IT Management: Lundquist's Five Simple Steps to Creating a Dynamic Mobile Enterprise
Lundquists Five Simple Steps to Creating a Dynamic Mobile Enterprise
by Eric Lundquist
Decide to Be a Mobile Company
This idea has to permeate the company from the top down. Recognize that your workforce will be a mobile workforce, your customers will be a mobile customer base and you will be at a strategic disadvantage if you are late to restructure your company in a mobile mode. This means rethinking your IT infrastructure, your business structure and the way your employees interact.
Think Like a Consumer
Salesforce.com CEO Mark Benioff really got the idea for his company when he asked, Why can't a business-to-business company have the same order flow as Amazon? Why could a customer order a book from Amazon and enjoy the experience while a business-to-business customer could spend $1 million and not know a thing about the order or be treated like a $1 million customer? More recently, Benioff has argued Facebook should be the model for business social networking apps. At the risk of inflating his ego even larger, he is right. Consumers are showing the way to deal with location, app acquisition and video information in the mobile world. Your company needs to do the same in a business setting.
Rethink Your Corporate Apps
If you are going to try to mobilize only your existing applications, you will never be a truly mobile company. Talk to your people in the field. Question how far they can present and complete an order before they get stuck in a world of fax machines, financial apps only available back at the office and inability to find and deliver inventory. You need an application development group that can find and deploy apps as easy as the mobile world. That is a challenge, but also a great opportunity.
You need to get into the game. Yes, security, privacy and compliance are all considerations, but those issues can be addressed in a mobile environment far better now than a few years back. You need to set a deployment schedule and stick to it. By the end of the 2010, your company needs to be, what, 75 percent mobile? That would be a good goal.
Learn from your mistakes, perfect the process and repeat, repeat, repeat. Creating a mobile company will not be without its obstacles, but the reward will be in your company's bottom line and, not incidentally, in your resume. Being the executive or IT professional who knows how to mobilize a stodgy company is job security in these uncertain times.