IBM has announced results of a new study revealing that 90 percent of global organisations surveyed are willing to sustain or increase their investments in mobile technologies over the next 12-18 months. One of the reasons for increased investments is the measurable impact on speed and productivity. For example, half of the respondents report a greater than 10 percent gain in employee productivity as a result of their mobile efforts.
Based on responses from more than 600 survey participants in 29 countries and eight industries, the report, “The ‘Upwardly Mobile’ Enterprise: Setting the Strategic Agenda,” highlights the business advantages of using mobile technologies to fundamentally change how organisations interact with customers, and develop and deliver innovative products and services to market.
The report examines a subset of respondents called “mobile strategy leaders,” which are defined as organisations that have already established a clear direction for their mobile efforts and consider their mobile strategies something that distinguishes them from their peers. Of the leaders surveyed, 73 percent report measurable returns on their mobile investments, while 81 percent say mobile has fundamentally changed how they do business.
In order to close the gap between leaders and peers, it is important to investigate how core mobile challenges are currently being addressed within their organisations. For example, while many companies are using mobile to pursue multiple innovation paths, the majority of leaders (62 percent) focus on using mobile for enterprise model innovation – which means redefining their role in the value chain, where they collaborate and how they operate.
“Today, mobile is quickly emerging as a transformational game changer in business that will drive new levels of innovation and interactions,” said Kevin Custis, IBM Social Business and Mobile practices leader, IBM. “It is far too limiting to define mobility simply as a device or a channel for transactions. The organisations that come out ahead will be the ones that prioritize mobile and redefine its use to drive a new set of business expectations and user experiences.”
Making Mobile a Priority and Addressing Challenges
While only 20 percent of organisations today believe they have a superior or leading mobile strategy compared with their industry peers, more than double that amount (44 percent) anticipate their mobility strategy to be ahead of their peers in the next three years.
Mobile leaders are making noteworthy investments in bring your own device (BYOD) strategies. While leaders are more than twice as likely to have adopted a BYOD approach for employees compared to other organisations (66 percent compared to 32 percent), leaders are also more likely to provide the needed support to make these programs successful including well-documented policies and IT support. To effectively support BYOD efforts, however, organisations should first consider the various mobile use cases in the organization, such as access to apps to improve customer service, not just the devices they are willing to support.
Learning from Mobile Strategy Leaders About Business Transformation
While the data demonstrates strong headway is being made in mobile, global organisations that are categorized as mobile strategy leaders are in the minority (14 percent). According to the report, the top three mobile challenges facing organisations are:
•Integrating mobile apps with existing systems (54 percent)
•Implementing end-to-end mobile security solutions for devices and apps (53 percent)
•Reacting to changes in technology and mobile devices in a reasonable period of time (51 percent)
Mobile strategy leaders excel in several high-impact categories including analytics, speed, integration and security:
•Analytics – Roughly 70 percent or more of leaders surveyed describe themselves as effective in areas such as addressing structured and unstructured mobile data, handling large volumes of data, analyzing mobile data and taking action based on that data. Less than 37 percent of non-leaders are equipped to deal with these issues.
•Speed – Survey findings reinforce one of the key strengths of an effective mobile environment: the timely delivery of information and insight to service customers regardless of location. In fact, 58 percent of all respondents report that a key benefit of using mobile to improve employee productivity is faster customer response time. In addition to focusing on expanding their network infrastructure, 78 percent of leaders (versus 44 percent of non-leaders) are planning to increase their investment in an employee’s ability to work outside the office.
•Integration – Mobile strategy leaders cite integration as an area where they have been more successful compared to their peers. Of mobile leaders, 70 percent or more indicate they have been successful in ensuring interoperability with other systems, leveraging APIs for external or cloud-provided data services, and providing service-oriented architecture and sharing information among systems/devices. However, approximately 40 percent or fewer of non-leaders report being successful with these tasks.
•Security – Mobile strategy leaders recognize the importance of making mobile capabilities secure with 79 percent reporting that their organisations have well-documented policies in place for employees using mobile devices (versus 48 percent of non-leaders). Overall, leaders are more effective at addressing mobile security issues, prioritizing around protection of data, secure connectivity and device management among other areas.
Banking Industry Ahead of the Curve
Comparing responses from banking industry participants against peers in other industries provides insight into how this market is prioritizing mobility. For example, 51 percent of banking organisations report measurable ROI from their mobile initiatives, compared to 34 percent of their peers. In terms of increasing employee productivity in the field, a few areas where banking organisations stand apart from peers is their emphasis on using mobile to improve internal collaboration, provide sales force enablement tools and enable employee self service.
Compared to mobile leaders, banking organisations have improvements to make when it comes to BYOD adoption. Findings showed that 37 percent of banking respondents say their organization has adopted a BYOD approach, compared to 66 percent of leaders that have implemented BYOD.