with a few questions:
What are you using today?
Take inventory of the devices, applications, and other mobile technologies at your company. How risky are the solutions you have in place? How effective are they?
Who’s using mobile technologies?
Take a look at how your mobile employees are using technology. Are people using mobile devices who don’t really need them? Would certain people or teams in your organization be more productive—or serve customers better—with a mobile solution?
How are you procuring, managing, and evaluating your mobile solutions?
Are employees using their own personal devices? How secure is their company information? Is your mobility management organized and centralized? How do you measure the effectiveness of your mobile solutions? What departments are footing the bills?
How can you build on what you’re doing?
Could lighter-weight tablets replace laptops and/or cell phones? Could you benefit from adding GPS to any of your mobile devices? Do your devices have a “kill switch” that prevents your business-critical data from getting into the wrong hands?
Once you take stock of what’s working and where you can improve, you can use the information to formulate a comprehensive mobility strategy. Your strategy should include:
- Uniform standards for technology and provisioning
- Clear directions regarding who should have access to mobility solutions and for what purposes
- Robust security measures to protect your business-critical information
- A system to monitor and continually enhance productivity
A mobility strategy should allow you to exercise controls that help you reduce your risk, but it shouldn’t be so rigid that it can’t evolve with the changing needs of your business. Mobility isn’t going anywhere but it’s moving fast—so you want your mobility strategy to keep up.
If you'd like some help understanding how your organization can take advantage of business-focused mobility technology from a broad industry perspective, read our quick eBrief. Find out how the problems associated with mobility — access, connection quality, and security — have essentially been solved through new application development, embedded broadband, and cloud computing.