The biggest shift in enterprise mobility in 2013 didn’t come from the massive improvements in processing power brought on by developments such as Apple’s A7, or even the Intel chip-based tablets that flooded the market with Windows 8 Pro.
It wasn’t the proliferation of Mobile Device Management (MDM) technologies that are now offered by many IT and telecom organizations, or the new iOS7 interface that altered user expectations for the mobile app experience.
What truly made the year special was the fundamental recognition of mobile enablement - or lack thereof.
The role of the mobile device among enterprise users has shifted into a tool that can make business run better, drive real productivity, and enable new ways of communicating inside and outside of an organization.
No longer limited to sales teams with company-issued iPads or senior managers on the road, the mobile workforce of tomorrow will be equipped with the knowledge and expertise of numerous field service workers. At least they will have to be in order to remain competitive and successful.
A new mobile strategy emerges
In 2013, early adopters started to build out metrics around employee productivity and ROI as a part of their enterprise mobility strategies. The old strategy: simply giving users controlled access to files and folders. The new strategy: making mobile interaction with business content similar to PC interactions.
Furthermore, it’s not just the early adopters embracing enablement in their mobile strategy. A recent report by Enterprise Mobility Exchange found 35% of surveyed senior strategy makers in global enterprises named “improving workforce productivity” as the main driver behind investments in mobile technology.
How to get ahead
Organizations looking to get ahead of the curve in mobile deployment can start by simply identifying a key area of your business in need of a mobile upgrade. Set users up with a mobile device that meets their baseline requirements and make mobile enablement a top priority.
Select tools based on their ability to integrate the mobile device with day-to-day business processes, content delivery and interaction, and engagement with peers and experts, anytime and anywhere.
Next, track usage, measure and report success against the same criteria. This will set the stage for a 2014 mobile strategy that influences quantifiable productivity improvements. This new strategy will be your base line across other lines of business.
More often than not, a successful mobile rollout in one business area will lead to extensive deployments elsewhere.
Remember, true mobile enablement is within reach and doesn’t necessarily require an expensive, slow-to-deploy custom app development. Just choose a platform, deploy, and let your workers utilize mobile in a way that's productive and beneficial to your organization as a whole.