(By Phil Barnett)

The proliferation of mobile devices in the workplace reaches almost every enterprise. Today’s employees expect to be able to perform any work task from any connected device, in the office or on the move, for optimum productivity at all times.

Realising the transformational capabilities mobile apps offer, many businesses are now embracing mobility and funding new mobile app projects to speed up business processes and improve communication with the extended enterprise – employees, contractors, business partners, and customers.

“Mobile is not an exception, it’s a growing active commercial platform, so requires strong management.”

Companies today are at varying stages of an enterprise mobility strategy. Based on my experience I have broken the journey down into three identifiable stages to help companies assess where they are and how to move to the next level to maximise the opportunities that mobility opens up to their organisations:

Stage 1 – Starting your secure mobility journey

Initial response to BYOD is the first stage, where businesses start to empower employees, enabling secure mobile access to emails, calendar and documents

Stage 2 – Boosting productivity through secured software and apps

Stage 2 is about turning a reactive approach to securing employees’ mobile devices into a competitive business advantage by creating customised workflows though ISV standard and/or custom applications. Infonetics Research predicts that 1 million Android-based enterprise apps will be deployed before the end of 2013 – the question is, how will they be used? Mobile apps give employees the chance to be productive when they’re away from their desks. But one size doesn’t fit all. To fix this, 37% of IT organisations are looking to develop custom apps within the next 18 months.

Stage 3 – Drive transformation into competitive advantage

At the advanced end, a successful mobile strategy can be a business transformer if it’s aligned with an overall enterprise strategy. This includes integrating with the internal security infrastructure and back-end systems. At this point, businesses are creating new ways of working and efficient business workflows through mobile. This makes processes quicker – so products or services can be first to market or delivered quicker than anyone else. It enables closer collaboration with suppliers/customers. These closer, stronger relationships improve how the business functions. A mobile strategy turns into a true competitive advantage.

(Source: BCW)

“Opinion pieces of this sort published on RISE Networks are those of the original authors and do not in anyway represent the thoughts, beliefs and ideas of RISE Networks.”