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Expert Advice for Building a Mobility Strategy

by Ulrich Meister | insiderPROFILES

April 1, 2011

What’s your company’s mobility strategy? Building one is an important yet challenging step in mobilizing the enterprise, and there are several things to consider as you define your strategy. This article gives you a head start by laying out goals you should keep in mind, as well as mobility benefits you should focus on.

Mobility is a key component of our lives; it’s hard to imagine life without a wireless phone. An entire generation has virtually grown up with mobile devices in their hands. And now every company’s customers and employees assume that their business interactions will also become more mobile. This expectation has led to the emergence of the mobile enterprise concept, meaning that companies now need to better synchronize all their IT resources with their business needs and objectives.

If your company wants to keep up in this new business world, you'll need a strong mobility strategy in place.

At the same time, the way businesses are deploying technology is undergoing fundamental changes. For example, mainstream applications and business processes that used to run on dedicated servers are being distributed across multiple servers in centralized data centers. This distribution enables a more efficient use of computing resources and facilitates the development of both customized and new applications. In addition, new business models are emerging and more dynamic business relationships are being established. And mobility plays a pivotal role in enabling these developments.

In short, if your company wants to keep up in this new business world, you’ll need a strong mobility strategy.

What’s Your Mobility Strategy?

As you build your mobility strategy, you need to keep in mind several goals. Of course, the strategy must cover mobile device management, but you also need to consider which business processes would enable mobile users to deliver business benefits (see Figure 1).

Figure 1

Figure 1— A holistic view of mobilizing the enterprise

It is also important to concentrate on mobilizing applications that will quickly show tangible results. Also, ask yourself where your company will derive the most value from a mobilization effort; be sure your strategy clearly defines business targets.

Some business benefits that companies focus on when building their mobility strategies are:

● Improved productivity and operational efficiency: Mobility solutions can boost productivity by improving the way information is shared, making it accessible to all users who need it, wherever they are. This mobility helps employees make informed decisions based on real-time information and save time by performing administrative tasks even while traveling.

Additionally, the ability to enter sales information during customer meetings, increases an employee’s selling percentage since the accessibility of promotional and sales information makes it easier to cross-sell products. Mobile solutions also improve a company’s operational efficiency since it stops workflows — such as expense reporting — from being held up while managers are away from the office.

● Decreased operating costs: When implemented properly, telecoms expense management tools minimize data bills and help create a positive work environment.

● Enhanced customer service: Mobile solutions allow employees to address customer concerns, provide accurate information, and book orders — right on site.

Mobilize Your Enterprise

Defining a clear strategy is an important first step in mobilizing your enterprise. Even then, however, mobilizing processes, workflows, and applications will never be the IT equivalent to a walk in the park. The process must involve the end users, their managers, and the IT department.

And these parties must discuss the resulting changes to work procedures and processes before the mobile application goes live, including addressing security and application management concerns.

Keep in mind though, even when implementing a mobility strategy incrementally, it can be a complex process (see Figure 2). Luckily, you won’t have to do any of this alone. From building the business case, to helping get the necessary stakeholders on board, to actually implementing your mobility solution, T-Systems can help. As a key player in the communications, applications integration, and private cloud provisioning space for enterprise customers, T-Systems has the experience needed to guide you through your mobility projects.

Figure 2

Figure 2— The complex integration of mobile enterprise applications across devices

Ulrich Meister

Ulrich Meister

Head of Systems Integration, T-Systems.


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