Enterprise Mobility – Mapping your Strategy

Enterprise Mobility – Mapping your Strategy


Enterprise Mobility market has been very active in the last six months – from new product launches to M&A; there is significant investment activity across the board. In a survey done by Computerworld magazine, IT executives rated Mobile and Wireless rollouts as number one technology holding the most promise in their industry or company and number two[1] on the top 10 IT project priorities for 2006. After the near insatiable appetite to mobilize everything in early 2000s, enterprises are putting business sense into their approach towards enterprise mobilizations. It was not that ROI didn’t exist before, but the poor implementations combined with hype and confusion in the market created too much noise in the market place effectively turning away lot of enterprises who would have otherwise taken a deeper look at enterprise mobility.

During the last few years, enterprise mobility market has been maturing and consolidating at a steady pace. Wireless networks are becoming more reliable and delivery bandwidths are increasing with nation-wide 3G networks. Solution provider market has consolidated quite a bit leaving only the serious and more mature contenders behind. The bigger players such as Microsoft, IBM, and Oracle used this time to catch-up on many fronts, though they still lag in some areas. Most of the new devices coming out in the market have a native email client – another sign of maturing market.

Another major change has been that enterprises are demanding more complete solutions. Implementing too many point solutions increases TCO and decreases ROI in the long run. This has forced market to further consolidate and solution providers are expanding their enterprise offerings. Email/PIM remains the number one application that enterprises want to implement and is becoming a commodity[2] play but companies are increasingly looking to enable their investment to support other enterprise functions such as sales force, field force, supply chain, IT, knowledge management, etc. Also, CFOs are increasingly involved with their CTOs/CIOs to make an informed decision on their enterprise mobility related purchases.

Management of devices is an IT function now, but manageability of occasionally connected devices is a challenge. Enterprises are looking encrypt data on the devices and are subjecting their phones and PDAs to same corporate IT risk and management policies as their laptops and desktops.

This article is a focused discussion of key areas for consideration when thinking about enterprise mobility, wireless technologies, and their application to the corporate arena.

 Recommendations Summary

  1. Understand the business case for your enterprise
  2. Do Scenario Planning
  3. Consider mobile project as an IT project
  4. Review frequently and actively manage device proliferation
  5. Proactively move the enterprise beyond just mobile access
  6. Look for vendors with wide-range device support
  7. Look for vendors with multiple app offerings
  8. Look for vendors who are closely aligned with your carrier partners and device manufacturers
  9. Keep TCO across your enterprise mobility projects low
  10. Implement security policy for all devices





[1] No 1 priority is Security
[2] Though the total number of mobile email users is just a fraction of the total business users, patent and IP litigations, M&A in this space, email vendors such as Microsoft – offering mobile email as a standard feature is indicative of a maturing market and commodity nature of the wireless email.