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How Many Solutions Does it Take to Implement Enterprise Mobility?

How many different solutions do you need in order to implement an enterprise quality mobile solution?

How many different solutions do you need in order to implement an enterprise quality mobile solution? I think this is a worthy question. In years past MEAP (mobile enterprise application platform) and MADP (mobile application development platform) vendors tried to cover all of your needs, but the market has determined this is not an acceptable model going forward. Companies are just not comfortable putting all their eggs in one basket and betting the mobile farm on an unprofitable VC backed mobility vendor. Enterprise mobility is just too strategic. Even when companies have standardized most of their internal business solutions on a major ERP vendor, they want to keep their options open. SAP understands this and has worked to make their SAP Mobile Platform environment play nice with other vendors and toolkits.

Given that market manifesto, companies must now pick and choose their own variety of mobile solutions, platforms and toolkits. The first question, again, is how many solutions do you need? I am going to suggest at least one more than you may have thought. Several vendors including Aternity and B2M Solutions propose that you must understand your business process and systems' performance first, second your mobile app performance, and thirdly your workers' performance (KPIs) in the field. How many of you have recognized this solution category in the past? Not many I think. This is an area generally overlooked in most mobility projects.

Think about this scenario - Your team develops the world's best mobile app, however, it sucks and nobody will use it! How could that be? The business process, back office systems, APIs and security environments are too slow to support the needs of the mobile app and by extension the mobile user. That is a critical problem. It would have been nice to measure the performance of those required systems and processes before you invested in the development of the mobile app. Many IT environments were not designed with mobility in mind. Today, major work must be done in many enterprises to support the new digital and mobile realities.

I am recommending that enterprises first measure the performance of the business process and relevant systems before they start developing the mobile app. Once the performance is deemed satisfactory, then develop the mobile app and measure its performance. Isolate performance issues at each step of the way.

Once your business processes, systems and mobile app performances are all deemed satisfactory, then seek to start measuring workforce productivity and KPIs via the mobile apps. This data can be used to better understand "patterns of life" and "patterns of work" and optimization efforts implemented.

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Kevin Benedict

Writer, Speaker, Editor

Senior Analyst, Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work Cognizant

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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

More Stories By Kevin Benedict

Kevin Benedict is the Senior Analyst for Digital Transformation at Cognizant, a writer, speaker and SAP Mentor Alumnus. Follow him on Twitter @krbenedict. He is a popular speaker around the world on the topic of digital transformation and enterprise mobility. He maintains a busy schedule researching, writing and speaking at events in North America, Asia and Europe. He has over 25 years of experience working in the enterprise IT solutions industry.