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Mobility enters the Enterprise

Zafar Anjum | Nov. 21, 2011
Organisations are motivating employees to use smartphones and tablets at the workplace, resulting in more productivity and 24x7 connectivity.


Organisations are motivating employees to use smartphones and tablets at the workplace, resulting in more productivity and 24x7 connectivity. In an interview with Zafar Anjum, Jagdish Mitra, chief executive officer, CanvasM  (part of Tech Mahindra) explains how mobility is entering and transforming the enterprises.

Why is it important for enterprises to adopt mobility? Is it being forced by a mobile workforce or the explosion of smartphones and tablets among the workers?

The future is nearer than you think. In a few years, enterprises have turned mobile, websites have turned into apps and user expectations have dramatically changed. In this new world, the desire for greater productivity and the need for access to business-critical information are driving business users to interact with customers, employees, assets, products, and other businesses in real time, anytime, from any location .

All these factors (mobile workforce, smartphones) contribute to more mobility, with the need coming from a mobile workforce for devices such as smartphones and tablets with high end features & functionality. Organisations are motivating employees to use smartphones at the workplace, providing seamless connectivity & access to backend systems, which in turn is resulting in more productivity and 24x7 connectivity to the company’s data and latest information on new products & services.


What trends in enterprise mobility adoption do you see in Asia Pacific countries?

The Asia Pacific market is very different compared to mature markets; economies are either very strong or very weak. Major trends in this region are:
•    Banking , transit service providers are focusing on leveraging the contactless payment technology for enabling mobile wallet solutions with a focus on single tap enabling payment , loyalty and  couponing, etc
•    Large enterprises are facing challenges with distribution, management and security of mobile application within internal stakeholders
•    Customers are looking for pay per user business models rather than capital expenditure (Capex)- based models
•    Customers are asking for cloud-based solutions

What do enterprises need to keep in mind if they go mobile? How can they craft a long term strategy?

Companies must create short and long term strategies for the implementation of next generation mobile technologies to substantially increase the productivity and operational efficiency of their associates and ultimately, organisations’ effectiveness. With more applications, the total cost of ownership (TCO) per user or per app is relatively high which in turn creates the need for mobility middleware or MEAP that can impact the time to market & the TCO per application/user.
 
Keeping the future in mind, the integration of mobility and wireless will be widespread, with RFID, wi-fi, and carrier’s wireless signals accessed throughout the plant. Machine-to-machine communications will be pervasive. This will enable measurable manufacturing efficiencies, real-time business intelligence, and a more agile, responsive organisation.


Should organisations go mobile first or mobile only? (That is, whether a specific mobile app or even all mobile apps enterprise-wide will be mobile first or mobile only.)

Information is what makes modern companies run. From placing orders, to checking stock availability, raising invoices to managing customer accounts, the increasingly mobilised workforce now requires the ability to access data and communicate with centrally held systems, with all the speed and efficiency that they can in the office.
 
Similarly, enterprises need to develop applications for mobile devices that have been selected perhaps due to cost reasons or the personal preferences of the purchaser. There is no ‘one size fits all’ option.

How important is it for enterprises to choose the right development environment and the right team to develop mobile apps?

Enterprises should take a hard look at their existing applications portfolio and start developing a vision and transformation roadmap for the years ahead. Getting the right developing environment is similar to getting the right shoe. Each development environment provides a different set of features.

In order to cater to the end user and the required features, enterprises should select the right developer environment.

The ability to adapt to change is one such area where most developers lag. End-to-end knowhow right from application development to testing of the application, user experience & most importantly, security of the critical information, should be essential for any domain expert.


Getting a flexible development team which can make decisions, regarding technological capabilities, platforms and functionality, based on customer requirements and market needs, will be critical.

 

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