Digital transformation: Driven by enterprise mobility at scale

By Tony Storr

The increased use of mobile technology drives digital transformation

Businesses are building incredible services that grow revenue, decrease cost and improve customer service. And, thanks to Mobile at Scale, they’re reaping terrific ROI in the process — up to an 81 percent reduction in application management and maintenance fees. Here’s how mobile is unleashing business transformation like never before and how your company can get started.

Mobile is more important than ever

Every CEO knows that digital transformation is important, but not everyone has a clear consensus on what that transformation should look like or how to go about accomplishing it. Most companies understand that it’s a top priority to deliver an exceptional mobile customer experience. As TechCrunch reports, the average American now spends five hours a day on mobile devices. Accordingly, businesses appreciate the fact that it’s important to effectively engage customers in that mobile setting they increasingly call home. What companies don’t always recognize at first, however, are the similarly critical roles of employee empowerment and enterprise mobility to their future success.

A seamless enterprise mobile experience, delivered at scale, can simultaneously enable the fulfillment of twin strategic goals: innovating the customer experience and boosting employee empowerment and engagement. As IBM’s recent Global C-Suite Study indicates, mobile could not be more mission-critical in this fiercely competitive era. Businesses that consider themselves Reinventors — those on the leading edge of digital transformation, which represents about 27 percent of the organizations surveyed — are using mobile not only to innovate platforms and pioneer new business models but also to spark the talent and collaborative ingenuity of their workforce.

Mobile is driving digital transformation

Businesses that are embracing mobile-enabled transformation in this way are already enjoying impressive benefits. One key area involves role-based app development within the enterprise. Until recently, businesses just cobbled together a patchwork of compartmentalized apps under an enterprise app store, pushed them out to employees and hoped for the best. This approach was both costly and inefficient, rarely delivering the workforce engagement or productivity enhancements the companies had in mind. Now, businesses are delivering beautifully designed role-based apps centered on their employees’ needs.

For example, cable technicians can access scheduled jobs, customer histories and map routing all within a single app, reserving vehicles and calling up videos and manuals as needed. Empowered with the tools they need to do their jobs, these technicians are logging better first-call resolution rates and the business no longer has to spend as much on training as it once did. As a result, these employees are more effective and more satisfied on the job — and their colleagues in other departments are beginning to clamor for role-based apps of their own.

Mobility can drive enterprise efficiency on an even broader scale. The airline industry can leverage the power of role-based apps, supporting greater collaboration among employees that in turn eliminates obstacles and allows them to be more effective in their jobs. For example, an airline can allow flight attendants to send up-to-date reports down to the ground crew once a flight is in the air, giving them real-time information that they can use to prepare for the plane’s arrival. Pilots can do the same thing upon landing, automatically sharing information on equipment issues requiring a thorough check. Ultimately, the airline can run far more efficiently from end to end thanks to strategically designed role-based apps that seamlessly interact with and complement one another.

Mobile is creating impact at scale

Enterprise executives are wondering how to achieve such transformational results at scale, delivering maximum benefit to the organization while minimizing costs. Getting serious with enterprise mobility means consolidating, streamlining and industrializing mobile app capacities across the organization. As noted in Forrester’s recent study, Total Economic Impact of Mobile at Scale, by pursuing a coherent enterprise mobility strategy and adopting a single-vendor model for app development, a business can realize dramatic cost savings, cutting app development costs by 60 percent and saving an average of $108,000 in application management and maintenance costs per application, all while bringing greater value, efficiency and satisfaction to its employees.

The benefits don’t end there. The same study mentioned above found that the organization using Mobile at Scale avoided nearly $1.5 million in costs associated with separate, isolated application maintenance and management teams. They also were able to reduce vendor and project management overhead by $791,233 and increase their operational productivity by $931,000. Ultimately, they were able to grow revenue and drive competitive advantage as well.

How to get started with your digital transformation

There has never been a better time to embark on a path of digital transformation, yet knowing where to start can seem daunting at first. With that in mind, here some tips on where to begin. First of all, it’s essential to commit to a holistic enterprise mobility and digitalization strategy for the company rather than attempting ad hoc, isolated initiatives within disparate areas of the organization. It’s also important to remember that implementing any meaningful level of business change takes time and patience.

That being said, you can certainly deliver some quick wins along the way. For example, in the case of role-based app development, you can take on one employee role at a time, beginning with the position whose optimization could produce the greatest results for the business. Once you’ve notched a win there, you can build trust and momentum within the organization to support bolder and more innovative changes. And with an experienced partner on your team, you can create a transformative roadmap, tailored to your business, that gets you where you need to go.

Written By

Tony Storr

IBM Mobile at Scale Leader

Tony is a digital strategy leader and delivery executive at the forefront of bringing IBM’s strategic new digital initiatives to market. As a global leader and offering creator of IBM Mobile at Scale, he inspires clients across industries to move to the next generation of mobile…

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