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Mobile Tip #3: Defining your device strategy

by Allison Martin

October 3, 2012

This tip was taken from the upcoming session, “Expert Advice for Improving Customer Service using SAP Mobile Applications” being presented by Steven Crooke, Expert IG, at the Enterprise Mobility Conference 2012, October 29-31 in Las Vegas.  For more info on the event, visit

This tip provides best practices for developing your mobile strategy, specifically how to define your device strategy and what key drivers andfactors to consider.

Mobile Strategy starts with a Mobility Vision: A highly mobile workforce equipped with secure access to information and computing power anywhere at any time for greater mission effectiveness.

Defining the Device Strategy 
The mobile device strategy identifies IT goals and objectives to capitalize on the full potential of mobile devices. It focusses on improving 3 areas critical to mobility: Wireless infrastructure, The mobile device itself, and Mobile applications.

Defining a Device Strategy is not the most important decision you are going to make, but it is the most important decision to make FIRST- What Is an Enterprise Mobile Device? Technology that is used to access SAP while away from your normal fixed workplace.

  • It allows the worker to create, access, process, store and communicate information without being constrained by what they are doing or where they are
  • A device containing sensors (GPS, camera, microphone, accelerometer) that augment the worker’s capability to perform daily tasks

Factors to consider as you formulate your device strategy:

?- Specific device platform capabilities Company provided devices vs. user provided strategy

?- “Come as you are” is an industry term used to describe a strategy where employees can choose their preferred device to access enterprise data

The key drivers for user provided (BYOD) devices are:

?- The ability for employees to carry only one device for both personal and business use

  • Reduce cost by requiring the use to provide the device or by providing a fixed company allowance.
  • Enterprise access from customers or suppliers where it is not feasible to provide the device

Key drivers for company provided device

?  - Limit support to finite devices and device types

?  - Cost Control

?  - Security

?  - Legacy contracts and sunk costs

?  - Liability (National Safety Council Report)

  • The biggest challenge to user-provided devices is security and the need to support a wide range of devices
  • Understanding the device requirements of your employees and enterprise applications
  • Specialized mobile devices
  • When to use tablet devices

Considerations for an approach to formulate your device strategy:

  • Survey employees on the type of mobile devices that they currently own
  • Include their carrier and data plan
  • Willingness to use their personal phone for business
  • What business applications do they use today (productivity, messaging, information access)
  • Identify high security roles where personal devices should not be used (Executives, Sales, HR, R&D)
  • Identify need for specialty devices (ruggedized, RFID sensors, vehicle mounted devices)

For more information on developing your mobile strategy along with other tips from Steven and our expert roster of speakers, make sure to register for the upcoming Enterprise Mobility 2012 event, Oct. 29-31 in Las Vegas.

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