Enterprise mobility is a way of keeping you connected to your business systems, aggregating mission critical information and business intelligence from dozens of different back end systems (think SAP ERP), using real-time big data analysis (think SAP Hana), and bringing all of this information together, in mobile applications - purpose built for the mobile user. The Aberdeen Group refers to this as role-based custom mobile websites for users.
It is about providing real-time business analytics to decision makers, so they can make the best data-driven decisions, no matter their physical location. By data-driven decisions, I mean decisions that are based on the analysis of large volumes of data that is related to your issue or subject. How do you measure the value of "good" decisions? I reported in a previous article that Professor Erik Brynjolfsson, from MIT's Sloan School of Management had discovered that "Data-driven decision making achieved productivity gains that were 5 to 6 percent higher than other factors could explain." Those are significant gains for multi-billion dollar organizations.
Today I am in Las Vegas where I am attending SAPinsider's Mobile2012 conference, writing this article, responding to email messages, conducting business meetings, discussing writing a new book on enterprise mobility and preparing to lead three sessions on enterprise mobility. Mobility enables me to be at the point of action where I can meet people and teach sessions without imposing friction on my analyst and consulting business. What do I mean by friction? Friction is when your business is slowed down and delayed because you are not accessible or information is not accessible while traveling. Mobility allows you to "have your cake and eat it to."
In the Enterprise Mobility 2011 survey that I conducted and reported on in October of 2011, only 40% of respondents reported having a strategic enterprise mobility plan, although 80% reported that enterprise mobility was "very important" to "critical" for their companies future success. This tells me that both the business and the IT organizations need to get together and really understand the possibilities that are available with enterprise mobility and document a strategy. It doesn't seem like many organizations truly understand it yet.
The truth is that enterprise mobility offers many productivity improvements and efficiency gains, but the real values are in things like removing frictions, enabling better real-time data-driven decision making, having situational awareness, and freeing your people to spend more time at the point of action.
Kevin Benedict, Independent Mobile Industry Analyst, Consultant and SAP Mentor Volunteer
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Full Disclosure: I am an independent mobility analyst, consultant and blogger. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.