Are Smartphones Just Dumb Vessels?
We all love our Internet, email-, Facebook-, Twitter-, CRM-, ERP-, Yammer-, Intranet-, ESPN-enabled smartphones, right?
Of course we do! We can work from anywhere and be online and available no matter what. (Though potential downside: We can work from anywhere and be online and available no matter what.) And our employers love them too. Smartphones, tablets, laptops, and connectivity turn the world in to a virtual office. The potential for increased productivity alone is enough for any exec looking at the bottom line to salivate.
But are smartphones really the savior here, or simply a vessel for salvation? There’s a strong case for the latter.
According to analysts, spending on mobile devices and systems account for 15 percent of overall IT spending and drives 45 percent of a company’s IT growth. And that’s only going up: Organizations will increase spending on devices (the smartphones, tablets, etc.) by an average of 25 percent this year. Those are huge costs.
But the problem isn’t how much organizations are spending on mobility. It’s why they’re spending so much. That small distinction makes a world of difference.
Smartphones by themselves aren’t smart. The people using them and the data that’s fed into and out of the phones, is. Strategic mobility management — focusing on the smart data behind the dumb phones — allows companies to measure and track user behavior, which is what actually creates productivity. Devices only enable it.
What’s the company’s deployment strategy? Has management decided who will get what voice plan and who will get what data plan? Does the sales team that travels regularly to Europe have an international plan? Do engineers who rarely talk on the phone get 600 minutes they don’t use per month? Do salespeople get large-cap data plans they might not need?
So, it’s a great thing when a company goes all-in on its mobility strategy. Even without proper planning, workers will be able to their jobs more easily, which will make them happier. But it won’t move the needle on the company’s bottom line, which should be the real goal of any mobility plan.
The last thing an organization needs is a bunch of smart phones being stupidly managed.
Image used under Creative Commons by Flickr user superstrikertwo.
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