Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, once said: "If you don't have a mobile strategy, you don't have a strategy of growth".
I agree. The gap continues to grow between organisations that have embraced mobility as a way of life and those that maintain a tactical business approach and continue to resist the inevitable. The latter find themselves increasingly struggling to play catch-upand stay relevant. Those that have taken a "mobile first" approach, on the other hand, have disrupted the status quo and achieved unprecedented levels of success in a very short period of time.
Consider Uber, for example. Launched in March 2009, the ridesharing service quickly tapped into customers' enthusiasm for 'everything mobile' and is now valued at more than US$15 billion. The company completely destabilised the traditional taxi model, which cannot match the agility of a fully mobile business.The implication is clear: Change or perish.
Mobile technology really has worked its way into virtually every aspect of our lives, so it is surprising to see that many organisations are still trying to hold back the tide when it comes to enterprise mobility. Only 24 percent of employers actively encourage the use of mobile devicesfor work, with one-fifth actually limiting the applications and data that employees can access on thesedevices.
In reality, this strategy serves neither them nor their employees. Our reflex to check our push notifications every few minutes has become almost as ingrained in our psyches as our impulse to drink water when we're thirsty — and we probably do it more often, to be honest — so why fight the natural progression of things, especially when it can work in our favor?
A mobile approach can transform the way a business operates at its core. It allows people to make the most of their connected devices so they can collaborate more effectively and work in a more flexible way. It also encourages innovation through the use of pioneering apps and services, and perhaps most importantly offers businesses a better way to engage with their customers, their employees, and their partners.
To add to this, businesses have little hope of holding back what has become an unstoppable tide of enthusiasm for "everything mobile". Only 18 percent of people think their employers can effectively control how they use their personal devices, while many have found ways to use them for work despite businesses' policies to the contrary.
It's understandable that companies have some concerns around enterprise mobility, particularly when it comes to security and integration, but they should by no means let their apprehension stifle innovation.
The trick for organisations today is to implement their own end-to-end mobile platforms, and to keep things simple. In my experience, simplicity is crucial to the rapid and effective integration of business data with user-friendly mobile applications. The cloud in particular offers businesses an excellent back-end platform to support their mobility solutions in a simple and cost effective manner.
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