To make mobile technology an effective contributor to digital transformation, organizations are looking at the following capabilities and considerations:
Use existing apps: One hundred and ninety-seven billion mobile apps were downloaded in 2017. Many are, or can be modified or combined, for business application. Using existing apps accelerates time-to-value and improves cost efficiency by taking advantage of domain and industry expertise built into the app.
Integrate and scale: IDC points out: “Applications offered on mobile phones and tablets have a separation between the mobile app and back-end business logic and data services.” Being able to connect logic and data to the device is critical to the effectiveness of mobile technology, whether the logic and data are on-premises, on the cloud or in hybrid configurations.
Scalability is important, too. Creating point mobile solutions without considering how to scale across an enterprise can be costly in terms of development, management and maintenance. A Forrester economic impact study for IBM Mobile at Scale found that development costs could be cut by US$300,000.
Remember the user: IBM reports that “more than 27 percent of global online transactions are conducted through mobile devices.” And yet “One third of companies do not use mobile apps to enhance customer experiences.” Mobile marketing and mobile workforce technologies present critical opportunities to transform how a business or brand is perceived across customers, employees and business partners.
Manage and secure: Enterprise mobility management (EMM) according to Gartner is “the ‘glue’ that connects mobile devices to their enterprise infrastructure.” As mobile technology pervades society and businesses, organizations look to EMM capabilities to configure devices and apps; track device usage and inventories; control and protect data; and support and troubleshoot issues.
A key consideration for EMM is BYOD — bring your own device. BYOD is an IT policy where employees are allowed or encouraged to use their personal mobile devices to access enterprise data and systems. Effectively adopted, BYOD can improve productivity, increase employee satisfaction and save money. At the same time, it presents security and device management questions that need to be addressed.
Security is a must for any digital endeavor. Seventy-six percent of CIOs say it is the top concern. With an estimated 80 billion devices coming online by 2025, IT security professionals face a daunting mobile security battle in terms of volume, complexity and the granularity of security issues. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is emerging as a key weapon. Unified endpoint management (UEM) solutions are incorporating AI technologies to discern security anomalies in vast amounts of data and complex systems. They can quickly surface and remediate malware incidents, for example, or recommend actions to meet regulatory requirements from a centralized dashboard.
Build better apps. In the cloud. Mobile app developers are under pressure to build and deploy applications that deliver business value. The cloud offers an effective platform to develop, test and manage applications with greater speed, quality and cost efficiency.
Developers can use application programming interface (API) services to connect apps to back-end data and focus on front-end functions and business needs. They can readily add authentication to apps to bolster security. The platform also gives them access to AI and cognitive services like natural language processing and advanced analytics. These services can deliver insights to devices and users to automate routine tasks and improve business decisions.