What’s Next for Enterprise Mobility
Written by Alex Kalish
Mobile-driven digital transformation helped enterprises navigate the unprecedented challenges caused by the pandemic as they quickly pivoted to remote work, anywhere operations, and contactless transactions. The goal now is to emerge from “emergency mode” and use what we’ve learned over the past two years to shape new strategies for success. Here’s where I think enterprises should be focusing:
1) More Mobile-First
The need to shift operations over to mobile devices because of the pandemic showed how mobile solutions increase automation, improve workflows, and create better experiences for both users and customers. To get more of those benefits, enterprises are evaluating their technology environments and adopting mobile-first principles that put mobile at the heart of strategy, operations, and the user experience. In a recent report, IDC predicts that “more than 70 percent of global enterprises and 60 percent of U.S. enterprises plan to move to a wireless-first strategy for local and wide-area operations in the next two years.”
Not only do mobile solutions perform better, but enterprises must adjust to the “new normal” of more distributed workforces and an increase in frontline employees who are mobile-dependent. They have a long way to go. A new study done by Stratix shows only 29 percent of organizations have a high mobile-first score. That’s a problem with digital transformation accelerating across industries and mobile devices becoming more diverse and essential to operations. Organizations need holistic strategies and centralized mobile-first decision-making to ensure that solutions work well and deliver the expected ROI.
2) Leverage 5G and Wi-Fi 6
There’s been much discussion for years about the various ways 5G will affect business, but it’s here now, and organizations should already have plans to take advantage of the faster speed, lower latency, and ability to connect more Internet of Things (IoT) devices for competitive gains.
Latency is the time it takes for a packet of information to make the round trip between two points. That affects technology like videoconferencing, virtual or augmented reality, and interactive applications. The ability to support more IoT has a vast number of potential applications, like real-time quality control monitoring, data gathering, fleet tracking, and much more.
I expect 5G to launch a rush of new automation, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality use cases. Because of the disruptive potential, organizations can’t afford a “wait and see” approach to what 5G and Wi-Fi 6 will mean for their industries.
Here’s an example for field services. Many organizations are struggling to find qualified employees—particularly in technology industries. What if you could narrow the knowledge gap between experienced workers and those that aren’t using mobile devices and augmented reality? A technician could pull up the problem they’re trying to solve in an application and get step-by-step visual troubleshooting information and instructions. Scenarios like that are already available and offer significant competitive advantages.
3) Consider Wearables
The ability to connect more IoT devices is already impacting industries like healthcare, where wearable devices are improving patient care with 24-7 monitoring. It’s helping push the increase in in-home care that’s lowering costs and making patients happier at the same time.
Wearables have many other use cases. We have retail customers who use wearable scanners for inventory control and curbside pickup. Smartwatches improve communication when employees can quickly see notifications and updates. There are safety benefits when wearables track the location of workers in potentially hazardous areas like warehouses, factories, and construction sites.
All the data from wearables can be analyzed to improve workflows and add other efficiencies. Mobile technology is getting smaller, and organizations should be thinking past just smartphones and tablets.
4) Improve Device Management
With the increasing dependence on mobile solutions and more IoT coming with 5G, organizations must be able to manage their expanding mobile environments effectively. The costs and opportunity costs of not doing so can be high. In Verizon’s annual Mobile Security Index, 40 percent of respondents said mobile devices are their company’s biggest security risk. With the average cost of a data breach sitting at $4.2 million, excellent Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions should be a top priority.
Security is just one component. Being able to manage, maintain, secure, and support your entire environment from one platform with a comprehensive EMM solution drives better strategy, efficiency, and higher ROI. It’s an area where many organizations need improvement. The Stratix 2022 Enterprise Mobility Outlook shows many use a patchwork of platforms to manage their mobile environments, which can hamper their ability to get the holistic view they need to craft the best strategies.
Be Ready for Change
As the pandemic showed us, disruption can happen overnight. If you aren’t already, you should be thinking about the potential for mobile-driven digital transformation in your industry and in your organization. Enterprise mobility is leading the way in many industries, creating new business opportunities and driving higher productivity and better user and customer experiences.