How to Measure Enterprise Mobility Initiatives’ ROI?

Mobile Man / Wednesday, May 27, 2015

As IT workers, we’re used to the rapid pace of change in the technology that finds itself in our possession. What is harder to link to the ever changing realm of technological evolution is an understanding of how user behavior adapts to IT. Enterprises are aware that investing in the latest tech makes good business sense. However, encouraging the desired behavior with this new technology is another matter. No one wants to invest in new hardware only for employees to end up being distracted and less efficient.

Using mobile devices is all well and good in today's world, and looks set to become one of the principal ways of working as we look to the future. However, how do you ensure you're getting a return on investment? The three measurables we believe can be combined to prove ROI are: usage, cost and productivity.


Metrics and numbers are typically a good starting point for analyzing behavioral trends, and this definitely stands true when assessing an enterprise mobile initiative. If we consider collaborative products like SharePoint that can be consumed across a number of mediums, they almost certainly come with a basic reporting package that breaks down how its content is being accessed.  The same is true of other products within the Office 365 suite such as Yammer (see below):

However, it’s not unfair to say that these native reporting packages often don’t go far enough. Whilst they’ll provide enough qualitative information on usability habits of users, will they provide enough quantitative data to allow decision makers to calculate ROI?

If not, then additional third party tools such as Infragistics SharePlus, a mobile SharePoint platform, can provide an appropriately deep level of analytics. Moving beyond surface level stats, they offer more valuable insights such as device specificity and popularity.


The next measurable is going to be the cost of supporting such initiatives. Historically, a company has had to take on the cost of supplying all hardware that is used to access and manage information, whether that be desktop, mobiles, tablets or any other media.

In the coming years however, with the greater proliferation of personal computing devices that are compatible with enterprise infrastructure and a willingness to explore these, the cost associated with hardware may significantly decrease. Gartner, for instance, estimates that for $500,000, CIOs can buy and support 1,000 enterprise-owned tablets or support 2,745 user-owned tablets. So, for the same pot of money and with a focus on customer support, a far greater number of users can be enabled to work “on the go” than would be possible by simply providing the device.

The downside to this is, of course, the additional support and governance work that must be put into place. IT teams may have to get used to a greater number of devices to manage and configure, whilst InfoSec and DataSec teams will need to constantly be on the watch for the risk of data loss or exposure.


The last measureable of ROI for enterprise mobility initiatives is, of course, productivity.  Does mobile working provide employees with a greater opportunity or a greater motivation to up the quality of their work? This is a compelling question that is harder to measure with numbers but is perhaps easier to gauge by mood.

Many firms already offer some initiatives that support a healthy work life balance, such as job shares, flexible hours and so on, which ultimately liberate employees from having to remain static behind a table and desktop. Email access is still the number one reason why companies introduce/consider a BYOD policy - some 86% of firms see it as the major motivation according to this post. This is followed by access to documents, custom mobile applications and cloud services.

Providing mobile access for all of the above means that an employee can very likely cater for work tasks during time periods that that they may not previously have been able to. Again, with the correct analytics package in hand, it’s possible to see what sort of behavior this greater accessibility is encouraging.

Well worth the investment

In looking to close out, what we hope to have provided are some points to consider when it comes to assessing or starting your own mobility initiative. Start this journey by investigating how your current collaborative platforms are accessed. Once these statistics are known, you’ll be better placed to consider both the fiscal and emotional benefit of a BYOD policy. Not only can you encourage your employees to foot some of the IT cost typically borne by the organization, the greater flexibility afforded to them could very well encourage workers to be productive in time frames which typically fall outside of usual office hours.

These two facets, when implemented across a sufficient number of staff, would be well worth the investment.

Try our SharePlus Enterprise for iOS free demo now and see the wonders it can do for your team's productivity!

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