IBM: Speed, Analytics Drive Mobile Adoption in the Enterprise

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2013-11-20

IBM: Speed, Analytics Drive Mobile Adoption in the Enterprise

IBM announced results of a new study that indicated speed and productivity are key drivers in the adoption of mobile strategies in the enterprise.

Indeed, the survey showed that speed, analytics, integration and security are the top drivers of mobile adoption. Based on responses from more than 600 survey participants in 29 countries and eight industries, the IBM report, "The 'Upwardly Mobile' Enterprise: Setting the Strategic Agenda," highlights the business advantages of using mobile technologies to fundamentally change how organizations interact with customers, and develop and deliver products and services to market.

The report further examines a subset of respondents called "mobile strategy leaders," which are defined as organizations that have already established a clear direction for their mobile efforts and consider their mobile strategies something that distinguishes them from their peers. Of the leaders surveyed, 73 percent report measurable returns on their mobile investments, while 81 percent say mobile has fundamentally changed how they do business.

Regarding speed, survey respondents said an effective mobile environment enhances the timely delivery of information and insight to service customers regardless of location. Indeed, 58 percent of all respondents report that a key benefit of using mobile to improve employee productivity is faster customer response time. In addition to focusing on expanding their network infrastructure, 78 percent of mobile strategy leadersversus 44 percent of non-leaderssaid they are planning to increase their investment in an employee’s ability to work outside the office.

On the analytics front, 70 percent of the mobile strategy leaders surveyed describe themselves as effective in areas such as addressing structured and unstructured mobile data, handling large volumes of data, analyzing mobile data and taking action based on that data. Less than 37 percent of non-leaders said they are equipped to deal with these issues.

Mobile strategy leaders cited integration as an area where they have been more successful compared to their peers. Of mobile leaders, 70 percent or more said they have been successful in ensuring interoperability with other systems, leveraging APIs for external or cloud-provided data services, and providing service-oriented architecture and sharing information among systems and devices. However, only about 40 percent or fewer of non-leaders report being successful with these tasks, the study showed.

Mobile strategy leaders also said they recognize the importance of making mobile capabilities secure, with 79 percent reporting that their organizations have well-documented policies in place for employees using mobile devices versus 48 percent of non-leaders. Overall, leaders are more effective at addressing mobile security issues, prioritizing around protection of data, secure connectivity and device management among other areas.

Moreover, 90 percent of global organizations surveyed said they are willing to sustain or increase their investments in mobile technologies over the next 12 to 18 months.

IBM: Speed, Analytics Drive Mobile Adoption in the Enterprise

"Today, mobile is quickly emerging as a transformational game changer in business that will drive new levels of innovation and interactions," said Kevin Custis, Social Business and Mobile Practices leader at IBM, in a statement. "It is far too limiting to define mobility simply as a device or a channel for transactions. The organizations that come out ahead will be the ones that prioritize mobile and redefine its use to drive a new set of business expectations and user experiences."

In order to close the gap between leaders and those that lag behind, it is important to look at how core mobile challenges are currently being addressed within their organizations. For example, while many companies are using mobile to pursue multiple innovation paths, the majority of leaders (62 percent) said they focus on using mobile for enterprise model innovation, which means redefining their role in the value chain, where they collaborate and how they operate, IBM said.

Meanwhile, mobile leaders are making noteworthy investments in bring your own device (BYOD) strategies. While leaders are more than twice as likely to have adopted a BYOD approach for employees compared to other organizations (66 percent compared to 32 percent), leaders are also more likely to provide the needed support to make these programs successful including well-documented policies and IT support, the study showed. To effectively support BYOD efforts, however, organizations should first consider the various mobile use cases in the organization, such as access to apps to improve customer service, not just the devices they are willing to support, IBM said.

Despite the benefits of adopting mobile strategies, there are three top challenges to mobile adoption, according to the report: Integrating mobile apps with existing systems (54 percent); implementing end-to-end mobile security solutions for devices and apps (53 percent); and reacting to changes in technology and mobile devices in a reasonable period of time (51 percent).

The IBM study also showed that when it comes to industries, the banking industry is a bit ahead of the curve on mobile. Comparing responses from banking industry participants against peers in other industries provides insight into how this market is prioritizing mobility. For example, 51 percent of banking organizations report measurable ROI from their mobile initiatives, compared to 34 percent of their peers. In terms of increasing employee productivity in the field, a few areas where banking organizations stand apart from peers is their emphasis on using mobile to improve internal collaboration, provide sales force enablement tools and enable employee self service.

Also, compared to mobile leaders, banking organizations have improvements to make when it comes to BYOD adoption. Findings showed that 37 percent of banking respondents say their organization has adopted a BYOD approach, compared to 66 percent of leaders that have implemented BYOD.

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