How can businesses reap the benefits of mobile technology?

By Stefan Spendrup
Credit: Getty Images
Stefan Spendrup, VP, Sales Northern and Western Europe at SOTI explains the factors stopping businesses from accessing the benefits of mobile technology

Mobile and internet-connected technologies are more vital than ever for business to operate efficiently, as the impact of the global supply chain crisis continues to be felt. Businesses are aware of both the challenges and opportunities that mobile technologies provide, as they continue their recovery from the pandemic – but the integration of such technologies remains a barrier.

The challenge for businesses now is to meet these changing customer demands and adjust to a progressively unpredictable socio-economic climate using the correct mobile technologies, while planning for the future. Companies that see technology and mobility as an enabler and recognise the opportunity they present, as opposed to a hindrance, will be the businesses that thrive in the current climate. Indeed, more than two-thirds (67%) of enterprise leaders said the mobile technology their organisation had invested in had provided a positive return on investment (ROI), according to a recent SOTI Global Survey.

But many organisations are finding themselves having to quickly adapt to the rise in mobile technology, and poor integration is destroying any benefits they might see. While more than half (57%) of enterprises have invested in mobile technology or mobile security in the last year, the ‘A Defining Year: State of Mobility 2021 Report’ found that 56% of enterprise leaders admit their technology is either only partially integrated or not at all, which is holding their businesses back. Furthermore, the GSMA predicts that mobile operators will invest $900 billion USD between 2020 and 2025 worldwide in upgrading their services to meet the ballooning demand for mobile connections and technology.

Are businesses flourishing or just riding the storm?

The report discovered that more than three quarters (79%) of enterprise leaders agree their organisation’s C-Suite realises the importance of mobile tech much more now than before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, indicating that it’s climbed up the boardroom agenda. This is an important initial step, as it’s impossible to initiate change without buy-in from the top.

Yet it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. More than half (56%) said that their organisation’s portfolio of mobile devices has grown but managing the increased number of devices is proving difficult, indicating these businesses might not have the right device management technology in place – or they have nothing at all.

In fact, many existing tools don’t adequately help organisations troubleshoot device issues or help to manage the devices. This leads to increased downtime, a loss in productivity and likely a loss in revenue as well.

Meanwhile, 45% say that their organisation is not using mobile technology to help it adjust well to the challenges of the post-pandemic marketplace. The challenge for these companies is to fully integrate mobile technology into their core workflows to capitalise on the technology’s potential to provide flexibility and intelligence across the whole enterprise.

The scope of this challenge is revealed in the answers given about aspirations and goals for the near future. More than two-thirds (68%) agree that their company needs better business intelligence to navigate future unforeseen issues. Two-thirds (67%) also think they need better tools to diagnose issues before they become a problem. Almost half (43%) would like to improve their ability to monitor data analytics.

The post-COVID-19 outlook

The pandemic and subsequent changes in consumer behaviour have accelerated the digital transformation of business by up to six years. Businesses are now faced with the prospect of a post-pandemic marketplace that is more fluid, more digital, more dynamic and marked by a rise in consumer demands. With much speculation that the UK is heading into a recession, now more than ever, we need the efficiency provided by properly integrated mobile technology.

The mobility revolution has scaled rapidly across all areas of businesses as they train for, adapt to, roll out and manage enterprise mobility. To prevent growing pains and ensure maximum uptime and productivity, as well as the best user experience, enterprises need to integrate and manage multiple form factors, operating systems and legacy systems.

This is echoed in the findings, with enterprise leaders saying their companies need the following, post-pandemic:

  1. Better data analytics, troubleshooting and issue resolution — 69%
  2. Better business intelligence to help navigate future unforeseen issues — 68%
  3. Better tools to diagnose issues before they become a problem — 67%
  4. Improved security and user authentication across all mobile devices — 67%
  5. Ways to better manage their expanded portfolio of mobile devices — 56%

A new outlook for 2022

In the immediate future, it looks like the recent pace of change for mobile technology will continue. Throughout 2022, more than two-thirds (71%) of organisations are considering increasing their expenditure in mobile devices, systems and/or security, while more than half (56%) of organisations are considering increasing their expenditure on technology for better device and system integration and/or replacing legacy systems.

However, there are still significant efficiency and cost gains to be made by better integrating these technologies into workflows, employee practices and the customer experience. It’s vital that every organisation and every technology leader takes an urgent look at their mobile and internet connected technologies, to ensure they are not burning through any of the gains they could be making through poor integration.

Investment in new mobility technologies should be considered carefully and effectively prepared, rather than a rush to implement technology first. Rushing to implement new technologies often results in poor integration of the old and new operating systems which can hinder business efficiency. Legacy systems should not just be simply discarded or disowned, in favour of the new and shiny. Decision-makers must ensure new and old systems work in tandem to ensure a positive ROI and maximum business efficiency.

Whilst the current supply chain is plagued with delays and disruptions, innovation is vital to a business’s success. So, it is time for companies to make positive investments into resilience, but enterprise leaders must ensure care is taken when integrating old and new mobility technologies.

 

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