Sunday, 30 October 2016 12:17

Enterprise mobility is more than smartphones: survey

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Enterprise mobility has gone beyond BYOD (bring your own device) and the ability to work anywhere, any time. It is now a key underpinning of productivity and innovation so necessary for Australian enterprises to compete on a global scale. Samsung has commissioned some very interesting Australian research.

Most people regard Samsung as makers of smartphones (let’s have a minute silence for the extinct but fabulous Note7), TVs and home appliances – but it is so much more. As I found from a recent trip to its South Korean homeland, “Samsung touches us all".

Samsung Electronics Australia sponsored a Tech Research Asia report covering the activities of 450 Australian companies to produce a 2016 mobility snapshot. It provides insight into strategy, goals, benefits and obstacles as well as an overview of the key market trends shaping enterprise mobility adoption, an assessment of the current maturity of enterprise mobility, and the future focus for Australian organisations.

Samsung Australia’s Enterprise Mobility Team, dubbed “Samsung for Business” and mentored by Danny Mandrides, ‎head of sales – Business and Enterprise Mobility, Martin Brown, ‎head of Alliances and Partner Solutions, and Steve Sherry, Business & Enterprise Mobility has been behind some spectacular results in health and aged care, agriculture, sports and stadiums, and much more.

SMT Tim DillionThe report is comprehensive but unfortunately not yet available for public distribution. Following is an overview of some of the trends discovered by Tech Research.Asia (TRA). It was presented by its founder Tim Dillion who has researched, analysed, communicated and consulted across multiple business and technology areas including enterprise mobility and CIO issues, competitive analysis of IT&T products and solutions and win/loss projects, strategic technology plans, and vertical market analysis of technology adoption.

The conclusions first: they show the outcomes:

  • Australians are enthusiastic adopters of technology. Enterprise mobility has matured. The "CEO-sponsored" approach of "I bought a tablet for Christmas, now we have a mobility strategy. Make it so" is dead. Many enterprises are past the first iteration which was all about the device!
  • Organisations are seeking to maximise the value from their investment in business mobility and are clearly focusing on several areas that they perceive as valuable.
  • A clear strategy is critical to success. IT, line of business (LOB) and executive leaders need to be aligned to mobility goals including seamless engagement, collaboration, productivity, new revenue streams, analytics, telemetry, cloud, security, IoT and workforce/place transformation.

Market Trends

Enterprise mobility in Australia (mobility) is no longer about the device (smartphone or tablet). It is now about a strategy.

  • 66% (of the 450 companies) already have a clear mobility strategy in place.
  • The remaining 34% will execute one in the next 12 months.
  • The focus is on solving strategic business issues, particularly customer engagement and experience (CX – 76%) and digital transformation (DT 73%) programmes.

The focus has broadened from providing employees with anytime/place/device access to company resources, data and applications to the facilitation of business processes, for example, an insurance representative using a smart device at a café to meet a customer, access consumer risk profiles and data, collaborate with customer support staff, electronically sign a new contract and accept payment.

  • By 2017, 100% of LOB apps in customer-facing roles will be built for mobile-first consumption.
  • Organisations are determining what advantages can be gained from combining mobility, big data and analytics.
  • Security is a key pillar supporting mobility. Changes to Australian mandatory reporting legislation protecting customer data and greater auditing and compliance requirements are causing a shift from securing and managing the mobile device to securing and managing the applications and customer data, particularly in a mobile first/cloud first world.
  • Mobility and IoT combined are the next big disruptor – using technology for innovation and competitive advantage.
  • IT [departments] are no longer in sole control. Budgets are shared between IT (75%) and LOB (25%) but on top of that is shadow IT (an extra 35%) that is spent on technology by LOB that is not part of the IT budget.

TPA research conducted by Sitecore on trends in the Australian market explicitly links the importance of mobility to customer engagement and experience strategies highlighting:

  • Mobile devices are ranked 2nd after the PC as the preferred tool for customers to digitally interact with companies; and
  • After websites, security and data management capabilities, mobile applications are ranked as the 4th most important investment by companies to support their digital customer experience programmes.

