MOBILITY IS ABOUT EXPLORING WHAT AN
ORGANIZATION CAN DO DIFFERENTLY AND
MORE EFFECTIVELY NOW THAT EMPLOYEES AND
CUSTOMERS USE MOBILE TECHNOLOGY.
applications in the workplace will double
by 2015. That number will only increase
with the introduction of the iGen de-mographic
into the workforce. iGeners
multitask across five screens daily, and
spend 41 per cent of their time outside
school on computers or mobile devic-es.
Mobile capabilities and enablement
will be critical to iGen when entering the
Using mobility to enable a more produc-tive
workforce is an important goal for
many organizations, and more than half
of organizations who embrace this trend
reported a greater than 10 per cent gain in
employee productivity as a result of their
mobile efforts. It is critical for organiza-tions
to be thinking about mobile first,
as increasingly it becomes the dominant
channel for business – both inside and
outside the enterprise.
Imagine a truly mobilized workforce
enabled by the unprecedented power of
data and analytics. Imagine a field worker,
slowed by an unexpected issue, automat-ically
connected with a remote expert.
Safety incidents could be predicted and
avoided using continually collected data to
determine safer processes and push brief
tutorials out to employees – in context –
as needed. That same field worker could
take a photo of a piece of broken machin-ery,
connect with an expert in real-time
and ultimately provide real-time, on-site
repairs instead of driving back and forth to
a site office to diagnose and connect with
Immediate accessibility through mo-bile
will enable employees to confidently
and continuously stay connected, even
while on the road. Mobile will give health-care
workers the ability to respond to
critical patient updates without delay.
Mobility will help sales personnel access
key account information for their clients
regardless of location.
Today the real potential and ROI of
mobile in the enterprise is still unrealized.
Enterprises can see the potential, but to
be effective and valuable, apps and devices
must be integrated into an organization’s
processes and into the workflow. Beyond
calendar and email, mobile must connect
into all the systems of record to fully un-leash
Of course, there are a few challenges.
Many business processes were established
in an era when companies tightly con-trolled
every aspect of their operations.
Mobility disrupts those established linear
flows of work and information.
As well, mobile enables and encourages
transparency and agility into the enter-prise.
As a result, B2E apps give employees
the means to gather information and make
decisions on the spot and, ultimately, the
opportunity to act. Organizations will
need to embrace the change and establish
policies, practices and training programs
to transform the enterprise.
Everyone is talking about mobile and
the mobile revolution has created a new
energy and excitement across industries
and markets around the globe, but we’re
just at the tip of the iceberg. The real value
of mobile in the enterprise is re-imagin-ing
work that transforms industries and
For today’s employers, mobility should
not be about the device. Instead, mobili-ty
is about exploring what an organization
can do differently and more effectively now
that employees and customers use mobile
technology. It’s time to get creative, it’s
time to innovate on mobile business and
it’s time to drive the next wave of transfor-mation.
Like the 20 years that have passed
since “Simon” was launched, it will be ex-citing
to see what the next 20 years bring
for mobile. ■
Nicole Summers is associate partner at IBM
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36 ❚ NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL