Welcome to 2011. I love this time of year because it gives us the opportunity to look back at all the great things we accomplished in the past year…and think about what we want to accomplish in the coming year. The downside of all this is that you may want to think about some new year’s resolutions. It could be exercising more, eating better, or doing a better job of staying in touch with the ones who are dear to you.
Frankly, I know I am not good at keeping my new year’s resolutions, so I typically don’t try to make any that are “personal.” However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t new year’s resolutions we can make for work that may hopefully be easier to keep. As you’re coming up with your own to-do list for 2011, let me offer four simple suggestions as it pertains to your organization’s enterprise mobility initiatives. 1) Count, 2) Plan, 3) Control, and 4) Measure.
- Count!!! Technically, that should be “be aware of the things you may not be aware of.” I’m talking about the arsenal of mobile devices and plans that the employees at your workplace are using. Just a couple of years ago, the task was already a challenge when companies were providing their employees cell phones. Now it’s even more complicated – and expensive – with the proliferation of smartphones and smartpads. This isn’t just a question of knowing who has what, but are these people getting the most appropriate devices and plans for their needs? You need tools to be aware of the devices that are accessing your network, as well as better understand how much each employee is using their mobile devices. Is their rate plan too high or too low for their use? Sure, you might think this is a moot point if your employees are using devices that they brought to the workplace, but believe me, you still need to know what they are using and more importantly, what they are accessing. Don’t forget the old axiom: “Knowledge is Power.” To empower yourself in the world of enterprise mobility, you need to have visibility on ALL the mobile devices that are going to have a financial or technological impact on your organization.
- Plan!!! Mobility in the 2011 workplace is now all about the applications that people can use on their mobile devices. Notice how I didn’t just say employees. Organizations are increasingly realizing that mobile applications can provide tremendous benefits to not only employees, but partners and customers. So what are your business objectives? Who are the constituents (internal and external) needed to make the project a success? What operating systems are you going to support? What form factors are the applications targeted for? How are you going to deploy the application? What about security? Who is going to be responsible for supporting the users of these applications? What are the metrics that you are going to use to determine whether the project is a success? How are you going to measure all these criteria? Is your head spinning yet (mine is)? Once you have gathered those metrics, how are you going to get them into a review cycle to develop the next version of the application?
- Control! I almost feel like Yoda talking to Luke Skywalker. You need to have control on your mobility initiatives. Whether it’s how you procure your workforce’s devices, how you provision them, how you manage and secure them or how you retire and/or replace them…you need to have control. It doesn’t matter who bought the device, you still need to have control. Why? Because it doesn’t really matter anymore who bought the mobile device. If someone is going to be accessing information on your corporate network, it’s indisputably YOUR information and YOUR data. You need to make sure you have the right tools in place to ensure that you can control how your increasingly mobile workforce is accessing your company’s information.
- Measure!!! I can’t stress this one enough. You have to monitor and measure everything you are doing in your mobility deployments. Whether it’s devices or applications (regardless of who they are targeted to), you need to make sure you can track progress in your mobility initiatives. Regardless of your role and responsibility within your organization, your CFO will want to be reassured that your investments in mobility are not wasteful and that there are real (in)tangible benefits from the investments. Are you ready to show the value of what you’re working on?
So there you have it. Four simple suggestions for new year’s enterprise mobility resolutions. Now granted, I fully realize these are easier said than done, but believe me, by the time you look back at 2011, you’ll be happy you kept these. What are your new year’s enterprise mobility resolutions?