Businesses Must Acquire Expanded View Into Mobility
The Enterprise Mobility Landscape Is About More Than Just Devices
The consumerization of IT has opened the mobile floodgate in the corporate world, forcing organizations to adopt more innovative business phone systems and communications strategies that support connectivity to smartphones and tablets. While bring your own device (BYOD) was originally thought to be the most disruptive trend in the mobile landscape, this may not necessarily be accurate.
Although supporting internal mobile expectations through BYOD initiatives and other endeavors is widely considered to be critical in the current enterprise, executives must embrace a more holistic perspective that looks at emerging external needs stemming from prospective and existing clients. A recent CA Technologies study of roughly 1,300 senior IT professionals highlighted the need to expand perspectives, as approximately 83 percent of respondents said they need to take a deeper look into mobility to understand greater opportunities.
Understanding Mobile Unrest
For the most part, the enterprise mobility landscape is highly profitable. In fact, organizations that have been successful with the mobile endeavors told CA Technologies that they have experienced a broad range of benefits, including increased revenue, higher employee efficiency, reduced time-to-market and the opportunity to acquire new competitive advantages.
At the same time, not all users want the same phone system features, which is forcing organizations to take a second look at how they adopt mobile initiatives. In many cases, projects that center on the needs of prospective and existing customers outpace the demand for BYOD and other internal programs. If enterprises implement customer-facing mobile practices, they can improve the bottom line and their reputation, which will ultimately enable them to build more comprehensive internal endeavors in the long run.
"Today, CIOs are under enormous pressures to address the rapid pace of technology change and evolution. Mobility has dramatically elevated the complexity of what is needed both for internal users and customer-facing systems," said Ram Varadarajan, general manager of new business innovation at CA Technologies.
Meanwhile, organizations are realizing that a mobile-enabled office phone system is not necessarily the most coveted technology in and outside of the workplace. Instead, both employees and consumers are more interested in the features and applications that are presented through those platforms, as these solutions will make up the real bread and butter of the mobile environment in the coming years.
The Ongoing Rise of the App
Enterprises must be proactive in their mobile quest, as waiting for internal or external users to proclaim their demands will simply not give decision-makers enough time to update policies and develop the comprehensive strategies that are being requested. CA Technologies highlighted this need as well as its growing understanding in the business world, as IT spending on mobility is forecast to increase 50 percent during the next three years.
Applications, specifically, will make up the majority of these investments. In fact, 63 percent of survey respondents said developing, deploying and managing apps, not devices, are the top priorities in today's enterprise mobile environment. A separate Gartner report highlighted similar expectations, noting that BYOD initiatives are now more of an application strategy than a purchasing policy. As companies struggle to understand what makes up BYOD and the rest of the mobile landscape, analysts encouraged decision-makers to focus more on creating a comprehensive application architecture.
"Designing your applications to meet the demands of BYOD is not the same as setting usage policies or having strategic sourcing plans that mandate a particular platform. BYOD should be a design principle that provides you with a vendor neutral applications portfolio and a flexible future-proof architecture. If the applications exhibit technical constraints that limit choice and limit deployment, then the purchasing policy is irrelevant," said Darryl Carlton, research director at Gartner.
Analysts highlighted that businesses need to cater to a broad range of demands that extend beyond the limits of the BYOD movement. The fact of the matter is that users now come from all angles. In other words, outside customers demand that companies have updated phone systems and a broad range of applications. Meanwhile, decision-makers must also cater to the needs of their in-house personnel and remote workforce - both of which are demanding the ability to use next-generation applications and solutions to carry out mission-critical tasks.
Additionally, enterprises need to consider how other technological progressions, including the development of cloud computing and social networks, are also impacting the software environment. Individuals can now work and access corporate resources from anywhere, which has put pressure on IT departments to support the solutions that enable these operations.
In the coming years, businesses must continue down the mobile path to remain competitive but must look elsewhere beyond the conventional demands of BYOD. By understanding how the natural evolution of business software has led to the creation of mobile applications, decision-makers may be able to develop more comprehensive and strategic mobile plans that will give them an edge in the long run.