Thriving on Change
A Revolutionary Approach to Enterprise Mobility
With so much attention on the rapid pace of technological change, it’s difficult to truly grasp just how fast the mobile world is evolving. To better understand the speed of mobility, consider that it took about 60 years for the telephone to reach 50 percent market penetration in the United States, and 25 years for the personal computer. The smartphone, however, has taken only 15 years to reach 50 percent market penetration, and the tablet is likely to reach that milestone in less than a decade.
With more than 1.8 billion active smartphones and tablets across the world and rising, the demand for mobile apps by both businesses and mobile device users continues to increase. Americans on the whole have made mobile devices an integral part of their personal lives, and they are expecting to do so in their business lives as well.
In fact, bring your own device (BYOD) programs continue to become more common. According to Gartner research, BYOD strategies are the most radical change to the economics and culture of client computing in business in decades. Gartner predicts by 2017, half of employers will require employees to supply their own device for work purposes.
The reality is enterprise mobility solutions offer businesses immediate opportunities to improve customer service, increase efficiency, boost sales, and gain a competitive advantage. That is in part, why it is estimated by 2015, the global market for enterprise mobility is projected to exceed $168 billion.
Mobility Solutions Solve Business Challenges, Drive Operational Improvements
Companies are investing in mobility solutions because they are trying to leverage the ability (and desire) of workers to remain productive and effective at their job while on the go. Taking advantage of mobility can help solve several business objectives for companies today:
– Increase sales productivity
– Improve customer service
– Improve operational efficiencies of employees
For example, with an effective mobility solution, sales representatives can not only obtain timely sales support, but also provide their customers with needed product and pricing information immediately. Having useful sales content, literally at the sales rep’s fingertips, offers a unique competitive advantage to businesses. Or, as an employee, enterprise mobility applications offers access to employment-related information, perform critical tasks, securely interact with their back-end enterprise systems, and access important content that allows them to remain productive no matter where or when.
Perceived Barriers to Embracing Mobility
Today, the main challenge for enterprises is to simply figure out how to integrate mobile devices into their current business processes and IT systems. That is the foundational first step needed to support the game-changing capabilities that will eventually transform the way they do business.
Most companies’ IT departments historically managed PCs and desktops, and when the introduction of blackberries and similar devices drove the Bring-Your-Own-Device (BOYD) movement, IT departments continued to manage those devices (known as Mobile Device Management or MDM), but not necessarily the data on them. With increasing security concerns, that soon evolved into a need for IT departments to manage the data and applications on the devices as well (known as Enterprise Mobile Management or EMM).
While the transition to enterprise mobile management has helped solve IT and security concerns, it does not address today’s most pressing and fundamental issue – the user experience. The trend towards “consumerization of IT” and the influence of cloud technology means business is now changing faster than IT can respond. As a result, companies are seeing an urgent need and an opportunity to offer more self-service capabilities to their business users.
Many of the solutions on the market today address different aspects of enterprise mobile management well, but the majority fall short in key areas. Traditional solutions include:
– Point Apps – applications that the enterprise may offer, such as SAP, Oracle or SalesForce.
- Pro: these applications offer rich native experiences
- Cons: they don’t talk to one another. From a user perspective, there is no integrated work flow capabilities.
– Do-it-Yourself or Mobile Application Development Platforms (MADPs) – An option whereby businesses build and rollout their own proprietary applications.
- Pro: offers flexibility of building what businesses want, customized
- Cons: high cost, lengthy development time, complexity in developing and maintaining; and most of these platforms don’t provide a back-end structure.
– Back-end as a service or Enterprise Application Integration – these are solutions that integrate a businesses’ back-end systems with the enterprise’ mobile applications.
- Pro: solves the issue of back-end integration for MADPs or Point Apps.
- Con: does very little about the mobile application or user experience.
Even beyond these shortfalls, many of the existing approaches are lengthy, expensive, and resource-intensive. Most enterprise applications have no mobile version, and typically take months to years to deploy. This consumes valuable IT resources, often foregoing other business critical initiatives and support.
What the market requires is one solution that delivers the benefits of each of these three approaches, without the cons associated with each and that satisfies the need for business users to be self-sufficient.
A Game-Changing Solution Emerges: MobileForce ™
MobileForce is a unique mobile application platform that offers the native experience of point apps, the cross-platform capabilities of MADP, and the application connectivity and integration of EAI. VisionIT is an authorized reseller and integrator of MobileForce, and is setting new standards in the mobile technology industry and delivering value to hundreds of companies. With MobileForce, companies go live in a matter of days, not months or years. There is no coding, custom development or application life cycle maintenance required. Essentially, enterprises can minimize the number of tools they need for implementing a successful mobile strategy.
The MobileForce solution also satisfies an emerging trend today – the need for business users to manage and maintain mobile applications without the need to code or possess high-level technical skills. The cloud-based platform provides customers with a user interface that is highly-intuitive, and that can facilitate changes and rapid time-to-market delivery without the need for coding, so that application implementation doesn’t lag behind business needs.
MobileForce took note of this trend and delivers a solution that allows users with a non-technical background to build interfaces without writing any code, and that is accessible to more than just the IT department.
The MobileForce sales application is used by thousands of field salespeople and system engineers worldwide to get the “right information at the right time.” The result is improved productivity by eliminating weeks of unnecessary round-trip interactions with prospective customers and shortened sales cycle by up to 20 percent.
Laying the Groundwork for the Next Big Thing – Wearable Tech
Wearable tech, such as smart watches and head-mounted displays, are poised to take the enterprise by storm. The blog Business Insider believes that the “wearable technology” market will be a $12 billion sector by 2018.
This trend will no doubt continue to impact businesses, in adapting existing platforms, security protocols, and system integration to address these devices and how they are managed. VisionIT will continue to track these emerging trends, helping companies stay ahead of the technology curve, and unleash the power that mobility can offer.