Three Keys to Mobility Intelligence
Mobility planning is probably a pretty painful chore for the decision makers in a company – or it can be, at least. Companies generally treat their mobility plans in three distinct steps: 1) They buy a bulk shipment of phones along with a standardized plan for everyone in the company, or even a pool of minutes and data; 2) Proudly pass out the newly purchased phones, minutes and data in to the waiting hands of employees so they can more easily and efficiently work form wherever they need to; and 3) Profit?
Well, step three is the hope, but often not the reality. What if some – or many – of those employees don’t need a new phone, but would prefer to use their own? How about that division of the sales team that frequently calls Europe and racks up hundreds of dollars per person in international charges? Or the designer who uses more data than his plan allows, or the sales person who uses more minutes than her plan allows? There’s a theme here.
Mobility expenses are a major bite out of every company’s budget and that bite is gong to get bigger with each passing year. As we’ve discussed before, rising data usage and costs will threaten to blow a hole in corporate budgets over the next few years, so mobility could have a huge impact on a company’s bottom line. So why do most businesses treat their mobility plan as an afterthought?
Companies simply need to get smarter about their mobility plans, which, actually, isn’t a terribly hard thing to do. The starting point is to focus on three core foundations: organize, communicate, enforce.
Step One: Organize
The most basic step is it make sure the company is properly broken down and each group has their mobile needs analyzed. IT will have different needs than executives, who will have different needs than interns, who will have different needs than salespeople. This is very straightforward, but shockingly too often overlooked.
Step Two: Communicate
As we all know, communication is the key to every great relationship – and the key to great communication (at least in a business sense) is structure, which we’ve already taken care of. Make sure mobility policy is clearly explained – and not lectured about – to every group in the organization, with each group able to let the company know their mobile needs and the company responding and acting accordingly. Spending a bit more to give employees what they need is a heck of a lot cheaper in the long run than paying for overages because of poor planning.
Once every one knows what they need and knows that they’re getting it, that makes communicating policy infinitely easier. An employee that has an adequate mobile plan is going to be much more mindful about extra costs than one who isn’t.
Step Three: Enforce
Overages and unnecessary app purchases or downloads can make costs get out of hand quickly. But, liability issues and security can easily become headaches that go far, far beyond a few lost dollars. Make sure liability issues – what happens when an employee gets in a car crash while on a business call using a company phone? – and data leaks are covered. And remember: governance starts with people, not devices. Oblivious employees are a much bigger risk than devices are. Anyone remember the iPhone prototype left in a bar?
These steps will get any company on the road to mobility intelligence, but the key is vigilant monitoring and realizing that a company’s mobility program is a key business driver, not something to be thought about once and then forgotten or shelved. Employees and the bottom line will appreciate the attention.