Enterprises fail to use mobility smartly


Majority of businesses are failing to see the strategic value of mobility

While mobile strategies are widespread in enterprises, the vast majority have failed to deploy mobility in a useful way for the business, according to a new study.

Research shows that although 78% of enterprises have a mobility strategy, 86% are failing to utilise mobility to transform their business or open new revenue streams.

Mobile Helix, an enterprise application and data security expert, has announced the findings of an independent CIO survey of 300 IT decision makers in the UK and US exploring how enterprises are making use of mobile technology.

Altogether, 87% of CIOs believe that a majority of their employees would benefit from increased access to enterprise applications, like CRM, ERP and SharePoint on mobile devices. However, complexity concerns play a role in contributing to the reluctance of CIOs to invest more into mobility; 66% of CIOs say that they think that it is too complex, and 72% say it is too costly to integrate mobile innovations into legacy applications.

Development, support and security concerns are also factors in limiting mobile initiatives. Yet, if these issues can be overcome, 70% of CIO's stated that there is support from their business to use mobility to drive strategic business value.

Enterprises that fail to see mobility as a tool to transform how they do business and open up new revenue streams are missing out on the enormous potential strategic value of mobility, stated Mobile Helix.  Only 14% of businesses surveyed are currently using mobility solutions to transform business processes, drive increased revenues and develop new income streams. Many CIOs are hesitant to fully explore the potential of mobility innovations as they believe the cost to benefit ratio of implementing them to be prohibitive.

'Cost concerns are understandable, given that widespread enterprise mobility is still in its infancy, yet if CIOs make the right long-term choices today, they can generate significant returns for their business,' commented Mobile Helix's president, Matt Bancroft.

'Mobility has the potential to disrupt business in much the same way as the internet, but at the moment, cost and complexity challenges lead people to frequently ignore the enormous possibilities available. Take an industry where physical signatures are still needed: why not look at ways to use fingerprint scanning and location awareness on mobile devices as a way to completely change the way the industry works,' continued Bancroft.

He added: 'Ultimately, we see the strategic value of mobility delivered in three phases: mobilising existing enterprise applications, then adding mobile-specific capabilities to existing applications, and then creating totally new mobile apps where need and business case dictate.'

CIOs are most likely to use mobility as an extension of the office today. Less than half of enterprises are adding mobile-specific functionality to add value to specific enterprise applications.

In terms of the mobile capabilities that businesses are actually integrating into their existing enterprise applications, secure offline access is the most common, with on-device storage and development tools to push real time updates to workers. GPS and location-based capabilities are also becoming more popular.

'To date, people are focusing on simply doing what they have always done, but from a mobile device, yet there is so much more potential value available from mobile technology,' Bancroft concluded. 'Perceived complexity is hindering adoption, but a key challenge to mobility is companies' lack of vision, and that is a much bigger hurdle to overcome. With the introduction and broad adoption of HTML5, enterprises today can develop and deliver apps using their existing infrastructure and in-house skills. This means that the development of mobility solutions and mobile innovations can be both simple and cost effective.'


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