Enterprises going mobile need holistic strategies: Analysts: Page 2 of 2
By Edwin Yapp June 3, 2013
Coherent strategy needed
Despite these seemingly convincing facts and figures supporting mobility in the workplace, enterprises in South-East Asia (SEA) are still seemingly quite at a loss as to how to go about enabling their organisations and empowering them with mobility and its associated tools and solutions.
Case in point: A survey conducted by Symantec earlier this year revealed that Malaysian enterprises are leaning slightly more towards embracing mobility in the workplace but the motivations for doing are as divergent as night from day.
Speaking to Digital News Asia on the sidelines of Citrix Synergy 2013, Phillip Redman (pic), vice-president at Gartner, said the challenge to adopt mobility has always been about putting a full solution together.
Noting that there are many parts to the mobility solution – hardware, software, networks – the Gartner distinguished analyst said there is no one de facto standard to guide corporations and all the departments within an organisation need to be reliant on each other in order to succeed.
Redman acknowledged that mobility is entering the next level as devices have the capability to enhance what is being done today, apps are able to support working on the go, and faster wireless access on 4G is facilitating all these communications.
But one big impediment that is holding many enterprises back is that they lack a coherent strategy to mobility, he added.
“I believe a lot of the technology elements have matured so they are no longer inhibitors to this [mobility],” he explained. “Wireless networks are fast enough; there are plenty of devices to choose from and applications that can do a lot of things today.
“But if a company doesn’t realise how these advantages can impact their business, then they will have a hard time putting a strategy together.”
Compounding this challenge, Redman said, was the understanding, or the lack thereof, of who is responsible for managing mobility inside an organisation.
According to him, mobility doesn’t just sit in one place within an organisation and can in fact sit in a dozen places. Moreover, it can involve hardware, security, servers, and networks, and thus, organisations need to work together to centralise strategy.
Redman also noted that a lot companies’ IT departments haven’t figured out how to support mobility in the different lines of businesses, although this is often the first step to look into.
“Every user won’t be treated the same way, as some will need different apps, different devices, different network access and apps,” he explained. “This is hard for IT because IT departments like to be standardised in their solution in order to scale, support, secure, and control cost and having multiple solutions just challenges this paradigm.”
Mapping employees’ needs
Forrester's Johnson went a step further and suggested that organisations that want to embrace mobility should identify needs and map these needs out for employees.
IT needs to map an employees’ mobility journey – things that they need to do their jobs, understand their work styles and what they need to be successful, Johnson told Digital News Asia (DNA) in an interview at Citrix Synergy 2013.
“Next, the need to develop appropriate policies – those that empower but protect the employee’s interests and that of the company’s at the same time,” he suggested.
“These policies are not about changing culture but about setting boundaries of who is responsible for what, what the company can provide, what employees need to do to take responsibility for company information, and making them easy to comply with.
“For example, if they are going to use mobile devices, make them turn on encryption but teach them how to do it, or at the very least, provide the tools to do it.”
Besides this, Johnson also noted that management must give mobile workers the ability to empower themselves with a self-serve culture, which can include anything from Wikis, self serve portals so that they will be able to take the responsibilities that management is asking of them.
Gartner’s Redman added, “Start small, look at where they key requirements and needs are, and try to meet these needs first. Also, ensure that the organisation’s mobility policies will work within the corporate goals of the company and not just goals for the individuals.”
Edwin Yapp of Digital News Asia reports from Citrix Synergy 2013 in Los Angeles at the invitation of Citrix Systems Inc