Perhaps the most telling comment was attributed to a big four bank, "Anything that is purely device centric simply has limited business value for us. What’s more interesting for us is secure comms on an end-to-end platform.”

Drivers of Mobility

The top four are:

  • Improve operational productivity to increase margins;
  • Strengthen and deepen customer service and customer engagement capabilities and solutions;
  • Support the need for greater flexibility in operations and work styles; and
  • Improve employees’ freedom to work in a way that balances work and lifestyle needs

TRA uses the term “Intelligent Office” (the ability to work in the best location at the best time with the most appropriate technology), and that is a vital focus of any mobility strategy (mobile technology, connectivity, devices, applications and security).

SMT intelligent office

Companies are now looking beyond this to more business-focused initiatives around engagement with customers, employees and suppliers by developing and deploying mobile business applications.

  • Companies need a more robust, secure business-grade application to support their mobility initiatives. The "download from the play store" consumer-centric applications are no longer enough. Companies want integration, security, analytics and customisation to help them drive their initiatives forward.
  • Development of bespoke applications to support growth and innovation. Commodity applications, even business grade ones, simply do not allow for the level of differentiation to support these goals.
  • The “I want an app” mentality. A small proportion of organisations still hold the view that an app is a quick solution for whatever they are trying to achieve if only they knew what this was. TRA’s research suggests that this group comprise 5-10% (depending on company size and sector) of all organisations undertaking business app development. As companies exhibit growing LoB involvement in technology purchasing and development decisions we expect organisations to continue investing in applications development without necessary technology guidance and oversight – a less than optimal approach.

Where do you get IT?

Do companies need third-party help deploying mobility solutions? In a word, yes. As an organisation’s size increases, the level of complexity involved in executing mobility strategy increases exponentially. This is particularly true of device management, applications management and security platforms as well as level-1 tech support (which in a BYOD world is faced with multiple OSs, device capabilities and performance "unknowns").

At both ends of the survey sample (<9 employees or 1000+ employees), companies showed a slight tendency to choose the ‘DIY’ option. However, 92% looked to external support predominantly from their current technology partner and systems integrators (for large companies) and specialist mobility or telecom service providers (for mid-sized firms).

And the pain points?

Pictures tell a thousand words …

SMT Pain

SMT Outxomes

Companies that had been successful reported:

  • Employee satisfaction: Improved 31%.
  • Contribution to profit margin increase: Positive 25%.
  • Employee productivity: Increased 21%.

Top areas for mobility investment in the next 12 months:

SMT Invest

IoT

Once the Internet of Things, it has now become the Internet of Everything – even fridges can order groceries! IoT analyst’s growth forecasts are as large as to be almost incomprehensible and new use-cases seem to arrive every day along with new hardware. What is clear is that it is coming sooner rather than later.

  • 19% stated they had a strategy in place and were deploying solutions;
  • 24% had an ‘ad-hoc’ approach to IOT; and
  • 8% had a strategy and were deploying a proof of concept.

SMT IOT

Summary/close

I placed the summary at the beginning so if you have made it this far it is interesting to read Mandrides' take on some Samsung Australia customer use cases.

The user cases were many and varied, but most had a common thread. It is not just devices. It is about the device for sure (tablet, smartphone, IoT or appliance) but it is equally about a broad partnership to deliver mobility. Security (from Samsung Knox), Mobile Device Management, app development and deployment, managed apps, and the telecommunications issues (Carriers).

Samsung is a founding partner of the Global Enterprise Mobility Alliance (GEMA), an independent joint venture providing enterprise mobility managed services to multinational organisations. More than that it provides open collaboration to find solutions.

Mandrides pointed to successful mobility strategies developed for:

 At the beginning, I referred to Samsung touching us all – I suspect that those who have read this far now understand what I meant.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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