An Enterprise Mobile Strategy – You Don’t Already Have One

Monty Python scenes tend to spring to mind for me when certain conversations come up. The scene where the black knight insists losing an arm is just a scratch usually plays in my head when someone describes a disaster but claims that it really isn’t that bad. The other scene that pops up pretty frequently for me is when the French tell King Arthur they already have a Holy Grail. I hear the words “I told him we already got one” many times when I chat with companies who express confidence that they have a clear solution for a complex problem or a thorough strategy that covers a broad and dynamic domain. For example, some companies are saying they have a complete enterprise mobility strategy. Most likely, that’s not totally accurate.

What might lead a company to feel like they have a good strategy in place? Sometimes I think this comes from the fact that a document exists. There’s nothing wrong with documents, but in some cases people feel like if they can point to a PowerPoint deck or a Word document that means they have a strategy. In a world like enterprise mobility that changes very rapidly, a document is likely to be outdated almost as soon as it is written. 

Another reason that companies sometimes express comfort in having a strategy is because some solutions have already been implemented. When you come from a starting point that is a crisis of end-users running around with consumer devices demanding access to enterprise systems and you have moved to a status where you have a way to control this [to a certain extent] and provide some capabilities, it can feel like the problem is mostly solved. With mobile, the job is never done and any strategy should recognize there will always be a “next” thing.

So this leads to the question, what is a good enterprise mobility strategy? Based on our experience, it works best as a set of questions. Companies need to ask these questions and update the answers at least every six months to have an effective strategy. Here’s a quick checklist:

  • How are overall mobile results tracking compared to what was projected?  
  • How are the existing mobile solutions working? If they are not being used, what is the reason?  Do they need updating, simplifying, or combining?
  • How is the organization functioning around mobile? Are there clear owners for each area involved? Can decisions be made and implemented in a reasonable amount of time?  
  • What mobile use cases can you start supporting that would deliver the most value to your company? Are there revenue opportunities being missed by not mobilizing your sales team? Are there cost savings opportunities you are missing (e.g., employees or contractors without PC’s are currently working on paper)?
  • How should new capabilities be added? Is it clear when to build versus buy? For things that are built, is it clear what is the right approach?

Certainly more questions can be added based on the specific needs of your organization. But the key thing is to recognize that enterprise mobility tends to be complex and involve a lot of different people.  A mobility strategy needs to have a way to constantly test both the value and the processes. Most likely, companies will find there’s so much going on here that an overall owner is needed in addition to a good strategy to continue adequate forward progress. The one thing you can be sure of, however, is that no one has mobility completely nailed. When it comes to a good enterprise mobility strategy, the answer is probably not “we’ve already got one.”

Brian Kellner, Chief Technology Officer

Brian Kellner is responsible for Sitrion's product strategy and development. Brian has held product or development management positions for over a dozen years. Most recently he was Vice President of Enterprise Products for Webroot Software. Brian holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.S. in Management from Colorado Tech.

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