Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Key to a Mobile Future

Enterprise mobility enables instant access to core enterprise systems from any location through mobile applications. Enterprises intent on accelerating their business performance must incorporate enterprise mobility as a fundamental component of their strategic plans.

Many enterprises try to predict which mobile platform and/or device type will be the dominant force in the coming years, and develop their mobile applications specifically for that platform or device type. When they subsequently find that a different platform has risen to a position of prominence in the market, they have to start the development and deployment life cycle all over again, often having to recruit a new team of developers with a different skill set.

As an alternative approach, some enterprises opt for simple Web-based applications that can run on any mobile platform. The problem with this approach is that the applications are unable to use the native features and capabilities of each mobile platform, and therefore offer a very limited and unsatisfying user experience.

In a recently published report by the Forrester research firm, entitled Build an Operations Stairwayto the Mobile Future: Take Seven Steps Now under the Charter of aMobility Council, researchers Ted SchadlerBenjamin GrayJeffrey S. HammondBrownlee Thomas, Ph.D., and Christian Kane describe how the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, and the rise of bring-your-own-device (BYO) policies have resulted in growing expectations of enterprise mobile users regarding their ability to use a wide variety of business applications on their mobile devices. This has forced IT to revise its mobile strategy.

The use of multiple device types within a single workforce challenges enterprises to confront a range of issues, such as ensuring data and transaction security, enabling application and device management, and managing employee reimbursements. According to the Forrester report, enterprises need to understand the diverse and evolving needs of their employees, clients, and partners, and learn how to operate effectively across an ever-expanding range of mobile platforms, including BlackBerry, iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone.

The bottom line is that the key to meeting these challenges and securing a mobile future lies in the adoption of a strategic approach to mobilization that is device-independent and platform-agnostic. This could be achieved by establishing what Forrester refers to as a company-wide mobility council, bringing together leaders from every discipline and function within the organization, with the express responsibility and authority to define strategy, make decisions, establish policies, secure funding, set realistic expectations, and generally get things done.

Each enterprise must make its own plan for the transition to mobility, but all enterprises should prioritize the effort to advance towards a mobile future as it becomes ever clearer that there is no future without mobile.

Jeffrey S. Hammond, Principal Analyst at Forrester and co-author of this report, will be co-presenting, together with Eyal Pfeifel, CTO of Magic Software, the upcoming webinar: TheBest Way to Mobilize your Business Applications, in which he will be sharing technology updates, best practices, and important insights that will help businesses prepare effectively for the exciting new opportunities presented by the fast-growing mobile market.

The live webinar, co-hosted by Forrester and MagicSoftware, will be presented on November 8, 2011 at 16:00 GMT. For more information and registration details, visit: www.magicsoftware.com.