Since our release of Optus' Future of Business Report, I have been invited to a few discussions around it. Among the many topics, there is much attention to the idea of "Business departments leading the strategy to respond to changes in customer demands", especially in the context of organisations' technology roadmap and business mobility strategy. One common view: Mobility is no longer an emerging trend, but a must-have in almost every business environment.
Individuals are now more educated on technologies and the power of mobilisation, but many organisations are still lagging or taking a fragmented approach in translating this into their IT and business models. While the technology roadmap has been traditionally driven by IT, organisations should consider taking both internal and external factors relating to mobility.
The younger generation of the workforce wants more from their technology. Self-selected devices, customised apps, preference-based content - for today's workers, technology is a personal phenomenon, one which has to be accessible at anytime, anywhere, in any situation. The mobile device now fulfils a whole range of business, productivity and social roles at any given time. Organisations need to recognise the reasons for such widespread grassroots adoption of mobile devices - everything from increased social connectivity to more productive commutes - and factor these into their policies. On the flip side, organisations must consider how to provide content, information and support to their customers via these new and highly-personalised mobile channels.
As mobile devices are becoming more advanced and affordable, individuals are now demanding their organisation support BYOD. While this may seem like an opportunity for IT to offload the cost of mobile hardware, many organisations still lack the security and HR infrastructure to support BYOD. The cost saving objective is probably harder to achieve that organisation originally thought. The blurring of personal device and corporate content is challenging existing SoE (standard operation environment) approaches to IT security. For example, many organisations are now baffled by the different types of mobile security technologies, including MDM, VPN, custom app and application security container.
We (organisations and individuals) continuously and inevitably want to do more with less. With the recent evolution of mobile technologies and applications, it's not unreasonable to look to mobility to underpin the 5-10% efficiencies business target. What if mobility can reduce desk time of your sales force, allowing 1 or 2 more customer meetings per day? Or enable your customer service representatives fulfilling customer enquiries while on the road? Or help you to dynamically reallocate job schedules based on the current locations and traffic conditions of your field staff? What if your competitors have already realised these improvements and you haven't?
Depending on your organisational angle, you may have to identify a key driver for your mobility strategy. Some would even argue mobility strategy should be defined by the head of innovation. How is your business approaching Mobility?
By Aaron Tam, Optus Business Group Manager (Enterprise Mobility Applications). More from Aaron on Twitter: @tam_aaron
All views expressed are the author's own.