With a growing number of mobile devices coming into operation, and a growing number of mobile device types likewise in the field, it makes sense that more enterprises are looking at how to make mobile devices part of standard operations. But while a lot of companies are making these moves, according to a recently released study from IDC and Netbiscuits, many more are not.
Less than 5 percent of firms have an "official and centralized internal competency center for mobile," and this is posing some significant problems for companies involved. Described as "the third IT Platform transition," mobile devices are offering a wide variety of opportunities for businesses to get in touch with potential customers as well as take advantage of improved efficiencies and cost reductions coming from the so-called mobile workforce. Thus, not having a handle on how these changes impact a business and how these changes can be properly capitalized on represents a shortfall on the part of the businesses impacted.
The study acknowledges that, while few companies have that official, centralized internal competency center, it doesn't mean the companies that lack it are doing nothing about mobile. The vice president of mobile enterprise strategies with IDC, Nicholas McQuire, offered some remarks pointing toward "different degrees of commitment and intent around mobility, " while at the same time noting that "a strategic view on the technology is already taking hold in many firms." So while the study's numbers are certainly eye-opening, the fuller picture is that companies are rapidly gaining on developing strategic vision for mobile devices.
McQuire further summed up the stakes, describing what many companies should be -- and in many cases are -- already considering in developing mobile strategy, things like standards and accountability, managing risks, enhancing the customer experience, driving revenue growth, improving efficiency and lowering costs.
Netbiscuits' CEO, Michael Neidhoefer, also had some stark words of warning for companies in the process of developing mobile strategy, suggesting that an all-or-nothing approach was actually the best route to take. This isn't a commonly-held view, but according to Neidhoefer's remarks: "We see many enterprises try to adopt a limited or scaled approach to their mobile Web rollout or let multiple departments throughout the company build incongruent apps and sites that have no control, scale or repeatability, and all too often quickly realizing that they have wasted time and resources while delivering a poor user experience." Therefore Neidhoefer calls for the fullest approach to be developed, and rapidly.
That's a daunting task for any organization. Even Neidhoefer referred to it as "hard," mostly because it requires so many different topics to be considered and brought under one central umbrella. The changes in devices, in applications and in the way these devices and applications are used means that somehow, not only must all these topics be covered today, but plans that are just as effective in the future under completely unknown conditions must also be considered.
It's a tall order, make no mistake, but at the same time it's an order that must be undertaken in order to achieve the best results, and take fullest advantage of the mobile paradigm that's rapidly impacting most every way of life out there.
Edited by Rich Steeves