For the past three years, Unisys has been studying the impact of the consumerization of IT on enterprises. I was going through our third annual Consumerization of IT
research study. Spotlighting the growth of mobile device usage in the workspace, the study shows 44% of workers now using smartphones at work. That’s an astronomical increase of 300% from three years ago, according to Forrester Consulting, my company's partner for the study.
Tablets, which were rarely used up until a couple of years ago, are now increasingly becoming the computing device of choice for many in today’s workforce. Clearly, mobility is driving change for enterprises.
The impact of mobility on organizational infrastructure has put IT in a precarious position. In the past, IT was the technical leader for the enterprise. With mobility, technology expertise has moved to the user. As a result, enterprise governance, and the leaders responsible for it, needs to account for that. In many cases, a mobile governance team needs to be assembled with members from IT, business, and operations departments to ensure a mobile strategy that covers all relevant enterprise requirements. For some companies, it is becoming more common to have a single person in charge to ensure creation and implementation of a mobile strategy.
With your employees and customers using thousands – and maybe even millions – of devices, you can be sure that you’ll need to gear up your physical infrastructure to support mobility. The following areas bear special scrutiny:
Network Infrastructure – With the potential for thousands of devices requiring low latency transactions, you need to review the current enterprise network infrastructure. Networks that supported primarily PC to web based applications may no longer be adequate. They now need to be able to address data access from multiple (home, business or public) locations to either a company- or employee-owned device.
Storage Infrastructure – Mobility is driving the creation and growth in unstructured data like never before. Videos are becoming a primary way of communication, using up bandwidth and storage needs. Instant messaging and social networking usage growth are driving the need for discrete document retention and security requirements.
Cloud – Cloud computing is optimally designed for today’s mobile world. The ability to scale is perfect for mobile devices and business applications. Cloud computing will likely soon be the most predominant means of accessing information through mobile devices.
Mobile Infrastructure – All mobile devices typically contain GPS, gyroscopes, accelerometers, cameras, and other features. Rich mobile applications aimed at improving productivity, driving revenue and improving customer service are being developed to take advantage of those features. You must ensure that your architecture is suitably designed to enable these technologies while ensuring scalability and security.
Mobile Applications – Mobile applications developed today need to be context-aware to provide the optimal user experience. You need to determine if they will develop apps natively, use a cross platform MEAP or employ a hybrid platform technology such as HTML5.
Mobile Environment Management – Enabling mobility while minimizing costs and maintaining a level of security and control to protect for the organization is critical. Managing mobile devices and applications appropriately is a critical step to ensure that you achieve adequate levels of security and management as needed.
After gearing up these infrastructure components to address mobility, enterprises need a holistic goal focusing on the progress made at all stages. How do you know that your mobility goals are being achieved on day one, midway and at the end of your project? You must establish key performance indicators in areas such as customer satisfaction, employee productivity and cost reduction per service, among others.
The world today is enabled by near-universal connectivity options and an ever-increasing choice of mobile devices that allow organizations to deliver their services at any time through any network. If you provide services across the mobile ecosystem, it’s imperative to provide flexible and scalable engagement models that allow you to take full advantage of the benefits of a mobile enterprise.
Join the conversation: How are you gearing up for mobile?