Enterprise mobility is a hot topic; every time we turn around another company is in the news touting how their profitability has increased as a result of the iPad. Analysts agree, in fact according to Global Industry Analysts
, the global market for enterprise mobility is expected to reach $218 billion by 2018.
But why is enterprise mobility so popular, and what does it mean for your company? Kevin Benedict
, industry analyst, wrote an informative post about the positive results that companies can expect from a successful implementation of an enterprise mobility solution. Here is some perspective on some of his points based on what we've seen here at Apperian.
- Increased operational speed and efficiency gains
This benefit is especially applicable in industries that are dependent on maintaining a complex web of activities or assets to keep their business running. An example would be retail companies, who are dependent on multiple players in the supply chain. Whether you are a bricks-and-mortar store or an ecommerce business, fulfillment is everything. If customers can’t get their product, they will go down the street or to another website. Enterprise mobile apps that provide inventory tracking from the time an order is placed to the time it gets shipped out or purchased (scanning out via iPad app, for example) can expedite operations to fulfill orders more quickly, and increased visibility of sales results by product can help companies to make better decisions about what inventory items are best to keep on hand.
- Efficient data collection
More efficient data collection drives better decision making and is enabled by the ability to share important information in real-time using a mobile device. Look at the health care industry and their use of enterprise apps for patient care. These specific mobile apps enable caregivers to collect data about a patient directly from the bedside and report it to a centralized location (the cloud or to a connected back-office system), so that doctors can make diagnoses and care decisions more quickly and with more accurate information, resulting in healthier patients. Often mobile application security is a concern, especially in the health care industry, but with the help of a mobile application management (MAM™) solution, health care organizations can be certain that their information is secure and private patient information is not compromised.
- Faster information reporting
Not surprisingly, this leads to better decision-making. A classic example of this benefit is the concept of a management dashboard feature attached to an enterprise app used by employees, whether they are field workers, retail store managers, or salespeople. Managers can quickly see the results of the prior day or even real-time results right on their phone and act on them without having to wait until they get to the office.
- Improved workforce productivity
As a result of real-time data collection, artificial intelligence and reporting, this benefit can be demonstrated effectively with mobile sales apps. CRM capabilities enable salespeople to input data on a given lead in real-time, thus giving both their corporate office and the salesperson up to date information on their pipeline, while a consumer-facing component can calculate what-if scenarios (such as in the case of a car or insurance purchase), which can accelerate the sales close cycle. With a MAM solution, companies can easily deploy mobile apps to quickly get their app into the hands of their sales team, or set up an enterprise app store for employees to find and download apps.
- Better resource allocation
Better allocating resources increases profitability, and can be demonstrated in the field service industry. Many mobile solutions exist which can track a technician’s status on each job and location, and then can dynamically reassign workers to different jobs to optimize efficiency and meet demand. This results in improved customer satisfaction due to lower wait times, improved employee utilization, and lower related costs such as mileage reimbursements and customer credits for late appointments.
- Increased visibility to remote operations
Although all companies with disparate locations or operational facilities will find this attractive, this benefit is especially useful to the oil and gas industry. With each project location (e.g. oil rig) often located in a remote area with limited infrastructure, it can be difficult for corporate staff to keep tabs on the project’s progress or to have any knowledge of things that may go wrong. With a good enterprise mobility solution, oil and gas companies can more effectively monitor operational issues such as delivery of equipment or downtime, and can be informed of any safety issues before they hit the headlines.
- More collaboration
This benefit can be evidenced by the concept of enterprise social networking, which, particularly in large companies with multiple levels of hierarchy, encourages cross-level and role communication to improve cross-functional teamwork and problem-solving. A real life example of this is Humana’s enterprise social system, which is now used regularly by 26,000 employees to facilitate communication and teamwork. If a solution like this is made mobile (think Facebook on your phone, but for work purposes), the adoption will skyrocket.
Ultimately, the results of any enterprise mobility implementation are dependent on the specific use case and company, but if implemented successfully, can provide tremendous benefits.