Tentative steps to going mobile across organizations
I had a discussion with a multi-billion dollar logistics giant which transports heavy goods across the world, about their tentative Mobile enablement steps. The discussion made me realize that we have had a similar conversation with customers several times. In this month alone, we have had a similar conversation with a medium sized retailer, a medium sized entertainment industry staffing provider, a large hotel industry leader and a large insurance company.
The conversations bring the following typical thoughts to the surface time and again:
- We want to go mobile but not sure where to start.
- We have done mobile solutions, but each business unit has done it the way they thought it was right.
- The consumer oriented business elements such as marketing have long used external vendors, but we think we need to consolidate.
- We need to wire up the back-end systems to the mobile world. We need to secure the data that would go on these mobile devices. What are the choices that we have?
- Ours is a global organization and we need to identify standards and best practices that will be consistent across the firm to ensure that our customers have a consistent experience.
- How do we control costs as well as maximize the value we derive through our mobile initiatives?
This might be true to many organizations. Our suggestion to this approach is to tell them that they have got the right way forward when these thoughts occur. One thing that stands out through these questions is that mobile is being seen through the prism of a strategy, than being a competitive necessity.
Our recommendation to these organizations is to focus on a centralized approach to mobile enablement within and outside the enterprise, bringing together varied interests such as consumer facing functions, partners, IT and infrastructure.
So what is a Mobile CoE and what are its constituents?
At a high level we define a Mobile CoE in the following manner:
“Mobile CoE will be the central fulcrum driving excellence in delivering mobile solutions and services through a centralized entity resulting in improved standardization, best practices adoption, higher quality of service, & enhanced cost optimization.”
A Mobile CoE helps an organization achieve some of these goals:
- A standardized process-centric approach right from demand management, execution and maintenance
- Act as a lubricant, thus reducing the friction across different divisions within an enterprise, bringing alignment, focus and enabling execution
- Align mobile solutions across the organization to the enterprise strategy and goals
- Leverage synergy between different mobility projects
- Provide an ideal environment for developing and servicing a niche skill like mobility
- Shared code, components, resources and partner alliances leading to increased reusability
As we define a Mobile CoE we should also look out for a caveat – the Mobile CoE should not become the bottleneck to the organizational mobile solutions progress. This would be self-defeating to the very purpose of a Mobile CoE. The executive sponsors of such a CoE should also help define its metrics and KPIs in such a way that they realize value but not be a bottleneck.
In the next few blogs, my colleagues and I at the Mobile Solutions Group in Mindtree will continue to share our expertise in enabling you to setup and execute a competent Mobile CoE strategy. Please feel free to share your thoughts.
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