Enterprise mobility: 3 steps for selecting mobile services for a changing workforce

By Jasmine Henry

Business people using devices while waiting in line.


Complexity is the new normal in enterprise mobility management. More than half of enterprises use a combination of CYOD, BYOD and other choice-driven approaches to mobility, a 2017 report from Mobi explains. Despite increased complexity, executives are hopeful that mobility solutions will drive results.

Investment in mobile services for simplicity and security at scale are, predictably, at peak levels. Two-thirds of executives surveyed by the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) will spend at least $5 million on mobile initiatives this year. While 62 percent of these executives said their successful mobile initiatives paid for themselves in 12 months or fewer, strategic selection is key to achieving these returns.

Choosing the right mobile services for 2018 involves more than just evaluating the landscape of options and mobility program goals. The right solutions should also align with changing workforce behaviors and organizational strategy.

Step 1: Understand global workforce needs

Executives selecting solutions for enterprise mobility should consider the diverse needs of global talent and how expanding employee demographics impact mobile behavior. Recent mobile insights illustrate the need for flexible solutions for workforces with a wide range of demographics.

  • Mobile-first: Mobile is the primary mode of digital activity in 14 global markets, according to ComScore, and users’ behaviors vary by region. Individuals in Indonesia spend 90 percent of their digital time on mobile, compared to just 65 percent in the US.
  • App engagement soars: ComScore also found time spent engaging with mobile apps is twice as high as mobile web use in 14 countries. Individuals in Argentina, Brazil and the US spend more than four times more minutes in apps than on websites.
  • User choice: “Millennials are increasingly interested in customization, personalization and control,” PressReader CIO Alex Gruntsev tells Proto.io.

User behavior varies by demographic and geography, but preferences are shifting to mobile-only, user-defined applications. Mobile services that offer broad device support and custom app stores can support employees’ need for choice in how they work, while mobile analytics services can yield up-to-date insights on trends in how your talent works.

Step 2: Reconcile complex mobility goals

An Apperian survey that examined how mobility program goals have evolved in the last year discovered that employee productivity, measurable returns and security have increased in priority.

  • Improved productivity is a key goal for 43 percent of organizations, a year-over-year increase of 20 percentage points, reports ADT.
  • ADT also reports that employee satisfaction is key to 14 percent of organizations, over just 2 percent last year.
  • The same article states that security and data privacy concerns impact 57 percent of organizations.

Managed mobility services can enable mobile teams to meet their need for security at scale without compromising employee satisfaction and productivity needs.

Step 3: Align solutions and services with strategic vision

Enterprise mobility is increasingly a core part of every organization’s road map for transformation. The IBV study of the highest-return mobile projects uncovered several components of strategic alignment:

  • Align projects with C-suite vision
  • Engage users across business functions
  • Evaluate managed, off-the-shelf and custom solutions

Mobile foundation services can enable enterprise mobility teams to achieve strategic alignment with the organization’s vision for transformation, including the release of apps with conversational services via cognitive APIs, faster app life cycle management and real-time analytic insights into user behaviors.

Finding balance in enterprise mobility solutions

Mobility is no longer an IT initiative. Enterprise solutions, when viewed as tools for mobility, employee satisfaction and strategic alignment, can yield returns in productivity and performance. By considering the changing behaviors of the global workforce and the value of enterprise-wide mobile transformation, investing in mobility services may yield the best returns in 2018.

Written By

Jasmine Henry

Jasmine E. Henry, MS

Jasmine is a commentator on emerging technology and freelance writer in the greater Seattle area. With a professional background in analytics, big data, mobility, and security that spans both the for-profit and government sectors, her professional interests include artificial intelligence…

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