Are You Ready for Next-Generation Enterprise Mobility?
By Bob Sanders
The real question is: can you afford not to be? Mobility continues to transform the way enterprises do business by delivering rich platform interactions between integrated networks, devices, and data—and all the users they touch—from the manufacturing floor to the CFO’s office; from the warehouse to the retail customer; and everywhere and everyone in between.
Forward-looking enterprises that take a holistic approach and invest in scalable technology will position themselves to leverage the power of mobility and lead the industries in which they operate. Next-generation enterprise mobility will empower employees, enable real-time visibility of operations and assets, and provide numerous new touchpoints to wow a new breed of better informed customers.
Achieving true enterprise mobility requires planning and robust security as well as the management and integration of several interconnected components, including:
- Advanced devices: Workers are connected and reachable through a range of devices—enterprise mobile computers, tablets, kiosks, or voice-enabled VoWLAN devices—appropriate to their tasks. The location of your workforce will be less important than providing them with the tools and connectivity to be productive anywhere.
- Enhanced information capture: Advanced scanning solutions, innovative 2D imaging, and RFID systems will identify, monitor, and track assets at any given point within the supply chain. Real-time visibility from the CFO to the receiving clerk into business critical assets will ensure inventories remain at the minimal optimal level and can be replenished automatically—eliminating out-of-stocks or over-ordering.
- Adaptive networking: Highly scalable and resilient, adaptive networks distribute network intelligence from the controller to access points. They will constantly monitor network traffic and automatically adjust to ensure reliable, secure, and prioritized connectivity.
- Integrated communications: Boundaries dissolve with an integrated infrastructure that supports broadband, WLAN, and WWAN as well as multiple disparate devices. Voice and data solutions become seamless and accommodate fixed mobile convergence whether in the office or on the road.
- Advanced applications services: Better data leads to better decisions. Video-based applications and analytics will define future enterprise operations as well as enable advanced workforce management and increased worker efficiency.
A word about the critical importance of network and device security: data breaches cost millions of dollars annually—not to mention even greater losses in customer loyalty and trust. With a vigilant eye toward local and regional statutes for privacy, advanced solutions must allow IT to monitor current and historical relationships and behaviors, making unusual access or activity easy to identify. Next-generation networks will need to detect intrusions, defend against threats, and protect data resources, providing gap-free security across the entire enterprise network platform.
Now let’s look specifically at the promise of mobility and how the right investments can benefit your enterprise employees, operations, and ultimately your customers in truly transformative ways.
Empowering Mobile Workers
Increasingly, there is no longer a “place” in workplace. By 2013, 36% of the working population will be mobile, representing about 1.2 billion people. What does this mean for your business? Your challenge will be arming these workers with devices that are appropriate for their role and keeping them connected, informed, and located where they can have the greatest impact on business operations.
The opportunities and benefits for enabling mobility are many. Connected workers improve their effectiveness, real-time data management, and accountability. They collaborate in new ways. Decisions can be made and acted on quickly to enhance productivity. Their priorities can automatically adjust to meet current business demands. Automatic systems trigger tasks and identify and alert the most appropriate worker to complete them.
In short, next-generation mobility will empower your workers to be more productive and accountable, transforming your business culture and overall financial strength.
Enabling Real-Time Asset Visibility
You know that real-time visibility of your operations leads to better decisions and greater profitability. It also determines delivery speed and customer satisfaction in an “I expect it now” culture. Next-generation enterprise mobility will provide this real-time picture, increasing visibility across the supply chain for the CFO, enterprise workers, and potentially even vendors.
Providing a framework to capture the right information, and the tools to use it in the right way, lie at the heart of true enterprise mobility. Next-generation solutions will help you increase productivity, improve efficiency, and respond quickly to issues and customer requests. And it will include more than visibility to merchandise, but all equipment, appliances, and devices across your entire operation. High-value assets will be uniquely coded, tagged, identified, and tracked at all key process points.
Knowing exactly what you have on hand and where it’s located will allow you to more efficiently get it to where it needs to go. And that will also apply to your most valuable assets—employees. Better tracking data and analytics will provide greater visibility to all aspects of your operations, as well as the ability to automatically trigger the appropriate response—replenish inventory, assign prioritized tasks—transforming your business into a smarter, more agile enterprise.
Engaging Smarter Customers
In an increasingly connected world, most people have access to more information at their fingertips than ever before. This allows them to research options and validate claims before they even engage with your organization, coming to the point of purchase armed with information. The ability to customize customer touchpoints and options to participate at every stage of engagement builds loyalty.
Smarter customers will connect with your business digitally. Loyalty will be gained—or lost—through personalized interactions and access to the information that matters most. This means you and your workers have to be smarter too, by implementing solutions that will build their loyalty and enhance their overall customer experience.
Ready or not, current trends will change the dynamics of your business. To turn those trends into tomorrow’s competitive advantage you need an integrated enterprise mobility plan that will boost employee productivity by utilizing resources in the right place at the right time; increase your sales by synchronizing product and asset data across the enterprise supply chain for greater visibility and better decisions; and improve your customers’ experience by enhancing interaction at all touchpoints to give them what they want when they want it.
Mobility and access define the next-generation enterprise. Providing a reliable and secure solution that incorporates next-generation technology will unquestionably determine your future success.
Bob Sanders is SVP, Enterprise Solutions and Wireless Network Solutions, Motorola Solutions.