The Transition to a Mobile Enterprise: Five Key Considerations

Mobile Man / Thursday, July 30, 2015

For a long time, a lot of companies have resisted the move to the mobile enterprise. While more forward thinking CTOs and CIOs have been pushing for change, fears and misconceptions about data loss have paralyzed decision makers. Nonetheless, wherever your company sits along the Technology Adoption Life Cycle, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the mobile workplace has very much arrived and is here to stay.

Gartner have predicted an ever increasing percentage of firms will expect employees to use their own mobile devices, and Forrester research suggests mobile is essential for reaching today’s customers. The case for turning your company into a mobile enterprise is clear, and the organizations which resist change will face greater risks than those who take the plunge:

  • If they can, employees will find ways of using mobile anyway, meaning you have to deal with the threat of Shadow IT.
  • If data is only accessible from company desktops or when sent via email, you’ll miss out on an enormous range of sales and marketing opportunities.
  • Customers, colleagues and partners are likely to view your working patterns as outdated and unresponsive.
  • You’re likely to have less engaged workers, lower productivity and slower communications than your competitors

Mobile can and should work in any industry. You may imagine it only being important in a corporate environment, but anyone from factory workers to delivery drivers and store clerks can experience enormous benefits from mobile working too. So, how can your organization prepare for the transition to mobile?

1. The right tools for the job

Different companies will naturally have different needs for their mobile workforce. It may seem like an obvious consideration, but ensuring the device and operating system you choose is compatible with existing communication and collaboration platforms is crucial. Today’s major mobile and tablet suppliers run on Android, iOS and Windows and applications from most enterprise IT providers function across these different systems. Nonetheless, not every app your employees use will be available on every OS, so you need to be sure the devices you invest in can do everything you require.

Secondly, don’t get tempted by the ‘bells and whistles’ of the latest hardware. It’s essential to have a well-defined strategy, defining what you need and why. You can make huge savings with less advanced devices which are still perfectly capable of doing everything your people need to do. The key is planning and preparation - research your users and research the market before making any major decisions.

2. Safety first

It’s always wise to take precautions. Mobile will mean your colleagues are able to access company data from anywhere with an internet connection, so you don’t want their devices getting into the wrong hands. Helping organizations protect themselves are a range of Mobile Application Management (MAM) and Mobile Device Management (MDM) providers such as MobileIron, Citrix’s XenMobile and Oracle’s OMSS (Bitzer Mobile).

These solutions allow you to carry out remote data wipe, ensure security with device sign on and allow you to control and update the use of company mobile applications on staff devices. If, for instance all employees need a bug fix on a company device, an MAM should allow you to do this remotely across your network, saving you a lot of time.

3. Apps that really fit with your users’ needs

Technology should fit around your end users’ working lives. Ensuring that the apps they use to connect to company systems give them a native experience on any device, facilitate collaboration and give them a smooth experience is absolutely essential. Whether your company uses Office 365 or SharePoint, interfaces which feel familiar, such as Infragistics’ SharePlus, are crucial. 

4. Training and support

Having invested significant resources in deploying a mobile approach across your enterprise, you’ll want your users to actually get the most out of the platform. So many companies just expect user adoption to ‘happen’, yet a lack of training is one of the major reasons that IT projects fail. Provide your colleagues with concrete examples of how mobile can make their lives easier, give them real life demonstrations and boost enthusiasm for the new approach and you’ll see enormous benefits.

5. Be realistic

Yes, mobile is here, but for most businesses this doesn’t mean the end of the desktop or laptop. If your people do design, you’re still going to need powerful computers for Photoshop. Your BI professionals cannot analyze huge amounts of data from a pocket sized screen. Mobile will be another string to your bow, with serious potential for your business, but in most cases it will only add to and extend what you’ve already got.

Mobile first

We’re using mobile more than ever in our personal and professional lives. It changes the way we work, giving employees more control and flexibility when it comes to delivering results. So, will you be a mobile leader or a mobile latecomer?

Did you know that you can deploy Infragistics' Enterprise Mobility Suite, including SharePlus, an industry-leading native mobile SharePoint solution, and ReportPlus, a mobile BI dashboard app, within your MDM platform? Sign up for a SharePlus Enterprise demo today.

SharePlus - Your Mobile SharePoint Solution