Why a mobile device does not equal a mobile strategy
“There’s a difference between having mobile devices in your workplace and having a mobile strategy. You might have invested in a thousand devices. That doesn’t mean you’ve mastered mobility. What happens when the devices break? When it’s time to refresh? What about security? Covering these bases — and covering them methodically — is the difference between being a participant in the age of mobility and a leader in it.”
Those are the words of Evan Tomlin, Director of Mobility at Insight, in a new report, “Surviving the Age of Mobility” [PDF]. His words here set the tone for the rest of the report: while many companies have embraced mobile devices in the workplace, a significant number are still lagging behind in a mobile strategy that’s actually effective.
You’ve probably heard this before. But Insight’s new report offers some helpful tips, both for assessing where you are in this new reality, and how you can improve your strategy to help ensure you remain on or ahead of the curve.
Assuming that you already have some sort of mobility program in place, Insight recommends conducting an internal assessment of your mobile strategy’s strengths and weaknesses by reviewing the following areas:
- Device support
- Mobile policies and governance
- Security and compliance
- End-user satisfaction
- Integration with other infrastructures
- Cost containment strategies
On the device support front, for example, what contingencies do you have in place for a device being stolen? For upgrading software? For training, so that employees know how to get the most of the tools you provide them? Or, regarding end-user satisfaction, do you have an accurate sense of what your employees think of your mobile strategy in practice? Often, we find that companies who think that their mobile strategy enhances worker productivity don’t have a good way to receive feedback and assess new approaches that may be more beneficial. In any case, the self-reflection process can be tough, but is a critical step in assessing how effective you are in the mobility space.
So, let’s say you’ve assessed your strengths and shortfalls and want to improve. Now what?
The centre of Insight’s recommendation is a holistic approach. “As the marketplace responded to challenges posed by enterprise mobility,” Insight says, “solutions were piecemeal.” For example, many companies had MDM and MAM solutions through different vendors with little communication between the two. Today, that won’t fly. You need an approach that allows you to see the big picture and manage your challenges as a whole.
With a holistic approach in mind, Insight then recommends considering the following areas for your mobile strategy:
- Preparing the environment
- Choosing devices
- Management and support
This certainly isn’t a comprehensive review, but asking questions in these respective areas paints a pretty good picture for what you should be concerned about in your mobile strategy–and likewise, what your end users will likely care about.
If you’re looking for a reason to invest in self-assessment and improve your mobile strategy, consider some data from The Economist cited in the report: companies with effective mobile strategies are rated higher by employees in attracting talent (17%), getting the best work out of employees (15%), and enabling creativity and innovation (14%), compared with companies with a below-average mobile strategy and execution. If you’re not investing into continuous refinement, chances are, you’re falling behind.
Insight’s report is a good one, especially for companies that don’t know where they stand in comparison to their peers. Even if you think you know how far along you are in the enterprise mobility cycle, take a look at the report–you might find a surprise or two.
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