Three Ways to Think Big About Mobility

An enterprise mobility plan is an obvious must-have for a connected company these days. And whether it’s providing employees with phones, going all-in on the bring-your-own-device approach, or a blend of both, mobility is no longer a question of if, but how, and more importantly, how much. A smart mobility plan can be a key driver for a company’s bottom line, be it from increased productivity, or simple savings that come from intelligent spend. It’s a really big deal.

Mobile is not only here to stay, it’s growing in the enterprise space, and fast and companies need to think about mobility in the long-term rather than a right-now expense. Here’s three easy ways to get started.

Think Ahead

Mobility spending is going to double in the next year and a half. According to the report “Mobile Business Forecast for Marketers 2012,” small and medium-size business mobile spending will climb to more than $850K in the next 12 to 18 months, versus an investment of $405K currently. Last week, MobileMarketer reported that, “for U.S. enterprises, the future investment jumps up to $1.4 million compared with the $587,000 spent to date.”

Now pin that prediction to your bottom line. What will your enterprise spend look like if you’re spending double on mobile? Considering this increase, what mobility plan makes the most sense? How will you readjust the rest of your finances? Thinking about, and ideally answering, these questions sooner will prepare you for the needed increase, and help you better understand your future mobile needs.

Elevate the Discussion

Mobility discussions need to move beyond the IT department. While your tech-forward teammates are an invaluable source for managing and strategizing the nuts and bolts of your mobile plan, this is a C-level issue that requires attention from CTOs, undoubtedly, and oftentimes the CEO.

A 2010 article from MobileMasters addressed the issue in a 4-part series titled, “Enterprise Mobility is a Long Term Solution, Not a Short Term Fix.” They emphasize the importance of properly delegating responsibilities within the organization:

Enterprise complexity also includes enterprise politics (Who owns it? Who controls it? And, of course: Who pays for it?). Larger enterprises also bring varying layers of IT to the mix (e.g. How is the CIO/CTO relationship faring? Is the CMO now part of the mix IT must deal with?).

The potential for confusion, and clashing, is well illustrated. But it’s worth noting that the article all but assumes that C-level management will, and should be involved. Deloitte addresses the issue in a similar vein, stating, “Survival in this mobile-driven world may require enterprises to rethink business models, organizational hierarchy, speed of organizational response time, creation and collaboration tools, employee control, and traditional notions of branding, marketing, sales and advertising.”

The way you spend your mobility money has a huge impact. In addition to making efforts to avoid the potential financial sinkhole of a poorly managed mobile plan, smart mobility choices will increase worker happiness and productivity, and could ultimately help develop careers. Like we said: this is a C-level issue, especially when looking at the long game. Be sure you address it as such.

Get Ahead of the Pack

The idea of focusing on a long-term solution for mobility, and its high-level importance, is nothing new. Remember that 2010 article? Those thoughts are late in the game compared to this 2005 study, which discusses “The Future of Enterprise Mobility.” Seven years later, their predictions were spot on:

Technologists have long understood the significance of mobile technologies and the drastic ways in which mobility can change business. For this reason, technology vendors have positioned their products as part of a ‘grand vision’ for enterprise architectures and operations. Critical to this kind of sale has been active involvement by top-level management.

No enterprise wants to be behind when it comes to smart business practices, and perhaps more crucially, fundamental organizational decisions. Don’t let yours be one of them. Mobility is advancing in importance daily, and the worst thing to do is to diminish its importance in your company’s bottom line. Developing a solid long-game plan, and developing it now, is the best approach to enterprise mobility.