Managed Mobility: it's getting personal

Spending time with large UK organisations talking about Managed Mobility, Enterprise Mobility and Mobile-as-a-Service, I encounter different perspectives about what they mean. To be honest, it’s all very similar. The key question is, how do you build and manage mobile services that allow people to perform? When it’s done well, it becomes an invisible service – ‘it just works’.

To make sure ‘it just works’, just as much emphasis should be placed on the people and use cases as on the technology solution.

People have personal relationships with mobile technology. Conversations with customers about mobile are becoming less about IT and more about personal preferences and opinions. When it comes to mobile devices, you care more about the user experience, look and feel of a device than you do about any other ICT service. For example, when was the last time you cared about the colour, features, and make and model of an office router?

It’s this strong opinion that gives managed mobility unprecedented potential to transform your organisation and enable your people to work where they work best. With two thirds of all emails now opened on a mobile device, and a reported 1.3 billion of the world’s workforce to be mobile by 2015, the question is not whether it will happen, but whether you choose to hold on, or let go.

Hold on

You can choose to defend your organisation from mobility. You could suppress access to mobile services, limit access to information and block your people from using the devices they choose to use in their own time.

And who could blame you? There is a long list of challenges surrounding a mobility strategy. You need to consider things like:

  • Complexity in diversity: everyone has their own opinion on which phone/mobile operating system is the best, for which roles and in what locations.
  • Speed of change: do you purchase hardware and services now, or wait six months for the next generation?
  • The cost: smartphones are available at many price points; do you need to purchase the most expensive, or the most capable device? How do you justify providing a £400 device?
  • Fit with your IT programme: did you plan for this? Was it ever part of your three-year IT strategy?
  • Security of your organisation: how do you ensure your people do not run up large bills and access unauthorised content?
  • Don’t fix what’s not broken: mobile voice and SMS have served you well – why do people need more?
  • Who gets what: do you need to give everyone a device – or can some roles adopt a BYOD policy?

Or let go?

You could also choose to embrace mobility. Allow your people to choose their own devices and operating systems. Let them make the most of applications and untether them from a fixed desk. Yes it’s not going to happen overnight. Nor will it be easy. It requires engagement from top to bottom, as well as ongoing commitment from all business units and shared services departments, including HR.

But when delivered, the results are truly transformational. We commissioned the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) to conduct research into how UK organisations view connectivity as an enabler for Managed Mobility:

  • 85% of managers in large organisations believe that there are tangible economic benefits to be gained from better connectivity
  • These organisations are taking advantage of being connected in offices at home, but are not fully exploiting these benefits at customer premises, client and partner sites and other remote locations
  • Improving connectivity from all locations can lead to productivity gains that increase working time by 178 hours per year (8.9% increase)

Visit our website to find out more about freeing up your people and your business. I will be at the Enterprise Mobility Summit in June. Keep an eye on the build up to the event on our twitter page @O2BusinessUK and follow me on Twitter @O2NickMakin for my latest opinions on mobility.