CIOs should have a strong mobility strategy

by Sohini Bagchi    Jul 17, 2012

enterprise mobilityWith an increased number of companies implementing mobility practices to empower their workforce, there has been a major shift in enterprise mobility in India. In fact, today, enterprise mobility is seen as a tool to drive productivity and profitability. Frost and Sullivan estimated 80 billion connected devices will exist by 2020. With increasing device options, securing the enterprise has become the primary challenge.

According to Sunil Lalvani, Director – Enterprise Sales, Research In Motion India, “Increasing demand for anywhere, anytime access to data and need for interconnected mobile solutions have prompted CIOs and organisations to adopt mobility solutions. While Enterprise Mobility has been witnessing great momentum in India, core business needs of secure communication and employee collaboration is of paramount importance.”

“The main challenge for IT managers is introducing new mobile-friendly applications and managing these mobile applications and devices in an efficient manner – keeping in mind the budget at the same time,” says Indranil Mukherjee, IT Head, Nicco Corporation.

Reportedly, the mobile e-mail market that dominates the current landscape of enterprise mobility in India and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15 percent by 2017. Moreover, the BYOD trend is driving newer applications and diverse wireless platforms and devices into the workplace.

In such a scenario, it has become important for organisations to develop proper mobility strategies that help aligns user needs with strategic business priorities.

Addressing Mobility Challenges

CIOs and IT managers are facing umpteen challenges for supporting today’s evolving mobile enterprise. Experts believe that a strong mobility strategy needs to be in place to address some of the fundamental challenges.

According to Nitin Bhandari, Associate Vice President - New Products, Vodafone, “With enterprises deploying a wide range of mobile platforms it is important for CIOs to identify and select the right platform for deploying mobile applications. It is important to have the right choice of a mobility partner who has the domain knowledge and expertise across a range of IDEs.”

Lalvani believes that CIOs can play a pivotal role in setting a mandate to ensure the safety of organisational data. All mobile devices should be connected to a centrally managed network. This in turn prevents rogue devices from accessing the application. It is then that the CIO can filter out required information thereby minimising risks of sensitive data.

Mukherjee opines there should be standard encryption mechanisms with the platforms or devices in order to ensure that the enterprise has control over its data and adapt to changes in the workflow.

“In the next few years, wireless intelligence will be a major trend in enterprises which would lead to faster decision-making in their business processes. The enterprise mobility market would represent a diverse ecosystem of best-of-breed players in different fields of expertise, and the core strategic influencer for the market will be how they synergise across the value chain to provide enterprises a one stop shop for their mobility needs,” says Thejaswi Parameshwaran, Program Manager, Information and Communications Technology Practice, Frost & Sullivan, South Asia and Middle East.

Parameshwaran believes that the way forward would be to evolve from a standalone provider to a mobility management provider that drives an ecosystem around it. Enterprises are expected to gravitate toward such ecosystems with a flagship entity, as it would enable confidence and reassure them of ROI and quality of service for their mobility investments.

According to Bhandari, as an effective enterprise mobility strategy has a direct bearing on the bottom line, CIOs should look for a cost-effective approach towards managing device procurement, security, service agreements and support. For this, they should leverage tools and technologies that are available in the hosted environment and on the pay-as-you-go model, which can minimise upfront investment.