Mobility in the Enterprise: Finding Advantage in Disruption
Deloitte Insights Video
Of all the technology trends that are shaping the landscape today, mobility ─ the ability of a business to interact with stakeholders or assets without being tethered to a specific place or infrastructure ─ is the most accessible. Businesses can easily understand the benefits, and it’s driving emerging technology adoption, pulling technologies such as cloud computing, social computing and analytics along with it.
Tune into the latest episode of Deloitte Insights to learn more about mobility in the enterprise.
Sean O’Grady: Hello and welcome to Insights. Today, we are talking Enterprise Mobility, the ability of a business to interact with stakeholders or assets without being tethered to a specific place or infrastructure. We talked a little bit about mobility on our previous episode of Insights and if you remember that program, you may recognize this guy — he is Bill Briggs, a Director and Deputy CTO of Deloitte Consulting LLP, and he is joined in today by David Smud, a Director in Deloitte’s Technology, Strategy, and Architecture practice. Bill, welcome back. David, nice to have you with us. My first question for you is, of all of the technology trends that are shaping the landscape today, Bill why are you so excited by Mobility.
Bill Briggs (Bill): A little bit of context first, we are in exciting times. There are four things between cloud computing, social computing, analytics, and mobility. We have not seen individual technology based innovation come together at the same time ever. We call this, I like to call, the postage of enterprise, because businesses now, “they can’t help but have the strategy ongoing informed by these individual digital advances, either because the market is going to demand it, or because the stakeholders are going to demand it, because their personal lives, be it employees, customers, business partners. They are so used to what they have in their consumer IT that they are demanding that the business follow suit. Every one of those is important individually and in fact, they come together interestingly. And out of them, mobility is the most accessible one. It’s immediately understandable, it’s intuitive. You don’t have to go and convince the business what it would mean to unleash the power of the enterprise out of the point of business impact wherever business is occurring. It drives the charge and actually pools cloud and analytics and social along with it.
Sean: David, do you agree.
David Smud (David): I do agree and I think that there are probably three key aspects and factors that I would highlight. First of all, in mobility we see an virtually unprecedented amount of rate of change. The velocity and the momentum of the space is higher than what we have seen in pretty much any technology development as of late. The level of user enthusiasm for it, because this really startles the consumer and the enterprise space, is also virtually unprecedented. Everybody is tuned to the developments in better and faster networks. New and more interesting devices, more intuitive, and the business infrastructure that supports it all also keeps evolving and improving day to day. The potential for positive business disruption that mobility presents is also virtually unprecedented. We believe that in addition to driving incremental improvement to business operations, the mobility technology trend that we are seeing has the ability to potentially transform entire ecosystems and value networks.
Sean: David, if an organization says to you, I want to be more mobile. Does that mean that organization has to lay out new funds and new investments or they are tweaking existing processes and infrastructures?
David: It is a little bit of both. There are certainly existing areas of investment that will still be there and will be modified to some extent and that has to do with the fact that mobility in itself is not entirely new. Mobility as a technology has been around for a while but the traditional definition of mobility and the spacing in which it operated, it was the field service space. So technicians having access to the mobile tools out on the field or simple personal information management for knowledge workers, access to e-mail, calendar, and contact management. From that point, the definition of mobility has grown along a number of dimensions. Now it is for every type of enterprise worker. It is also for greeting customers and consumers. It is also for interacting with business partners. So that speaks to the entire B2B, B2E, B2C continuum. In addition, while traditionally it was more on the transactional side, it has grown and expanded to also cover applications that are of an analytical type — access to business intelligence at the point of need and not only transactional and analytical, but collaborative. So a tool to collaborate with partners, with co-workers, with colleagues in multiple ways.
Sean: Does that sound reasonable to you Bill.
Bill: It does. An area we haven’t talked through, there is actually some cost saving potential as well. A big question we always here is “should we let users bring their own device to work and plug it into the enterprise or what does it mean.” So there is a chance to push off some of the infrastructure costs that some organizations have had and the data plans and the like. But the tradeoff if of course security, privacy, how do you manage those, how do you decide what can be pushed out to where, what data, or how do you wipe it if you need to. So like anything, every advancement has complexities with it, but for sure, the value is definitely there.
Sean: So Bill, if an organization says that all right, I want to be more mobile, what do they need to be thinking about right now, what is important?
Bill: It depends on who is asking. For the CIO, this is a chance for them to be in front of a technology revolution and actually go the business and say “we think you should be taking advantage of mobility to disrupt your existing processes, to potentially disrupt your operating business model, to be opting for another charge.” And by the way, helping make sure that adoption is mature, it is responsible, it’s secure, it’s compliant. IT has the chance to go and help guide the adoption and usage to the business while they’re actually lighting the candle of what’s possible, which is a great place to be. If you are the business, the real question is “what is the art of the possible.” How do you make sure that you are asking the right forward-looking questions of what could you be doing, what investments could you be making. One of the great things about mobility is that it truly is universal across all industries and across all sectors. So there is a chance for business executives to look across or may be typically it would not be relevant and glean some notes of what they could be doing and then driving the investments inside their shop.
Sean: David, your final thoughts on what is important for organizations to implement to be more mobile.
David: I think the important thing is truly to get started. The mobility space is not one where it makes sense to wait and see. This is something where there is a large amount of opportunity and a consistent level of urgency to actually begin executing. The first step typically is to define a strategy. So find where the value opportunities are, whether they are of an incremental nature, so preserving current business operations but improving them through the introduction of mobility or of a disruptive kind — potentially, further down the line, a deeper level of transformation in business models and business practices. Now at the same time, the businesses are finding the value, identifying their functional capabilities that they want to mobilize, really finding the opportunities out there and then prioritizing them and sequencing them into a road map, it makes sense to actually tactically executing those elements of the road map that are going to be a given no matter what the end state will be. So there are some technical elements of the platforms that need to be developed and deployed that are part of almost any end-stage solution and those should be and could be deployed pretty much from the get go.
Sean: So to your earlier point if an organization wants to be mobile, you better get moving. Gentlemen, thank you very much for joining us. We have been talking Enterprise Mobility with Bill Briggs, a Director and Deputy CTO of Deloitte Consulting LLP, and David Smud a Director in Deloitte’s Technology, Strategy, and Architecture practice. If you would like to learn more about Bill, David, or the topic of mobility, you can find that information on our web site www.deloitte.com/insights/us. For all the good folks here at Insights, I am Sean O’Grady, we will see you next time.
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