Monday, April 23, 2012

Defining the Mobile Enterprise




Mobile Enterprise, n., a business whose primary nature or strategic advantage derives from the agility attained by deploying a significant proportion of its workforce in a mobile fashion and facilitating their interaction with customers, suppliers and one another without primary dependence on a fixed location.

In attempting to define the mobile enterprise, Rahul C. Basole, PhD of the Tennenbaum Institute at the Georgia Institute of Technology proposes that:

The mobile enterprise is built on a foundation of processes and technologies allowing full access and instrumented insight to all organizational resources, resulting in improved adaptability, access, and interaction among employees, customers, partners, and suppliers, independent of location.

His work remains useful in defining and understanding the mobile enterprise to this day. As Basole notes, the mobile enterprise can be comprised of two groups of workers, those who primarily work on-site and those whose work is normally performed off-site or independent of location. In the first group of on-site workers are the desk workers, on-site rovers, and site wanderers. In the second off-site group are the tele workers, off-site rovers, road warriors and global cruisers.

The initial response to the overall need for enterprise mobility has been to develop ad hoc native smartphone applications to serve the needs of many of these workers.  Gartner believes that the need for enterprise IT departments to create mobile apps quickly and easily will cause the Rapid Mobile Application Development (RMAD) sector to grow rapidly. 

Recently, I was at the largest independent gathering of Oracle Software users in Las Vegas and while on-site conducted a live webinar with Microsoft. The challenge of enterprise mobility is an increasingly hot topic in business today. Users of enterprise systems have traditionally been deskbound workers and mobile, or off-site workers as Basole defined them, have often had access to little more than email, making them fully dependent on their office bound colleagues for execution of simple tasks.

With the introduction of the enterprise mobile mashup and secure mobile computing, users of mobile apps on a wide variety of platforms can directly access relevant data and execute context sensitive and mission critical business processes from the convenience of their smartphone or tablet devices. This evolution in capabilities provides revolutionary possibilities for business success. 

Gartner believes that by 2018 a majority of business enterprises will leverage RMAD to develop mobile apps. As the largest and most established vendor in this segment, Magic Software is positioned to take early advantage of this market by offering enhancements and extensions to business processes as well as through "mobile first" development.

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