Mobile devices are improving productivity in the workplace, but only when they appeal to the habits and preferences of the workers who carry them. The more comfortable an employee is with their device, the more likely they are to follow corporate procedures and to get better value from mobile working. When Mirvac noted that the majority of their employees were more comfortable with iPhones than their existing enterprise device, they decided to make the shift from a Blackberry-based corporate solution to an iPhone fleet of devices.
Normally, IT departments find this kind of enterprise-wide device shift a painful and expensive process, requiring extensive training and bridging solutions for data capture, document sharing and security. It is entirely understandable that they resist any kind of enterprise-wide change in device use, because the financial and time costs for implementation of an enterprise device solution can be huge, particularly if the IT department itself has to solve all of the security and interconnection issues, not to mention the training required with any new system.
But it really shouldn't be the IT department that has to do all the heavy lifting.Traditional management consultancies can help, but frankly, any device or strategic technology shift for a medium-large enterprise should leverage the expertise of their business communication and technology suppliers. Most telecommunications companies today will have a range of partner suppliers in their network that can arrange training in new technology, as well as inform businesses of emergent tech that have the potential to improve profitability, boost operational agility or solve business problems. And because they work in partnership, they tend to be aware of integration issues, as well as potential solutions.
Yet firms are still not widely tapping into the expertise offered by communications network providers on such matters. There is still a sense among C-level executives and other management that telecommunications companies are merely carrier service suppliers and network operators, rather than technology consultancies in their own right.
Optus recently worked with Mirvac on their transfer to an iPhone based corporate solution. Mirvac acknowledged freely that their expectations of Optus were 'modest' when they first made their approach, and that their experience had been positive and economically efficient because business objectives were aligned with the solutions implemented. Of course, we're proud of what we did with Mirvac, but the key learning from the experience is that unless those objectives had been shared, the value of what Optus or indeed any technology consultant could offer would have been limited.
No matter which consultancy a corporate entity uses to assist in any enterprise-wide technology solution, business objectives must align with the solution chosen. And any solution will be more effective if it is teamed with emergent or complimentary services that will ease the load on IT departments faced with the enormous task of an enterprise-wide technology transition. Leveraging partnerships that help IT divisions just makes good business sense.
By Chris Kennett, Optus Business Industry Manager, Enterprise Sales NSW. More from Chris on Twitter: @ChrisRKennett All views expressed are the author's own.