Three golden rules for a business mobility strategy
Mobility is heavily impacting organisational strategy and there is no clear roadmap for adoption, says Sam Tayan
Requiring as critical a shift in business-thinking as the internet 20 years ago, the move towards ‘Business Mobility’ will define organisational strategy for years to come. However, unlike previous IT eras, there is often no clear roadmap for adoption.
There’s no single approach that embraces every business need – as was the generally the case when it came to automating transactions or externalising networks. The ‘right’ investment can’t be defined here by getting the best specifications for the best price. Instead, it must be driven by pre-determined, highly-specific organisational outcomes.
At its core, business mobility is not simply about supporting different devices from multiple locations; it’s the ability to support change, to allow your organisation to shift its employee engagement model as needed. The workplace has changed, usual rules no longer apply – and businesses must adapt quickly in order to survive.
To understand how to make the most out of business mobility, you need to not only break it down into its fundamental parts as they apply to your specific context, but also understand the issue as a model of employee engagement, rather than technology investment. To help do this, we’d suggest three golden rules for moving forward.
Rule 1: Put the Plan in Place
With business models becoming more sophisticated through the confluence of new technologies and ever more comprehensive information flows, there can be no hard and fast rule on what is the best approach for an organisation to meet its business mobility aims. Even the nature of work is changing. Organisational structures are flatter and more geographically dispersed. Teams are built, and dismantled, on an ad hoc basis, dependant entirely on the project or challenge. Employment is becoming of shorter tenure with every generation. And knowing what will be needed over the next year, five years or even decade can be a near impossible task.
Critically, organisations must spend time carefully assessing and expressing their needs, then considering the options they can take to meet them. Having a robust and strategic roadmap defined in business terms is vital. Organisations should be asking themselves some specific and searching questions:
What are the current challenges for our workforce?
How do the challenges vary across different groups of workers?
What defines optimal efficiency for each individual or group of workers?
What challenges is our business facing now? And how long will they last?
How must the presence, function and value contribution of each user group change to meet these challenges?
What challenges are likely to come up tomorrow? Or the day after?
Making the right investment in technologies and skills to unlock the new working practices needed to solve these issues and support a flexible, agile culture won’t happen by accident. It must be plotted carefully, with due care and attention.
Rule 2: Show Value, Not Cost
It’s easy for organisations to fall into the trap of thinking solely in numbers, but work isn’t so straightforward. Your job is no longer somewhere you go but something you do. The role of IT in managing this transition cannot be understated – whether it is using sensors and analytics to measure and optimise performance, creating true virtual collaboration or helping people to build work into their lives, technology is driving - and will continue to drive - the future of the work agenda.