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    Mobility is an inevitable disruption – seven steps to create an invincible mobile strategy

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    Mobility Strategy

    The ever growing popularity and adoption of smartphones and mobile applications have set technologies in motion, and organizations are ringing in changes to stay on course with what is an inevitable yet an extremely vital disruption called ‘Mobility’. The ‘Anytime Anywhere’ or ‘not in office’ norm is picking up pace among business leaders.

    In this direction, enterprises have aligned huge investments to topple conventional business practices and jump on the mobility bandwagon largely due to some of its obvious benefits that include improved operational efficiency, market presence and workforce productivity.

    However, adopting mobility is easier said than done. This transformational journey has to be smooth, engaging, embraceable, aligned with people, processes and existing technologies, and at the same time low on investment and high on return.

    Simply banking on mobile app development or eliminating dependency on legacy systems and obsolete technologies does not ensure success of a mobile strategy. Numerous technical, operational and functional challenges threaten to impact the outcomes expected out of it.

    Before banking on mobility, the questions to be asked are: Is the existing IT infrastructure capable of seamlessly connecting backend systems with the mobile workforce for improved productivity? Is your existing infrastructure scalable and flexible to support devices, apps and the generated data? Can you ensure balance between customer privacy and enterprise security goals? Are your teams ready to embark on the always-on business with 24/7 connected customers?

    So in order to ensure that your business goals are achieved with better focus and you are aligned with opportunities, follow these seven steps.

    1. Identify your destination clearly – outcomes and goals

    In the quest of embracing technology transformations, businesses often invest in half-baked ideas without foreseeing outcomes, and what they are trying to achieve out of it. Enterprise mobility requires careful consideration of multiple aspects. It is vital to identify how:

    • Consumers and workforce interact with products and services?
    • Does the introduction of mobile engagement create new business opportunities?
    • What will be the best practices to capitalize on those opportunities?
    • Does the existing infrastructure need to be upgraded and better managed?
    • Does the already functional process need re-engineering to deliver best experience to customers and employees?

    2. Choose the best experience – it can be a mobile app or a mobile website

    Enterprise mobile app development is very different to building conventional applications. There are two basic approaches - either develop a mobile app or a mobile website.

    Mobile website can be scaled in accordance with mobile screens with limited features and functionalities for easy access using web browser. The other option is a native mobile app supporting a specific operating system, which needs to be downloaded to use.

    Websites Advantages Disadvantages
    Mobile website
    • Easy to build and access
    • No need to download anything
    • Accessible on any device (irrespective of the operating system)
    • Usually does not offer a great user-experience
    • Mobile websites need to fit multiple mobile screens so has to be responsive
    Native mobile app
    • Better engagement
    • Central touch-point for customers, employees or partners
    • Apps can easily consume information via APIs
    • Mobile apps are OS specific
    • Needs to be continuously updated
    • Users need to download every update and install to use

    3. Consistent and continuous delivery – DevOps or Agile

    Considering the rising user expectationsand proliferation of a wide range of mobile devices, it is pivotal for businesses to listen and respond to users’ needs and churn mobile app updates regularly to move quickly to new business opportunities.

    Mobile app development requires frequent and short development cycles with the ability to support growing number of mobile platforms. Having said that, it has been observed that conventional practices and approaches to application development and deployment often turn  futile and irrelevant. This is where businesses need to become more agile in terms of the development practices and adopting DevOps to accelerate development and deployment.     

    4. Power user experience with APIs

    To put businesses in motion, it is important to enable mobile apps to handshake with backend systems. Application programming interfaces (APIs) interact with backend systems to capture information and make it accessible on mobile applications for a plethora of uses. This implies that the existing systems can be exploited by simply developing mobile application architecture around them. APIs bridges app with the backend systems and also widens the spectrum of enhancement as part of company’s larger ecosystem.    

    But it is important to ensure that the APIs are secure. If done right, many business opportunities can be exploited , but if security is ignored, apps can be susceptible to hacks and virus attacks. This is the irony that makes the use of APIs great, at the same time, an easy target for hackers.

    Securing APIs is a key parameter for any enterprise mobility strategy. The growing  popularity and use of APIs is ubiquitous, but tackling security issues with conventional methods and technology, as used for browser-centric web, is a huge mistake.

    Though it is true that the risks imposed by vulnerable APIs is similar to web; they are fundamentally diverse and impose different risks all together.

    5. Govern with end-to-end security strategy

    To secure implementation of an end-to-end mobile strategy , it is critical to consider security beyond mobile apps and devices. The security strategy has to be holistic to secure backend transactions, user interactions and transactions between client and servers. Without a full-proof security strategy, you are prone to different threats – SQL injections, etc.

    Leverage security standards

    Security must always be considered for securing mobile applications and the accompanying services. There are many security solutions available.. It is important to analyze and evaluate security standards that fits into your mobile app process. 

    Balance security with user experience

    Mobile security works best if it does not infringe with the user experience. Mobile apps are mostly preferred due to the convenience on offer. If user experience is wrapped with security without giving an intuitive user experience, users may discard your mobile service and shift towards other alternatives.

    6. Control data broadcast and accessibility

    Data holds the key to any successful enterprise mobility strategy. It is critical to define:

    • What data is going to be used on mobile devices?
    • What information users need?
    • What are they going to do with that data?
    • How do you ensure data accessibility in patchy coverage areas?
    • How are you going to secure data during information exchange over the network?

    A lot of emphasis is given on how to manage devices, applications and the content, which is largely because it is vital to ensure what information users have access to and how you need to protect it. This is perhaps the most important point to consider in any given context.

    7. The final consideration – overall regulation and management of mobility

    For the success of an enterprise mobility strategy, it is essential to address questions such as;

    • Who has the control?
    • Who should have control?
    • Who has to be empowered and who shall not?

    Ultimately, it all boils down to enterprises  to formulate policies around mobility. Mobility can have an unprecedented impact and everyone can contribute to it, be it sales, marketing, HR, manufacturing, logistics, etc.

    An enterprise mobility strategy is more about supporting business, enabling integration and delivering new and innovative business services more quickly. It is more about widening the spectrum of opportunities and less about restricting access and choices which  may hamper the overall business outcome.

    Initially, the aforementioned considerations circling a comprehensive mobility strategy seems daunting. But these challenges can be handled convincingly by applying proven mobile app development methodologies, latest tools and technologies, and right enterprise mobility solutions company that can power your endeavors with native mobile app development, cross platform app development, custom app development, mobile app design and implementation.

    The road to mobility is a mix and match of many critical factors that makes it exciting and at the same time opens new business avenues. To know more about enterprise mobility or mobile app development, leave your queries in the comment section.

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