Why setting a mobility strategy is vital
Many businesses are faced with an increasingly connected global marketplace where new business processes are needed to better fulfill their customers’ expectations. With tremendous pressure to increase customer value, the ability to remain connected is a clear competitive advantage. Mobile technology often plays a pivotal role in this transformation, where mobile computers and applications can help engage, enlighten, and evolve new opportunities with customers, partners, and employees.
Yet despite the imperative to embrace mobility, a recent study from the IBM Institute of Business Value reports that more than half of the organizations surveyed have no mobility strategies in place. Nevertheless, around 90% of global organizations plan to sustain or increase their investment in mobile technologies during the next 12 to 18 months.
Adding to the already complex nature of mobile initiatives is the speed at which technology is evolving. With bring your own device (BYOD), the internet of things (IoT), cloud computing, mobile applications, big data and analytics, technology is changing every day. This creates the demand for careful planning, design, and governance to provide a solid technology roadmap that will guide long term goals. Failure to establish and execute against a comprehensive mobility strategy can undermine the future of a business – leading to departmental technology silos and disrupting the potential for future upgrades to keep pace with new developments.
The Strategy Canvas: Everyone is in the Game
With such a technology decision at stake, it is no wonder that everyone from consulting companies to hardware providers are offering tailored services to work with customers on their mobility strategy. From mobility concept to implementation, many consulting firms have established new mobility consulting services. When you take a look at how these firms compare, it becomes clear that many of these companies fall into two categories:
• Those that capture the current state of the known market space. This allows players to clearly see the factors that the industry exists on and where the competition currently invests.
• Those that look at the future state of the market space, by reorienting focus from existing technology to alternatives, and from the best practices of the mobile technology space.
This diagram or “strategy canvas” outlines companies who are competing for consulting dollars. Those who focus on mobility like Motorola Solutions, Cisco, and Honeywell have direct competition from not only the technology companies like HP, Capgemini, and Accenture, but also from the core consulting companies like PWC and Delloitte who have customized offerings for mobility strategy. Consulting companies will give a good vision on strategy but mobility companies can offer end-to-end mobility consulting not just for planning but for the implementation and post-implementation phases. They definitely have an edge over others to partner with customer for their holistic needs in mobility space.
What is a Good Mobility Strategy?
Most companies consider mobility strategy as an extension of their information technology needs. However, this approach is not a long term solution, and one that can lead to higher operating costs as the organization’s mobility needs evolve. Over time, the proliferation of silos of applications and incompatible hardware and software creates ongoing support legacies. For example, many hospitals are currently adopting BYOD for clinicians, but haven’t considered options for data capture to enhance workflow. Many logistics companies are looking for speed and accuracy by deploying mobility devices but haven’t well thought out of process reengineering prior to automation.
Mobility strategy should be viewed as a practice involving the ongoing alignment of user needs, business goals, and evolving mobility technologies. It is the plan by which we intend to achieve a major outcome, which includes the people, process (workflow), tools, etc. intended to be used. Further, a mobility strategy must be flexible enough to adapt to meet user expectations today, while able to leverage new technologies in the future.
According to the IDC Mobile Enterprise & Professional Services survey, more than 40% of U.S. enterprises are either exploring a mobility road map & strategy or are looking to do so within the next 2 years. Many businesses are already actively building their mobile strategies, raising the bar for the rest, creating increasing pressure to develop a portfolio of mobility capabilities or risk falling behind in the market trends. Organizations that are left behind are sure to get shut out by their competitors who are stepping up to the challenge.
Everyone is Visioning: Current Market Analysis
Top consulting firms and IT companies are defining customized offerings for mobility strategy planning via focused workshops. A “Visioning Event” is a common term used in quality management consulting to define and agree on a prioritized plan of action. Such workshops typically range from one to five days, not including the research and preparation to provide the required inputs, and yield the basis of a mobility strategy and investment plan that has the full support of the executive team.
Motorola likes to think of a Visioning workshop as a collaborative process to drive alignment between stakeholders and establish priorities to achieve a future state vision for mobility. The methodology is based on a holistic framework that helps drill down from concept, to priority, to architecture, to work plan and honing in on the value to be achieved.
In my experience, a collaborative approach helps customers build a unified strategy in scenarios where they are paralyzed by conflicting demands of disparate business units, and where they fail to achieve their full potential as their disparate business units pursue independent strategies.
The good news is, as part of the Motorola Solutions Professional Services team, I have seen how a well-defined portfolio can alleviate these issues in order to progressively align with the customer’s business lifecycle. MSI’s 6-step process can help go beyond immediate mobility needs, and plan for the future.
Archana Paralkar is a mobility assessment & visioning workshop practice lead with Professional services, Motorola Solutions.
To find out more about how Mobility assessments & visioning workshops can yield value for your business, please feel free to contact Archana directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.