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The Changing ROI of Enterprise Mobility

by Kevin Benedict

September 20, 2012

I remember just a few years ago companies would buy a ruggedized mobile handheld computer and then load just one software application on it.  The entire justification and projected ROI for purchasing the $3,000 ruggedized device was derived from just one app.

Times have changed!  Now you can purchase a $299 smartphone and load dozens of apps on it.  Let's think about this for a minute.  What if you had the following mobile apps on your smartphone:

  • CRM
  • Mobile BI
  • Work Order Management
  • Scheduling
  • Enterprise Asset Management
  • Enterprise Content Management
  • Time Sheets
  • HR
  • Turn-by-Turn Navigation
  • Knowledge Management
  • Collaboration (Yammer, Jive, Chatter, etc)
  • Product Catalogs, and Marketing Information
  • Sales Orders and Credit Card Processing
  • Etc

How would you write an ROI justification?  It is not an efficiency and productivity story alone, rather it is a whole new way of conducting business isn't it?  The ROI is on the business model, not just individual apps and devices. 

The debate in boardrooms today should be on the merits of the new "mobile" business model, not only on the ROI of each individual app alone.  The ROI must also consider the opportunity costs of not doing it.  What if your competitors are embracing the new "mobile" business models and you are not.  There is an economic cost to that decision, or lack of a decision as well.

Where does your company stand?  Less than half of enterprises surveyed in the past few months have an enterprise-wide mobility strategy.  If a company is going to embrace mobility, and it has the potential of revolutionizing their business model, then I believe companies should be placing a higher priority on this effort.


Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for SMAC (Social, MOBILE, Analytics and Cloud), Cognizant

Read The Future of Work 

Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
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Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

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