Monday, January 27, 2014

14 Ways Strategic Enterprise Mobility Solutions Can Help Build an Empire

Roman Roads
In my recent studies of the ancient Roman Roads, I have found 14 ways the roads helped Rome build an empire.  It is also interesting to recognize these same 14 benefits are also available to businesses that aggressively adopt and embrace strategic enterprise mobility solutions today.  Here they are for your consideration:

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  1. Communications, command and control - Messages could be sent and received reliably from great distances in all seasons and weather.  This enabled a central management team to oversee huge geographical areas and large numbers of projects, campaigns, events and people from a distance.
  2. Situational Awareness - Commanders and managers had good visibility to events, activities, projects and campaigns around their entire empire so could effectively plan where resources needed to be sent and how they could best be used.
  3. Faster and better decision making - #1 and #2 (communications, command, control and situational awareness) enabled faster and better decisions to be made and communicated to remote locations.
  4. Efficient management - 180,000 legionnaires effectively controlled the entire Roman Empire.  How is this possible?  They were strategically located and were sent, when needed, quickly to the point of conflict along Roman Roads.  Fast messaging services enabled the commanders and legionnaires to understand the situation and to respond to events quickly. 
  5. Increased productivity - The Roman Empire was developed, expanded, managed and enemies conquered with relatively few resources as a result of the Roman Roads, fast communication and quick responses.  
    Roman Roads
  6. Speed - Roman legionnaires traveled at a standard rate of 20 miles in 5 summer hours with 60 lbs. packs on their back in all weather.  They could do 24 miles in 5 summer hours when pressed for short amounts of time.  This was only possible when using the Roman Roads.  Ultimately there were 29 great military highways and 113 provinces were interconnected by 372 great roads.  The whole road system comprised of more than 400,000 kilometers of roads.
  7. Predictability and standards - Knowing the location of Roman Roads and the speed in which your forces could move enabled more effective planning than was ever possible before.  
  8. Tactics - Given the predictability and standard movement speeds, plus fast communications, Roman commanders could employ tactics and effective planning in ways never before possible.
  9. Force projection - Because of the Roman Roads and all the benefits previously mentioned, the Roman commanders could effectively manage over much greater distances than ever before.  This enabled them to move further, develop a larger empire and to hold it for over 400 years.
  10. Market access - The Roman Roads enabled new markets to be opened and for farmers, craftsmen and merchants to predictably travel and transport products and services to new markets.  New all weather roads and bridges made the ability to conduct business much easier and less risky.
  11. Better logistics and planning - Perishable foods and products could move at predictable speeds in all weather and in all seasons.  Warehouses, markets, taverns and inns were located along the roads at standardized distances which greatly improved travel, safety and transportation.
  12. Optimal intersections - The Romans had maps, measured distances, solid roads, predictable troop movement speeds, supply depots, forts/outposts and knowledge about supplies and locations and events and activities. This enabled commanders and managers to effectively deliver troops, resources and supplies to specific locations at designated times (i.e. point-of-need).
  13. Swarming - 180,000 legionnaires conquered and controlled a population of over 55 million and a territory that covered the known world.  The Roman Roads allowed the legionnaires to quickly swarm to the point of need from various forts and outposts in an organized fashion because of the predictability and speed of travel that the Roman Roads provided.
  14. Culture - The Roman Roads enabled ideas, innovations, religions, scholars, philosophers, musicians and artists to travel to all the corners of the empire.  It enabled the best ideas from across the empire to travel back to Rome for examination and sharing.  This enabled the Roman culture to be fostered and adopted over great distances.
I would invite you to again read each of these 14 points, and then ponder how strategic enterprise mobility solutions implemented across your business could help your company become an empire.

The True Cost of Mobility - Enterprise corporations are under tremendous pressure to develop and deploy mobile apps for their business systems, yet the traditional approach to mobile app development typically costs $250K+ and takes 6+ months for a single app. Today IT professionals are exploring platforms that radically reduce costs and time-to-market for their mobile initiatives, especially around complex applications such as SAP, Oracle, or custom applications.

Kevin Benedict
Senior Analyst, Digital Transformation Cognizant
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.