Enabling The Mobile-First Enterprise

Guest author Jesus Rodriguez is the CEO and co-founder of KidoZen.

It has taken more than five years, but the first phase of integrating mobile into enterprises is almost over. 

Enterprise mobility is evolving. The first generation of enterprise mobile solutions focused on the management of mobile devices (MDM), enabling traditional email applications and the occasional custom mobile app. It is time to take the next step. A new generation of mobile technologies is helping enterprises to reimagine entire business processes from a mobile-centric standpoint. This movement is starting to be known in the industry as “the mobile-first enterprise.” 

This is an attractive concept for most organizations. But, building the mobile-first enterprise is far from an easy endeavor. Based on our experience, this type of transformational movement is a long-term process that requires various foundational components from both the technological and organizational standpoint.

What are the elements that can help to enable the mobile-first enterprise? Some of the ideas listed below might help.

BYOD Is An Enabler, Not The End Goal

The “bring your own device” movement has become a catalyst to the evolution of enterprise mobility solutions. Empowering employees to use their own tablets and smartphones for work-related activities has become a core characteristic of the modern enterprise. 

However, most organizations are still building the required security, management and compliance infrastructure to enable a BYOD environment. To evolve, organizations must realize that BYOD by itself is just a starting point to build the mobile-first enterprise. Not the end result. 

Enabling mobile-first enterprise applications and business processes that access corporate data from personal devices in a secure and efficient manner is the true end goal of the mobile-first enterprise. 

Beyond MDM

Mobile Device Management (MDM) has been at the center of the first generation of enterprise mobile. The ability to manage and secure smartphones/tablets has been seen as a key element of any enterprise mobile infrastructure. Consequently, in recent years, the market is experiencing an explosion on the number of MDM technologies claiming to be the silver bullet to enable an enterprise mobile infrastructure.

Managing connected devices is not enough to implement mobile-first enterprise applications. Expanding beyond MDM and focusing on managing the enterprise mobile applications and the corresponding business data in your infrastructure are, arguably, more relevant capabilities to enable the mobile-first enterprise. 

Contextualizing and Mobilizing Business Data

One of the holy grails of enterprise mobile infrastructure is to enable mobile applications to leverage data hosted in corporate business systems. It may be conceptually trivial, but the process of mobilizing business data can be extremely challenging.

In order to enable a mobile-first enterprise experience, organizations need to build the infrastructure to contextualize business data so that it can be effectively consumed on enterprise mobile applications. While technologically challenging, building the infrastructure to effectively mobilize data from corporate systems can drastically simplify the experience of incrementally building enterprise mobile applications. 

Mobilizing Existing Business Processes

Some of the most successful organizations are the ones that have been able to redefine existing business processes using a mobile-first approach. In this model, traditional business capabilities – enabled via a desktop experience – will be simplified and redesigned for smartphones or tablets in order to provide an optimal productivity experience. 

Creating Mobile-First Business Processes

In addition, enterprises are starting to create new business processes to enable new business capabilities using a mobile-first paradigm. Mobile point-of-sale (POS) or mobile customer relationship management (CRM) systems are some of the best examples of mobile-first business processes being enabled in today’s enterprises. This type of mobile-centric business capabilities is a key element in the DNA of the mobile-first enterprise and helps organizations achieve greater differentiation and agility in the current mobile economy. 

Leverage Mobile-First Business Apps

The previous sections have highlighted the importance of building the infrastructure to implement new enterprise mobile apps as an essential element to enable the mobile-first enterprise. Equally important, is for organizations to invest in the infrastructure required to adopt domain-specific mobile business apps available in the marketplace. 

As the adoption of mobile technologies increases in the enterprise, we are starting to witness a new generation of mobile-first business apps that are redefining both horizontal and vertical business capabilities. Enabling the infrastructure to adopt those new mobile business apps in an efficient, secure approach tailored to your enterprise can improve the journey to the mobile-first enterprise.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.