The Upwardly Mobile Enterprise

In a survey conducted at the end of 2013 IBM says that 90 per cent of global organisations surveyed are willing to sustain or increase their investments in mobile technologies over the next 12-18 months. Why is that?

Global organisations are in the midst of a new wave of mobile capabilities that can fundamentally change how they interact with customers, develop and deliver products, and apply skill sets. This wave is being spurred by tremendous growth in mobile adoption. Mobile is now the first point of contact between both individuals and organisations, with 91 per cent of users keeping their mobile device within arm’s reach 100% of the time.

According to analysts, enterprise adoption of tablets, a category that barely existed three years ago, is estimated to grow by almost 50% per year. It is also predicted that by the end of 2013, there will be more connected mobile devices than people on the planet.

In reporting that their survey shows that 90 per cent of global organisations are willing to sustain or increase their investments in mobile technologies over the next 12-18 months IBM says that one of the reasons for increased investments is the measurable impact on speed and productivity. For example, half of the respondents report a greater than 10 per cent gain in employee productivity as a result of their mobile efforts.

“Today, mobile is quickly emerging as a transformational game changer in business that will drive new levels of innovation and interactions,” said Kevin Custis, IBM Social Business and Mobile practices leader, IBM. “It is far too limiting to define mobility simply as a device or a channel for transactions. The organisations that come out ahead will be the ones that prioritise mobile and redefine its use to drive a new set of business expectations and user experiences.”

According to IBM mobile leaders are making noteworthy investments in bring your own device (BYOD) strategies. While leaders are more than twice as likely to have adopted a BYOD approach for employees compared to other organisations (66 per cent compared to 32 per cent), leaders are also more likely to provide the needed support to make these programs successful including well-documented policies and IT support. To effectively support BYOD efforts, however, organisations should first consider the various mobile use cases in the organisation, such as access to apps to improve customer service, not just the devices they are willing to support.

According to the report, the top three mobile challenges facing organisations are:

1. Integrating mobile apps with existing systems (54 per cent)

2. Implementing end-to-end mobile security solutions for devices and apps (53 per cent)

3. Reacting to changes in technology and mobile devices in a reasonable period of time (51 per cent)

IBM believes that mobile strategy leaders excel in several high-impact categories including analytics, speed, integration and security:

Analytics –Roughly 70 per cent or more of leaders surveyed describe themselves as effective in areas such as addressing structured and unstructured mobile data, handling large volumes of data, analysing mobile data and taking action based on that data. Less than 37 per cent of non-leaders are equipped to deal with these issues.

Speed – Survey findings reinforce one of the key strengths of an effective mobile environment: the timely delivery of information and insight to service customers regardless of location. In fact, 58 per cent of all respondents report that a key benefit of using mobile to improve employee productivity is faster customer response time. In addition to focusing on expanding their network infrastructure, 78 per cent of leaders (versus 44 per cent of non-leaders) are planning to increase their investment in an employee’s ability to work outside the office.

Integration – Mobile strategy leaders cite integration as an area where they have been more successful compared to their peers. Of mobile leaders, 70 per cent or more indicate they have been successful in ensuring interoperability with other systems, leveraging APIs for external or cloud-provided data services, and providing service-oriented architecture and sharing information among systems/devices. However, approximately 40 per cent or fewer of non-leaders report being successful with these tasks.

Security – Mobile strategy leaders recognise the importance of making mobile capabilities secure with 79 per cent reporting that their organisations have well-documented policies in place for employees using mobile devices (versus 48 per cent of non-leaders). Overall, leaders are more effective at addressing mobile security issues, prioritising around protection of data, secure connectivity and device management among other areas.