Many CIOs and CTOs are today confronting a paradigm shift of tectonic proportions. The growth of enterprise mobility and an ascendant “mobile-first” philosophy is causing them to question some very basic assumptions underpinning their overall IT strategy. Should they allocate precious resources towards building out their in-house mobile capabilities or turn to 3rd-party mobile app developers? How do they develop for the multiple operating systems and platforms that mobile diversification necessitates? Do they even need to “go mobile” or is all this mobile sound and fury really much ado about nothing?
While many consumer-facing businesses must indeed heed the call to “go mobile” sooner rather than later -- and this is definitely true of certain verticals such as Retail, Travel and Financial Services for whom the mobile channel represents a great revenue growth and brand extension opportunity – other industries may be better suited to take a wait and see approach before committing too much of their IT resources to the goal of increased mobility. Almost all businesses can benefit from the increased efficiencies provided by the new enterprise mobile productivity and collaboration apps. But questions surrounding how workers interact with those and other apps – and how those apps may effect and interact with the company’s legacy software systems and security protocols have injected a great amount of uncertainty into the equation.
The one thing that is clear is that the same rules apply to enterprise apps as they do to consumer apps: Performance and quality are the keys to mobile adoption. If the app is not developed with the end user in mind and quality is not assured every step of the way, it can end up being a liability that can do lasting damage to your mobile credibility and ultimately, your brand.
In the end, as TIBCO’s Ram Menon recently pointed out in a thought-provoking blog post, we shouldn’t forget that the most basic and essentially very simple promise of enterprise mobility is: “to effectively enable individuals to get work done on the go.” If IT decision-makers keep this in mind, and if they are guided by the overarching goal of providing a positive and rewarding end-user experience, then the answers to their questions surrounding the necessity and maturity of enterprise mobility should answer themselves.