Just What Is Mobility Intelligence?
Mobility intelligence is something we often talk about on this blog, but what exactly does that mean? It’s actually pretty much like it sounds: Being smart about a company’s mobile device strategy. That’s done by gathering and using all the information available in order to create a holistic plan that gives employees what they need to work, while eliminating costs and driving productivity for the company. Mobility intelligence is about more than saving money on plans and devices — it’s about saving money, empowering employees, and boosting work efficiency and productivity.
Beyond core IT infrastructure — the actual computers and systems that make companies run — no other business function more directly affects a company’s bottom line than its mobility plan. Companies that have smart, effective mobile plans can make back 10 times what it costs to actually put that plan in place. Smartphones and tablets let employees do their work when they need to, how they need to; mobility intelligence makes sure that companies can get the most out of that work.
No Time Like the Present
With mobile technology advancing at a breakneck pace, it’s incredibly important to get an intelligent mobility plan in place right away. We’ve talked about skyrocketing mobile costs a bit in the past.
The latest bit of evidence comes from a market forecast released by researchers at Informa Telecoms & Media. According to their projections, mobile data consumption rates are on track to grow tenfold between 2011 and 2016. This spike will manifest itself with smartphone users consuming 6.5 times more video, more than eight times the current amount of music and social media, and approximately 10 times more games.
Additionally, Informa analysts expect the average mobile user in 2016 to browse six times as many Web pages as they currently do, and download 14 times as many megabytes of application data.
This will all be framed by a 23 percent increase in the mobile population.
As video conferencing, HD video and speedy 4G data become more commonplace, people will consume more and more data at a higher and higher cost to their employers. Getting ahead of that curve is essential.
Start With a Plan
There are three critical steps to getting started with an intelligent mobile plan: organize, communicate and enforce.
- Organize: 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.
- Communicate: Make sure mobility policy is clearly explained to every group in the organization. Each group should communicate to the company their mobile needs, and the company should respond and act accordingly. Communication is an incredibly important and often overlooked part of mobility planning.
- 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 beyond a few lost dollars. Make sure liability issues and data leaks are covered. And remember: governance starts with people, not devices. Oblivious employees are a much bigger risk than devices.
Focus on People, Not Devices
Remember that smartphones are, in fact, actually dumb. They don’t make the calls that sell products, hop on video conferences with colleagues around the world to discuss strategy, or send emails. They simply enable people to do all that.
This is a key pillar of mobility intelligence: Focus on people, not devices.
Too many businesses obsess over which devices they should give employees, which pool is cheapest or how much they should offer as a stipend if employees bring their own devices. These are all important concerns, but they lose sight of the proverbial forest for the trees. By simply knowing employees’ habits for what their jobs require — which is extremely easy to discover — companies already have a quick sketch of what employees need. Put reason behind the company’s actions.
Companies need to determine a return on investment that goes a bit further than, “Our workers can work from anywhere!” Buying a fleet of iPhones and iPads leaves workers with great devices, but companies with little more than added cost.
Examine: 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?
The hardest part of mobility intelligence is actually committing to it and creating a plan. Once a smart mobile plan is in place, is properly run and is being properly monitored, it will play for itself. It’s often said, “The first step is the hardest.” While this is certainly true here, that first step will put companies way ahead of the curve.
Image via Healthymagination.