Building a Mobile Center - Asynchrony Labs - Application & Mobile Development.

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Mobility: Shaking up the Enterprise

Most companies treat mobile as a set of discreet projects, separately funded and separately executed—often resulting in limited success. All kinds of chaos ensues when Marketing goes after a mobile loyalty app, Sales builds a CRM app, the head of Asia resellers builds a mobile dealer app, and everyone’s on different platforms, using different technologies and security standards, and a non-exempt employee wants to know whether or not checking his work email on his tablet at home counts as overtime.

Gartner estimates that by 2014, 60% of typical Fortune 1000 companies will have failed to put a comprehensive mobile strategy in place. Because mobile adoption across the enterprise continues to grow at a rapid pace, it’s increasingly difficult for large companies to keep up. IT departments struggle to stay ahead as new devices appear on the shelves one a year, mobile OSs update twice, and employees want to bring their own devices to work.

Simply put, mobility is disruptive. It’s not a bad thing: changing environments and emerging technologies can provide a wealth of opportunities for growth and innovation. Still, the adoption of mobile technologies is scary for many organizations. Mobility makes structure and control increasingly difficult.

Here are just a few of the new challenges that arise with mobile:

  • Eligibility – Who’s eligible? And for what kind of device? Who gets what kind of access?
  • Data & Services – What tools, apps, and information are going to be provided and accessed? What information is going be collected? How can that information be used productively across the enterprise?
  • App Delivery – How are employees and customers going to get the apps? Through the App Store or Google Play? Will updated versions of company software get pushed through the cloud to the employees’ devices?
  • Reimbursement – How much will employees get reimbursed for their data usage? Will employees get a stipend to buy a mobile device?
  • Device & OS Management – What kind of “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) policy should be adopted? What OSs and platforms will the company support?
  • Security – What kind of information can be accessed on a mobile device? How can it be secured? Can existing policies be leveraged?
  • Privacy – Is employees’ data private? How will the company treat their data?
  • Legal Concerns – Does mobile use count as overtime for non-exempt workers? What about the personal use of company devices?

What is an enterprise to do? It’s not like mobile is going to go away, and it’s not like we want it to: the ubiquity of mobile devices creates many opportunities to increase employee productivity and to engage clients in a positive, familiar fashion. The ability to provide company-interactions through a medium many customers are comfortable with and use every day can provide great benefit to everyone involved.

To balance the business needs for mobile devices and applications, as well as the organizational and technical resources required to maintain and service those devices and applications, you need some way to bring everything together that is effective for both business and IT. You need a mobile center of excellence.

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