Enterprise mobile services adoption should put focus on revenue growth, not cutting costs

By Jonathan Crowl

At the enterprise level, mobile services require an entire architecture of management solutions designed to maintain the integrity of the mobile environment. Much of this work falls on IT, and it can fundamentally transform their responsibilities.

With that, it also changes the value metrics used to assess the performance and worth of IT departments. Large organizations have a tendency to stress out when they see the swells of IT spending brought on by mobile management efforts. Their first reaction is impulsive: If the costs are unsustainable, there has to be a way to trim the fat.

However, that brings up myriad potential problems. After all, enterprise mobile services aren’t an expendable line expense. With smartphones, tablets, IoT technology, cloud-based solutions and other mobile-centric infrastructure taking an integral role in enterprise operations, companies have no choice but to make these investments. The real challenge lies in redefining the value metrics that provide context for this infrastructure.

Of course, budgets have to be balanced, but cutting costs is not the solution.

Embracing a new mindset

As a recent report from Gartner points out, mobile technology, social media, cloud solutions and data-centric strategies are no longer optional luxuries for only the largest brands to consider. They’re a critical, functional part of daily operations. It’s not just enterprise brands, either — small to midsize businesses face the exact same challenges as they work to keep up with mobile innovation.

Cutting corners isn’t going to remedy these challenges. More likely, an indiscriminate slash to IT spending will increase the potential for data breaches, mobile service outages and other infrastructure problems that inhibit productivity and force devices and employees offline. Meanwhile, with smaller work teams and fewer resources, IT departments will require more time to resolve these issues.

Identifying the best business choice

Of course, CIOs should always push for IT departments to uncover new efficiencies. With a mobile-first approach driving closer collaboration between IT and strategists, streamlined processes will be uncovered over time. In the meantime, enterprises shouldn’t be desperate to cut costs. Instead, they should focus on increasing incoming revenues.

According to Harvard Business Review (HBR), many businesses face the struggle of whether to increase revenue or cut costs. Expense reduction often seems like the easier option, and it’s more reliable than increasing revenues. However, HBR insists cost is a secondary concern.

“By an overwhelming margin, exceptional companies garner superior profits by achieving higher revenue than their rivals, through either higher prices or greater volume,” according to HBR. “Very rarely is cost leadership a driver of superior profitability.”

If the cost of mobile services is ruffling feathers at the enterprise level, the best remedy is to seek out strategies for increasing volume to support this necessary innovation.

Inverting your IT metrics

With mobile bringing such dramatic changes to IT, new metrics are in order to better assess the performance and value of this work. No longer is it about quickly generating ROI. Instead, the value of mobile services is spread out over time and grounded in what’s yet to come.

With minimal downtime, agility, scalability, increased productivity and security are critical components of a successful mobile infrastructure. CIOs should view revenue as a way to enable greater IT productivity.

By adding revenue, you’re expanding the possibilities of what IT can do for you, both now and in the future. That’s an investment that will pay off as your mobile services grow more fundamental to your company’s goals.

Written By

Jonathan Crowl


Jonathan Crowl has served as a tech writer and reporter for a number of tech publications and corporations. Specializing in mobile technology and digital startups, he is based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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