Seven Critical Organizational Factors to Manage for a Winning Enterprise Mobility Strategy – Part 4
This is the fourth post in a seven-part series of blog posts that explain the importance of getting seven critical organizational factors right in order to have a winning Enterprise Mobility Management strategy.
Read the Previous post in the series: Seven Critical Organizational Factors to Manage for a Winning Enterprise Mobility Strategy – Part 3
Read the First post in the series: Seven Critical Organizational Factors to Manage for a Winning Enterprise Mobility Strategy – Part 1
In the previous post, we saw how to manage the corporate readiness in the form of many intangibles such as the existing best practices and process to mobile-enable, identifying functions based on whether they are frontend or backend functions and team culture, and how to deal with conflicting priorities that arise due to these. Building the right mix of representation across these dimensions will help create meaningful pilots that will help with the final implementation.
In this part, we look at an organizational factor that directly impacts and is also impacted by mobility, the supporting functions.
Critical Organizational Factor for Enterprise Mobility Management #4: Supporting Functions
Supporting functions are critical to the implementation of something as fundamental as mobility that brings widespread changes to the way things get done in an organization. For example, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) has ramifications for HR and legal staff in addition to being an IT management decision. HR will need to draft policies and evaluate the impact it will have on employees and their expectations, and the legal teams will need to ensure compliance to regulatory norms. In case of corporate-owned-personally-enabled devices (COPE), admin staff will need to be roped in to ensure smooth purchasing and functioning.
The HR, Legal, Admin, Finance and other supporting functions will need to buy in and contribute to setting policies and managing expectations of your employees, partners, regulators or any other stakeholders impacted by mobile-enablement. Without them buying into the vision and strategy, and actively contributing to it with their views, they will not be able to refine, re-draft and redesign their policies to fit the new way of doing things within the organization.
As I mentioned in the last post, Enterprise Mobility Management is a very horizontal implementation, and even despite the fact that it can be implemented in smaller areas of the organization to begin with, it does touch upon various aspects and functions of the organization. Hence, it is critical for different supporting functions that might seem cursory to the implementation itself to understand and buy into the mobility vision and strategy, and act accordingly. Many Enterprise Mobility Management implementations fail or undergo expensive course corrections simply because the implementation did not anticipate a change in supporting process, or due to poor experience and newer workflows leading to grievances.
Enterprise Mobility Management is a very intimate and close companion of employees, and they have a large say in the adoption of mobility. They can willfully or inadvertently block changes if they do not find it easy, or do not agree with or do not like the way mobility is being implemented. As we saw with the last post, culture is an important component of the changes mobility brings, and supporting functions have a great impact on cultural changes.
The key questions to ask are: What change in policies and best practices of supporting functions does this mobility implementation need? Have the HR and Legal team been briefed on how to handle exigencies, such as lost/stolen devices? How do the changes brought about by mobility impact the interaction of employees/end-users with HR, Admin, Payroll and other functions? In exchange for the productivity improvements that the company benefits from, does this implementation ask employees to make trade-offs in their day-to-day experience, and are they reasonable? If the employees have to pay any bills, how soon and how easily will that be cleared? How do the remote working policies, confidentiality agreements, usage of company property clauses etc. impact employee morale and company culture in the longer run?
Many Enterprise Mobility Management implementations fail not due to their failing to implement the core processes and functionality, but at the peripheral support processes, user experience and legal or financial issues. Bringing in the support functions to contribute to the initiative can help with aligning their processes, and understanding the larger organizational picture beyond just the IT or business process details.
In the next post, Seven Critical Organizational Factors to Manage for a Winning Enterprise Mobility Strategy – Part 5, we will look at the fifth critical organizational factor that touches upon a very subtle but critical aspect that has to do with flexibility of your strategy – where you need it and where you don’t.