Today that problem is the maturing of enterprise mobility. Why is that a problem? Because once the basics of enterprise mobility have been figured out by the market, and I am suggesting most of them have, the focus rapidly shifts to the strategic utilization of enterprise mobility. When this shift happens, many companies are going to be left behind. We who work in the Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant call this a "cross-roads" moment leading to an "extinction" event.
Think about enterprise mobility as an electrical grid. When all the parts from power generation to distribution are finally complete and electricity is available - what happens then? The answer is nothing until enterprises figure out how to use it to help their business. Likewise with enterprise mobility. Just because you can communicate and transmit data to mobile devices does not mean you have achieved anything meaningful or useful. It is the strategy on how it will be used to the benefit of the business that is meaningful.
When companies get strategic they recognize that mobility is about the following:
- Real-Time (operations, business processes, reporting, analysis and information)
- Speed (of communication, data collection, data and business processes, data analyzing, reporting query results, etc.)
- Insight (context and meaning-making from data)
Can you imagine using a turn-by-turn navigation system with a built-in 60 second delay? It would be useless because you move much faster than that. I have experienced this many times. You jump into a rental car parked in a garage, enter the address to your destination, and exit the building. The problem, the navigation system takes 4 minutes to find itself. The cars backed up behind you don't want to wait 4 minutes. That is not helpful. Slow and delayed turn-by-turn navigation is worthless. Likewise, slow and delayed responses from mobile apps and backend systems are not at all helpful. They can prevent the world's greatest mobile app from being usable.
Companies that are ready to get strategic with enterprise mobility are now realizing that the biggest tasks ahead involve transforming their entire IT infrastructure to support a real-time world. I recently heard a Forrester Analyst predict that the transformation to a "real-time" and mobile ready infrastructure would match the effort and expense of implementing many ERPs.
This is a challenge that will be front and center in 2014.
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.