Why now’s the time to embrace enterprise mobility

The global economy now has over 1.3 billion mobile workers, according to IDC forecasts. This trend is attributed in part to the strong economic performance in the Asia/Pacific region. But that’s only one element of the story.

Consumerisation of IT

When it comes to the consumerisation of IT, many in the IT industry are still working out how to manage its impact.

But here’s the thing: Companies who’ve moved beyond the early adopter stage are reaping the rewards. They and their staff have experienced how successful implementation of BYOD enables teams to work flexibly. Their field workers are using devices to provide real-time information, for data-driven decisions. The resulting insight is being used to deliver a bespoke customer experience.

“BYOD strategies are the most radical change to the economics and the culture of client computing in business in decades,” said Gartner analyst David Willis, back in 2013. “The benefits of BYOD include creating new mobile workforce opportunities, increasing employee satisfaction, and reducing or avoiding costs.”

So if enterprises see the benefits of using mobile devices…

… as we head into 2016, what about mobile enterprise applications?

Cultural shift

It’s still less than 10 years ago since Steve Jobs announced a new Apple product called the iPhone. Yet its introduction meant the traditional relationship between users and operating systems was turned upside down. Probably forever.

Here’s why.

Years ago, most employees would have groaned at the news of any IT-related change to their system. An OS upgrade would have led to expectations of downtime, hours spent learning new programs, error and incompatibility messages.

With the iPhone – and smartphone and tablets in general – applications are focused on the “user experience”. This makes mobile devices easy, simple and fun to use. That’s why the demographic of users ranges from toddlers to pensioners.

Updating to the latest version of Android or iOS might take time, but if your mobile device can handle it, problems tend to be minor. Any “fix” or patch appears quickly, and is often added in the background, with no impact on the user. Then there’s the gradual nature of most consumer app upgrades. People are used to incremental improvements.

The system adapts to the user, instead of the user having to adapt to the system.

Industry trends

These advances in technology have shown that another way is possible.

And that’s led to a digital transformation throughout industries and workers.

For example, agile working is seen as the new “normal” for many IT professionals. Why waste resources on firefighting and routine maintenance that can be automated? Professionals want to get on with innovating, testing and developing new solutions for customers. Enterprise mobility takes the agile approach and gives it to the rest of an organisation.

Global multinational Citrix is using enterprise apps to help its clients achieve great results. After teaming up with Kony, and leveraging Kony’s award-winning mobility platform, a North American bank with 1,500 branches was able to transform its digital offering to customers.

The current state of play

At the start of 2016, there’s a clear convergence of 3 elements.

First, the maturity of BYOD culture. Second, the continued advances in mobile device technology. Third, user attitudes and enthusiasm for mobile working.

For businesses, the next step is harnessing this convergence…

…because the global workforce is clearly ready to embrace enterprise applications.

The question is: how ready is your enterprise to take advantage?