Organisations that fail to set clear mobility strategies are in grave danger of losing out to their competition, and a complete failure to embrace this new reality will have potentially catastrophic consequences. That was the message at the IDC Enterprise Mobility Forum 2014 held on Thursday in Johannesburg.
The event, hosted by global advisory services firm International Data Corporation (IDC) brought together enterprise IT managers from leading private and public sector organisations together with global vendors, tasked with meeting mobility needs.
Mobility, the most disruptive
Avi Mistry, commercial manager at Intel Africa pointed out that while big data, cloud and social are gaining prominence in South Africa, enterprise mobility – the business practice where employees work outside the office, and have access to secure corporate data – stands out as the most disruptive. This is because it has the potential to have an impact across all business functions, and at all levels of the economy.
“Businesses must innovate around this transformation and make full use of the mobility concept in order to improve the client experience and thrive in this new, ultra-competitive landscape,” Mistry said.
“Enterprises that have adopted a ‘mobile-first’ mindset are already pulling ahead of the pack”
The era of mobility
George Kalebaile, senior research manager for telecommunications and digital media at IDC Africa, said the era of pervasive mobility is imminent, and those enterprises that have adopted a ‘mobile-first’ mindset are already pulling ahead of the pack.
“The convergence of IT and telecommunications that is enabled by mobility is empowering businesses to virtualise their processes, and thereby increase productivity, stimulate employee performance, streamline business functions, and improve customer service,” he said.
“They [enterprises] have encountered and solved various security and accessibility issues, they have mapped their processes and modified them as mobility has changed the nature of their work, and they have redone their backends to account for multiple access points.
According to Kalebaile, enterprises also connected mobility to emerging elements of the IT mix — cloud computing, data analytics, and social business. And while they are all game changers individually, together they can transform a business, making it more efficient, dynamic and productive.
“Every company must determine what benefits mobility can bring to the organisation and act accordingly”
The BYOD trend
A series of speakers at the IDC Enterprise Mobility Forum 2014, including Paulo Ferreira, director of enterprise mobility at Samsung, and IDC’s country manager for South Africa, Andries Lombaard, stressed that the role of enterprise IT managers has changed.
IT managers, they said, walk a tight line with their mobility strategies, they are not only responsible for protecting company data, but also streamlining and supporting the adoption of the increasingly popular ‘bring your own devices (BYOD) trend’ – which refers to employees bringing their smartphones and laptops to the workplace for use and connectivity on the corporate network.
They also explained that organisations should not fall into the trap of believing that an effective mobility strategy is one that simply mitigates risk and minimises support costs. Every company must determine what benefits mobility can bring to the organisation and act accordingly.