Seven Critical Organizational Factors to Manage for a Winning Enterprise Mobility Strategy – Part 5

 In Accelerite Blog

This is the fifth 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 4

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 support functions play a critical role in the success of Enterprise Mobility Management implementation in an organization, and how they need to buy in and contribute to the initiative. Mobility touches multiple functions of an organization, and the importance of support processes in the final experience and adoption cannot be overstated. Casting a wider net beyond IT to include HR, legal, admin, finance and other corporate functions can significantly improve chances of success.

But how much is really too much? How can one know what to include and what to rein in and exclude? In this part, we look at this subtle, yet critical organizational factor that deals with identifying areas where one should expand and areas where one should tread carefully.

Critical Organizational Factor for Enterprise Mobility Management #5: Problem Domain

Support functions and many different parts of the organization grapple with a lot of day-to-day issues. Mobile devices with their newfound capability to be located and tracked in real time, to take photos, to connect and share wirelessly, communicate and run any app under the sun, seem like a hugely promising advancement in human evolution that can solve any problem.

While Enterprise Mobility Management is a powerful medium beyond anything that we have seen before, like any technological advancement, it does have its limitations. For example, while mobility can help track and optimize call routes of sales and service folks on the field, this problem statement cannot be generalized to “locating and tracking employees”. While mobile devices are personal and intimate communication devices for everyone to stay connected every second and minute of day, they cannot themselves improve collaboration between teams and employees just by slapping on a social platform on them.

Even the greatest of technologies cannot affect changes to human behavior, their expectation from others (e.g. colleagues and employers), cultural biases and limitations, deep-seated beliefs and behaviors. Mobile apps are a great way to further empower employees to be more efficient, productive and engaged. They cannot however, by themselves bring very meaningful changes to the fundamental way of doing things, the operating DNA, culture and fabric of the organization and its employees.

I was once asked by an IT architect if a Enterprise Mobility Management tool’s geo-fencing capability can alert HR if an employee is not in his stated country for months and earning a salary commensurate with that country’s living standards – effectively paying himself over four times the normal wages! There are some HR problems that are best solved by HR processes. Mobility can only help give those processes legs and a way to manifest in a new medium. Using mobility management as a way to define functional processes can put the proverbial cart in front of the horse. It can lead to short-term thinking, knee-jerk reactions, blunt and ineffective attacks on a problem, and even legal issues in some cases. For example, in the above case, it was for the employee’s manager equipped with data from travel system to ensure such aberrations are spotted. Mobility can be a vehicle to carry the solution, but cannot itself become the basis for the solution. The difference is subtle, but important.

The key questions to ask are: Is this requirement in line with our stated objectives (Critical Organizational Factor for Enterprise Mobility Management #1)? Is it reasonable for mobility to solve this problem, or are we overreaching? Is this really a technological problem or functional/domain problem? Are we trying to use mobility as a shortcut to business processes or as enabler of processes? Is this the best use of mobility, or are there problems that have a better chance of success? Are we adequately separating the problem into functional and technological domains or are we confusing between the two?

As more people get involved into the Enterprise Mobility Management implementation, there are bound to be diverging priorities, lack of understanding, personal biases and other issues that threaten to derail the implementation from its objectives. Separating the problems into organizational, functional, behavioral, cultural and technological domains is the best way to ensure that the implementation doesn’t end up solving a different set of issues from what it really should.

In the next post, Seven Critical Organizational Factors to Manage for a Winning Enterprise Mobility Strategy – Part 6, we will look at the sixth critical organizational factor about the technological complexity of the Enterprise Mobility Management implementation and how to prepare for it.

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