There is mobility, and there is enterprise mobility. Arguably, over the past 4 years mobility in Zimbabwe has seen an impressive and steady growth; we have had new technologies, mobile broadband, more companies, and cheaper broadband prices. All this has opened up a lot of doors, and a lot of opportunities for individuals and companies alike. But the question that remains is how far we have really gone with enterprise mobility. To what extent can you stretch your iPad or Galaxy Tab to serve a real purpose in the enterprise structure?
Companies I have met thus far only allow remote access to your corporate servers, using Remote Desktop or web access. We also have a few more mobile apps tailored to be used on mobile devices, banking etc. EcoCash, OneWallet and the like
Why I ask this is that the world is absorbed in a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend. Users, customers, and workers have powerful smartphones and tablets. Employees increasingly want to use their favourite mobile device for both personal and professional use. Most of corporate Zimbabwe executives own a powerful phone or tablet, which they can use to work from anywhere beyond just email. This as long as the right applications and security protocols are in place.
So here is why I think Enterprises should think Mobile:
Widespread consumer adoption creates a new communication channel
- Mobile sales and services
- Mobile payments and account access
- Citizen/customer self-service
- Citizen/customer incident reporting (inbound alerts)
- Notifications and recalls (outbound alerts)
Improve staff productivity and efficiency
- Executive reporting, analytics and dashboards
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
- Mobile time and expense entry
- Workflow review and approval
Capture data at transaction point
- Retail/Factory shop floor
- Field inspections, maintenance, repairs, inventories and investigations
Remote asset monitoring and control
- Infrastructure monitoring and alerts (HVAC, bridges, manufacturing equipment, etc.)
- Real-time security threat monitoring and alerts
- Remote control/reboot of any asset from any location
Having discussed the Pros, let us count the costs:
Enterprise mobility represents an evolution in the way corporations work, think, operate and succeed. In the traditional IT model, the IT departments ruled infrastructure and operations, with decisions made from the top and handed to the users below. The introduction of enterprise mobility allows users to demand new hardware and software and accessibility never before seen in the workplace. This creates a shift in the thinking, operations and staffing of IT inside a corporation.
To address this wave of change, there are multiple roles an enterprise should train existing staff to handle, hire or outsource to a third party until the corporation has culturally and operationally adapted to mobility. Opportunity exists for corporations as enterprise mobility is seen as new and important for the executive management, allowing many projects and implementations a chance to start over or be refreshed.
Ultimately it is important to remember that mobility projects must be architected from the user perspective and build a bridge between corporate requirements/needs and the nimble, ever changing consumer technology market.
With this in mind, new positions will have to be created to maximize your company’s investment in enterprise mobility.
In conclusion I look forward to the budding of mobility at an enterprise level, and I hope technology professionals grab this opportunity to gain market share and they help companies bring better and better efficiency.