Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Competitive Decision Making and Enterprise Mobility

The late US Air Force Colonel, and great military strategist John Boyd talked a lot in his workshops about "competitive decision-making."  He taught that individuals that could think better and faster than their opponents had a great advantage.  I agree with Boyd, and believe that implementing mobile solutions in the enterprise can facilitate this advantage.

Last year's report by the Aberdeen Group titled Mobility in ERP 2011 also touched on this point with three specific statements:
  1. Getting the right information, to the right people, so they can make the right decisions is the driving force behind mobilizing the workforce. 
  2. Why is there a need for mobility?  Much of it is related to volatility.  The need to be able to react as quickly as possible to issues without being tethered to a desktop.
  3. Mobile solutions should provide workers with information to make good and timely decisions.
Aberdeen Group describes the value of mobile solutions as - it helps you make "right, good and timely decisions, and to react as quickly as possible to issues."  That sounds like competitive decision-making to me.

How do you put these kinds of values into an ROI for enterprise mobility?  Boyd said, "How one thinks is critical to your success in competition.  Well trained and well-educated people, who think well and quickly are the most important assets."  I suggest that mobile solutions and up-to-date information shared on mobile devices can help well-trained people react quickly to issues.

Boyd further taught that competitive decision-making enables the benefit of compressing time and using it as an ally.  What he meant was the ability to get more done in the same amount of time.  "Advantages in observation and orientation (OODA) enable a tempo in decision-making and execution that outpaces the ability of your competition to react effectively."  Advantages in observation and orientation can be providing by having real-time data exchanges, real-time business analytics, and connect mobile apps.

I ask the difficult question again, "How does one show an ROI on enterprise mobility solutions by providing quicker, faster, better thinking?"

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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for SMAC (Social, MOBILE, Analytics and Cloud), Cognizant
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Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.