Simply put, enterprise mobility means a shift in work habits, from working full time at the desk to working ‘on the go’ and increasing usage of mobile devices and cloud services. However, the definition has often been misconstrued to imply that providing a mobile phone or a laptop enables enterprise mobility and is enough to boost productivity. Enterprise mobility broadly includes creating a meaningful work environment, not only for employees to access useful data they may need, but also for empowering employees and users with the right tools. Here, we explore the future of Enterprise Mobility:
Consumer Mobility Impacts Enterprise Mobility
Consumer mobility relies heavily on the simplicity or ease with which you can quickly complete a task by linking apps with the task on a one-on-one basis. Why this works, especially at a personal level, is because people don’t typically depend on their mobile devices for multi-tasking since they download multiple apps that each have their own purpose and task. Examples of single-task apps include the Tab which allows you to split your bill with how many ever people you want.
From the outset, single-task apps seem to be very useful and popular. They often have easy to understand UIs and are handy. However, Enterprise Mobility brings with it two key challenges that may go against single-task apps:
- Increased sources of distraction: With the many notifications that each app brings, the employee’s attention span is continuously being challenged. Therefore, with more intensive tasks at hand, their focus gets easily distracted with these single-task app notifications.
- Information overload: This occurs because of multiple sources of information and data, with workers having to toggle continuously between multiple apps and emails, making it difficult to process information more effectively.
Enterprise life is more complex, and switching between multiple open SAP apps, ORACLE apps, SharePoint sites and hundreds of emails to get a job done doesn’t exactly work on the mobile. Hence, it’s clear that just giving mobile devices and single-task apps to employees is not enough. It’s about a meaningful balance combining the user experience of consumer mobility and the complex enterprise needed for sharing and processing information.
Reorganization of Apps and Information in the Enterprise
Another lesson from consumer mobility learning is the need for productivity enhancers. Nobody wants to read multiple newspapers to confirm one piece of news, and this principle applies most strongly to accessing key data. As no business user wants to waste time accessing data, the process should be seamless even if sources are different. Two productivity enhancers are:
- Cohesive digital environment: Employees should be provided with a single window or screen where all the information they need is collated efficiently. This single-screen environment needs to have a variety of intelligent filters so that employees can access data they need as and when they need it.
- Enable single-task app ability: Business users need this functionality; however, unlike consumers who’re willing to toggle between multiple apps, business users need the functionality in one place, i.e. directly from their workstream onto a single screen so they don’t lose focus toggling manually between apps.
Enterprise mobility makes it imperative for a new approach to data management and productivity. A new approach is necessary for total integration of social interaction, email and documents, but built so that accessing this is seamless. It’s time we started experimenting on consumer mobility and moved on to applying them to enterprise mobility.
Security No Longer a Threat
Earlier, one of the bigger challenges was of mobile security, but today, with more and more companies getting a handle on mobile security, they are no longer afraid to embrace the cloud services push. While mobile app and data security continue to be an important growing trend, it is now possible to consistently monitor who actually downloads the app and how many users are active at any given point. Enterprises are slowly realizing that they can now have mobile apps on cloud and not necessarily on-premise any more.
Relooking at Enterprise Structure
It’s no longer enough to just build a unique and useful app. Building apps will be of no use unless your infrastructure can actually support the real-time interactions (with your ERP) that are bound to take place with the app going live. Infrastructure needs to also support the back-end processes and other business solutions. This shift in increasing transactions through mobile devices is slowly pushing for a complete digital transformation of the enterprise. Significant change is required if enterprises have to support mobility.
Enterprise Mobility is slated to change the way companies function and a digital transformation is on the cards, and we’re excited to witness this change.
How mobile friendly is your company to its employees?