The integration of mobile into business operations has become almost universal. According to a recent CompTIA study, 98 percent of companies claim some level of mobile solution adoption.
While a third of companies surveyed prohibit any employee-provided device, a mix of corporate and personal devices is the most popular option. By adopting a BYOD (bring your own device) strategy, companies are saving money and appeasing employees who might grumble, for example, about having to carry two mobile phones.
The majority of these companies are focused on simply managing these mobile devices and ensuring that data is secure. While these are certainly important first steps, the most forward-thinking companies have already addressed these issues and are looking beyond upfront cost savings. They’re using mobile to improve the way they do business.
An Aberdeen Group survey of 240 enterprises revealed the top three ways that mobile applications help businesses:
- Improve communication and collaboration
- Quickly deliver actionable data to the point of decision
- Increase customer intimacy
The BYOD component only strengthens the lines of communication between companies and users. Let’s face it. We never really let go of our smartphones. That means businesses that implement a BYOD strategy are always within an arm’s length of their employees.
Think about how mobile can be used on a daily basis to enhance communication, increase productivity and improve customer service. Employees are constantly connected with one another and management, enabling instant collaboration to answer customer questions and solve problems.
Users can access data and manage workflows from their car, a lunch meeting or the customer’s office, providing them with invoices, purchase orders, inventory reports and other information on-demand. Turnaround time is now measured in minutes or even seconds, not hours or days.
Thanks to mobile, companies can focus less on tedious administrative tasks and more on business development and sales growth. Problems are solved, decisions are made and sales are closed more quickly.
Not surprisingly, the Accenture 2013 CIO Mobility Survey revealed that 79 percent of CIOs point to mobility as a revenue generator, and most will invest up to 40 percent of their discretionary budgets to achieve that goal.
To take full advantage of mobile, companies need to carefully consider exactly who needs mobile devices, how those devices will be used and what mobile applications will be available. For example, which users need an iPad? What apps will help this user become a more productive and more effective employee? What specific job functions will be enhanced, and how so?
This requires a strategic analysis and re-evaluation of existing workflows and business processes. In addition to simply matching the right devices and applications with the right users, mobile applications must be scalable, user-friendly and mission-critical to be successful.
Companies that fully integrate mobile into their business operations will improve communication, productivity, customer service and revenue. That’s the real business case for enterprise mobile solutions.