In what ways can mobile apps reduce your costs and improve productivity?

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A recent survey by IBM of its global developer community (‘developerWorks’) found that more than half of the group believe that within the next five years, more developers will be working on mobile applications and cloud-based architecture than traditional computing platforms for the enterprise.

This is already impacting the enterprise and creating a range of challenges for the CTO. For example, employees are increasingly bringing their personal devices to work, resulting in the CTO being obligated to support a range of company and personal devices accessing both enterprise and consumer applications. This challenge is compounded by the multiple operating systems on the devices all potentially requiring customised enterprise apps.

How can an enterprise create a plan for mobility that embraces the benefits of the consumerisation of technology and also drive business transformation?

There are five major challenges:

  • Supporting cross-platform applications
  • Mobile device management
  • Data management
  • Security
  • Expense management

An enterprise will need to consider what mobile platforms it will support (BlackBerry, Android, iOS, Windows Phone 7 and devices) and also what enterprise applications it will enable for these platforms. In terms of usability, the mobile app will also need to be flexible enough to aggregate data and workflows from multiple enterprise systems and provide easy and simplified access.

CIOs will also need to enforce a mobility policy so that all devices connected to the network are centrally managed. This will prevent rogue devices accessing the network and being able to see sensitive business applications. This also highlights another issue, will IT buy and maintain mobile devices or will this be the responsibility of employees?

Data management is also a critical consideration, particularly as apps that reside on mobile devices provide an easy and convenient way to view enterprise information. Enterprises must consider securing and encrypting information to user privileges and also the ability to remotely delete and wipe data from a device if it is lost or stolen.

As mobile device usage increases within the enterprise, CIOs also have to consider the costs involved with managing the device estate, updating apps and network charges. Centralised procurement and management of mobile services is the easiest way to ensure predictability of telecom costs and also supply management with the visibility to ensure costs are kept in control.

Enterprise mobility and enterprise apps have changed the workforce, delivering increased productivity, mobile flexible working and better engagement with customers and partners. Many of the challenges of deploying mobile business apps in the enterprise have been solved by Vodafone Global Enterprise, including the ability to remotely lock and wipe the contents of a device if it is lost or stolen, manage, control, audit and recommend mobile applications to end users, a service called Vodafone Telecoms Management that extends from device ordering through configuration, inventory and expense management all the way to managing the contracts with each of your telecoms suppliers.

Vodafone Global Enterprise is focused on removing complexity and simplifying the transition for global businesses to become mobile, agile and achieve competitive advantage. For more information on how Vodafone Global Enterprise can help you, download the white paper on Consumerisation.