Top 5 Tips for building an effective mobile strategy

Embarking on the road to building an effective enterprise mobility strategy can seem a daunting prospect. Although there are significant benefits to be derived – such as improved productivity and efficiency, many organisations have concerns about how best to overcome the challenges of security, management and mobile device proliferation. Below are five Top Tips to help build a strong framework for mobility and ensure that it has a positive impact within your organisation.

Mobile platform choice –it’s not ‘either/ or’

The first and most important thing to consider when it comes to developing a mobile enterprise strategy is platform choice.

At first glance, it may seem that you have to choose one mobile platform (Apple, Android, or BlackBerry) to work with; one device type; and one type of application.

But this simply is not true. With the right technology to back you up you can easily use any device or any platform with any application.

So, in effect, you build lots of small applications for each business process that will be mobilised.

For example, your sales person can use an iPad, whilst your technician can use BlackBerry Playbook and your internal employees can use Android. You can choose the right device for the right job.

Don’t ignore the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend

BYOD is a trend that cannot be ignored. just because it isn’t affecting your organisation right now. That doesn’t mean that it won’t in the future.

It is a trend that can have a positive impact and help to deliver cost savings for the organisation if managed effectively.

Recent research carried out by Amdoc (here) suggests that BYOD could decrease costs and increase productivity by 10-25 per cent.

Any mobile strategy must include an option to embrace BYOD, and must also incorporate a truly ‘multi-channel’ approach which accommodates different device types.

Differentiate between mobile phones and tablets

There is no need to be forced into a decision between tablets and mobiles. Companies should choose a device which is right for the job at hand.

However, it is also imperative that when the right device type is chosen, the applications that are created are built with the context of how they will be used.

This in turn affects the way any application must be designed. Developers need to design the functionality of the application around its use.

For example, with a tablet the user is two handed whereas with the phone everything needs to be done with one hand and even one finger.

Applications – don’t think monolithic

When developing applications for desktops, developers have typically tried to get as many features as possible into an application.

However, developing for mobile devices can be different. The most effective approach is to develop very small applications built with a specific process in mind.

So, in effect, you build lots of small applications for each business process that will be mobilised.

Each application should contain no more than two to five screens. This is the point at which we have found users’ acceptance of new applications remain high and there is no possibility of confusion.

Don’t forget mobile device management (MDM)

Any successful mobile strategy must also take into account the management layer of the physical devices.

What will happen if a device gets lost or is stolen? There must be a way to manage the data and the access to each device.

There are innumerable services out there that help with this from full blown mobile device management (MDM) solutions such as RIM/BlackVerry’s Fusion to services like Find my iPhone.

It is always recommended that an organisation chooses the service which suits them and that the strategy is built with this in mind.

Mobile devices are having a fundamental impact on the way that we access information and we ignore these changes at our peril.

Incorporating these steps can help to build a mobile strategy which ensures you select the right tool for the right job and that the ‘move-to-mobile’ delivers real business benefits.

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