Daniel-Zoe JimenezAssociate Director, Digital Transformation, IDC
Mobility today is a significant component of the digital transformation (DX) that is taking place in the Asia-Pacific region. It extends way beyond mobile phones and tablets, encompassing devices that are finding maturity — the Internet of Things (IoT) including wearables and connected equipment. It also covers things that today are only on the horizon. Eventually, BYOD will encompass drones.
In 2018, 30% of enterprises will re-orient mobility strategies and staff toward broader workflow optimization.
IDC’s research shows that wearable and IoT technologies are ready to deliver a disruption to workflows and business processes with an impact that will rival that caused by mobile.
By 2020, IDC predicts that the installed base of consumer IoT devices will exceed the installed base of smartphones and tablets combined. There will be more than 250,000 unique IoT applications — 50% never visible but serve critical functions.
Mobility, including those devices on and beyond the horizon, cannot be an organizational afterthought. It must be an integrated part of workflow optimization strategies. This strategic re-orientation of systemic workflows will present significant challenges to enterprise IT and drive the need to establish a mobility center of excellence.
The most critical challenge is security, reaching across strategic and tactical lines including device management, app development, channel integration, sourcing, and deployment.
Archaic processes and rigid structures also remain as barriers to enhancing employee mobility and enabling real-time communication and integrated workflows. Dedicated mobility strategic teams and development resources, therefore, remain essential to the business.
The promise of greater efficiency and competitive advantage from IoT and wearable adoption will drive mobility teams to broaden and shift their focus toward multichannel workflow modernization.
Enterprises will adopt, centrally and for each line of business (LOB), a coordinated strategy for “post-mobile” channels and technologies using a broker approach. The approach will encompass IoT, wearable, and mobility strategies, as well as staffing and vendor selection processes. This will demand consistent principles and policies for manageability, security, provisioning, and authentication.
By 2017, two out of five companies will invest in workforce optimization initiatives to support the personal productivity preferences of employees.
The expanded, extended reach of mobility intersects perfectly with personal, mobile productivity solutions such as Evernote and Dropbox. These common, shared collaboration solutions enable enterprises to revitalize standardized technologies such as SMS and are creating cloud-based workspaces for connecting and collaborating.
Business is also shifting the way it works and the way its people think about work. BYOD and wear your own device (WYOD) require enhanced collaboration utilities that adapt to the mobility profile of each employee. The enterprise must provide a richly functional environment across employees’ connected computing endpoints. This will make the workforce highly productive and collaborative wherever they are.
In today’s hypercompetitive market, organizations cannot react to but must instead anticipate these changes. The architecture for this will be anchored in the cloud and driven by the move towards cognitive computing. Existing workflow and business processes must be augmented with advanced social- and mobile-enabled workflows.
Against this backdrop, every LOB is a stakeholder. Seek their input on how to strengthen their workflows with social and mobile-enablement. Solutions need to be cloud-based, and offer a spectrum of capabilities such as seamless real-time communication, in-context information exchange, and integrated social workflow.
Don’t forget about your organization’s printing needs, guard against technology obsolescence and hidden costs, and consider technology ownership models that meet changing workforce expectations. The benefits from device as a service and other support programs are broad, from predictability in costs, productivity and efficiency gains to increased employee retention and customer loyalty.
Looking beyond the walls of the enterprise, the Asia-Pacific region will boast over 2 billion mobile-first Internet users by 2020.
The relatively mature Chinese mobile market can distract us from the fact that there are many distinct markets throughout the region. Other emerging Asian markets are expected to account for the “next billion” connections: for nearly half of those mobile-first users. Mobile strategies must be grounded locally, following distinct approaches and rules of behavior.
The organization itself has some culture shifting to do. It must begin to launch the kinds of solutions and services that encourage and nourish a mobile-first mindset. And there are challenges to engaging that next 2 billion users productively, from device fragmentation and smaller screens, to unreliable bandwidth and connectivity, to the need for offline access.
The Asia-Pacific region will see an explosive growth in the breadth of mobility and the depth of its adoption across the workforce. Is your workforce optimized and geared up for mobility?