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The Intangible Benefits of Enterprise Mobility

by Kevin Benedict

December 1, 2010

In an article re-published in The Wall Street Journal last year, The Secrets of Intangible Wealth, author Ronald Bailey writes the following, “A Mexican migrant to the US is 5 times more productive than one who stays home.”  Did your interest peak like mine when you read that line?  The data comes from research done by the World Bank.  Here is the reason why according to Bailey.  The average American has access to over $418,000 in intangible wealth, while the stay-at-home Mexican’s intangible wealth is just $34,000.


What is intangible wealth? The World Bank’s environmental economics department describes it as, “trust among people in a society, an efficient judicial system, clear property rights and effective governments.”  The value of these intangibles according to the World Bank is significant.  Who wants to invest in property if it can be taken away any time?  Who wants to develop a large manufacturing plant in a location where these intangibles are hard to come by?

I was pondering this idea of intangible wealth as it relates to enterprise mobility.  Does having an effective enterprise mobility strategy, with defined and documented processes, methodologies and platforms give your company a greater amount of intangible wealth?  I think it does.  Let me propose some intangibles to ponder:

• Faster decision making.

• Having the right information, at the right time, in the right place and in the right context.

• Removing friction from processes by allowing real time communications between ERPs and mobile devices.

• Enabling mobile workforce accountability.

• Enforcing best practices through mobile applications used in remote locations.

• Breaking down solution silos by integrating enterprise asset management, field services and sales force automation into unified mobile applications.

• Quicker, safer driving routes.

• Once business processes are automated and mobilized, managers can focus on higher value tasks such as customer acquisition and retention.

This is certainly just the beginning of what could be a very extensive list of intangible values. What intangibles would you add to the list?

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Kevin Benedict teaches onsite workshops on the subject of mobile enterprise strategies.  For more information click here.

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