To gain a sustainable advantage from enterprise mobility, enterprises have to take a more comprehensive approach
Everyone is rushing to implement mobility. IT departments in India are no exception, as local smartphone penetration continues to ascend and the city’s consumers and citizens increasingly demand instant gratification. This is a fundamental shift in IT focus, considering that the majority of today’s IT budget goes toward maintenance and operations.
But this eagerness to quickly generate cool apps for the newest mobile devices can compromise efficiency, security, and user experience. ‘Going mobile’ can transform the way you connect with employees and customers. But to succeed and gain a sustainable advantage from enterprise mobility, enterprises have to take a more comprehensive approach and mobility needs end-to-end thinking.
Mobility is much more than just the mobile app. Organizations must take a more holistic approach to mobility. This means looking at the application itself and its integration with back-end systems. Platform security and support for multiple platforms must also be considered. Furthermore, the creation of app catalogs detailing application availability for employees should not be overlooked.
As an example of end-to-end thinking in mobility, consider a solution built for the US regional court system to improve its scheduling of day-to-day operations.
Ordinarily, police officers called to testify could lose an entire day waiting to take the stand. But now a mobile connection sends emails or text notifications to officers, letting them know exactly when they are needed to testify.
Providing officers an alert that their testimony will be needed in an hour—and basing that notification on an up-tothe-minute schedule—is a tremendous improvement over asking them to wait for days. The system will save tens of thousands of hours of police time per year, improve public safety, and reduce cost and frustration among officers.
In fact, the court scheduling system was so successful that the courts themselves did not even pay for the system. The police department valued the improved process so much that it paid for the entire court automation environment.
But for the mobile component of the system to work properly, the app needed to integrate seamlessly with a number of secure systems.
Three Principles for Mobile Success
The advice to IT leaders is to follow these 3 principles to chart a course for successful mobile services, while keeping an end-toend approach in mind:
Organizations should create a plan for enabling new employee productivity, better citizen, and customer service through mobility—prioritizing opportunities and deciding which mobile
services to tackle first. It is also important to keep in mind that valuable user connections depend on back-end systems to automate processes and fully engage the employee, customer, or citizen.
Organizations can optimize IT for mobility by converging traditional and mobile environments to reduce cost and increase agility. Application development teams have already improved their time-to-market using agile development methods, so those same parallel approaches should be leveraged for mobile development. Mobility should be part of a single application lifecycle approach, not just another set of IT silos.
Mobility comes with its own set of pitfalls and security threats, so organizations must manage and secure devices to reduce their risk. IT should ensure security within the application during development (it’s much less costly to catch problems there), along with securely managing the device and integration levels.
An end- to- end approach should integrate mobile into a comprehensive security policy and ensure that there is clear visibility into users, data, and applications.
Mobile security must reflect the extended enterprise and be ever-evolving and pragmatic, given the realities of today’s mobile devices and platforms. When taken strategically, mobility is the best opportunity to dramatically modernize services and to open new channels. But to ensure success, organizations must take an end-to-end approach and follow key principles as they ‘go mobile’.
The author is director, HP software
& solutions, HP India firstname.lastname@example.org