Enterprise mobility is the term often used when discussing the trend causing a shift in work habits as organizations deal with the powerful influence of mobile devices on modern enterprise. Pursuing mobility is generally regarded as worthwhile for businesses looking to improve employee productivity, but it has risen in importance to the point that organizations essentially need to focus on it in order to remain competitive in today’s rapidly changing digital age.
According to a recent report, analysts expect the enterprise mobility market in the Americas to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 13.8 percent between 2012 and 2016, driven largely by the need for real-time decision making and the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend. While the corporate world is poised for significant growth, businesses that have not yet embraced enterprise mobility need to take stock of the factors that are causing a substantial shift in how things are done.
ReadWrite contributor Jesus Rodriguez recently explored the enterprise mobility trend, noting that after several years in the making, the initial phase of mobile integration in the enterprise is nearly over.
“Enterprise mobility is evolving,” Rodriguez wrote. “The first generation of enterprise mobile solutions focused on the management of mobile device (MDM), enabling traditional email applications and the occasional custom mobile app. It is time to take the next step. A new generation of mobile technologies is helping enterprises to reimagine entire business processes from a mobile-centric standpoint. This movement is starting to be known in the industry as ‘the mobile-first enterprise.'”
Embracing business mobile
Rodriguez explained that the BYOD trend has spurred the transformations in enterprise mobility solutions, creating a new modern corporation that is characterized by employees using smart devices to expand the traditional office environment.
Dr. Richard M. Marshall, research director at Gartner, recently provided insight into enterprise mobility at ClickSoftware’s ClickConnect Europe 2013 conference. In a session at the conference, Marshall shared Gartner forecasts, noting that 82 percent of handsets shipped worldwide will be smartphones by 2017, driving the Internet of Things (IoT) trend even further. As this occurs, Marshall noted that enterprise collaboration solutions will help businesses achieve substantial gains in productivity by enabling employees to socially connect and interact regardless of whether they are working remotely, on the go, or in the office.
In order for businesses to truly embrace enterprise mobility, Rodriguez argued that it is necessary for them to go beyond basic mobile device management. While effective MDM has been integral in enterprise mobility infrastructure, businesses must look beyond the devices being utilized and focus on managing mobile business applications as well as the corresponding data. Rodriguez noted that one of the top goals of an effective enterprise mobile infrastructure is to enable the development of mobile applications that can leverage corporate data hosted in business systems.
“It may be conceptually trivial, but the process of mobilizing business data can be extremely challenging,” Rodriguez wrote. “In order to enable a mobile-first enterprise experience, organizations need to build the infrastructure to contextualize business data so that it can be effectively consumed on enterprise mobile applications. While technologically challenging, building the infrastructure to effectively mobilize data from corporate systems can drastically simplify the experience of incrementally building enterprise mobile applications.”
In addition, Rodriguez maintained that organizations need to both redefine existing processes with a focus on mobile as well as create new mobile-first business processes. He stressed that the new corporate environment has brought about a new generation of mobile-focused business apps that reshape what today’s businesses are capable of achieving.
However, in a recent Mobile Enterprise article, Darren McGrath, guest contributor and mobility solutions expert, argued that too limited of a focus on enterprise mobility components like MDM and mobile application management (MAM) will consequently restrict return on investment in mobility initiatives. In order to establish a truly successful enterprise mobility program, McGrath stressed businesses need to also focus on security, creativity, device support models and the ability to maximize application design.