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Common missteps on the path to enterprise mobility

Tue, 22nd Jan 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

In virtually every industry, mobility is helping organisations achieve key strategic goals, from improving customer service or patient care to enhancing productivity, operational efficiency and competitive advantage. Yet, even as more organisations embrace and prioritise a mobility strategy, many are falling short of their desired outcomes and goals, according to Wavelink, Spectralink's ANZ distributor.

Wavelink MD Ilan Rubin says, “There are common challenges, or missteps, that often limit or derail mobility success for organisations at various stages of solution planning, implementation and support.

“Although every organisation's goals and challenges are unique, there are some guidelines for organisations to consider when developing an enterprise mobility strategy or assessing their current solution.

Five common missteps on the path to enterprise mobility

1. Under mobilising the enterprise. Many organisations don't think broadly enough when it comes to mobilising staff and workflows, focusing instead on only the most obvious users and needs. By limiting the mobile strategy and solution to only a select few employees and workflows, organisations also limit the benefits and return on investment the organisation can achieve.

To optimise outcomes and capitalise on the full potential of enterprise mobility, organisations need to conduct a thorough assessment that identifies all potential use cases and then consult with managers and other staff from across the organisation. They need to determine the right mix of mobile devices, features and apps to effectively support and enhance these different roles to optimise outcomes at every opportunity.

2. Providing inadequate user training. Many organisations assume that all employees will know how to use mobile devices of any kind. However, there is often a wide disparity of user familiarity and comfort levels with enterprise-issued mobile devices. Even regular smartphone users may not be familiar with the type of phone issued.

iPhone users, for example, may know very little about using the Android operating system or functionality. In addition to teaching the basics of how to use a new mobile device, training also needs to address another important goal: helping employees understand how specific features, functions and work-specific applications can support and enhance their work.

3. Being overconfident in the current network. Even the best, most advanced mobile devices can't deliver the connectivity and capabilities an organisation requires if the network isn't designed to support its specific voice and data needs.

In hospitals, for example, clear and reliable voice communication is typically the number one priority. Ensuring that voice calls are prioritised within the wireless network is critical to the overall design. A thorough network assessment can help identify any issues, including optimising network security and minimising potential gaps in Wi-Fi coverage.

4. Using consumer devices for enterprise needs. Deploying consumer phones or relying on a bring your own device (BYOD) approach may seem like a fast and easy way to mobilise staff, however, these devices come with inherent limitations and risks that can contribute to higher long-term costs and potential compliance concerns.

Managing and supporting multiple consumer devices, platforms and carriers and coverage models can be both costly and time-consuming for IT staff, while additional charging components can quickly escalate costs and downtime. What's more, cellular coverage is often spotty at best, a concern that is only intensified by the fact that consumer phones are often more susceptible to interference from machinery, medical equipment and other wireless devices.

And, while some consumer smartphones are capable of utilising the Wi-Fi network, they are not able to roam across the network, and will experience dropped calls, latency, and jitter. Plus, they often incur higher repair and replacement costs because they are not purpose-built for specific work environments.

5. Looking for the perfect app versus the ideal partner. There's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all app, and trying to create or deploy one can end up doing more harm than good by limiting staff's capabilities and effectively encouraging employees to rely on older technology or tools to address unmet workflow needs.

Instead, take inventory of the specific workflow requirements of each mobile user, and identify the tools and capabilities needed to support and enhance their efforts. Most importantly, choose a solution partner that offers the flexibility and ecosystem you need to address the full range of workflow needs and mobility goals.

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