When Times Get Tough, The Tough Get Outsourcing

By Andrew Borg — March 02, 2009

Despite the current economic downturn, enterprises are not curtailing their support of mobile devices.  The use-case for increased worker productivity, improved customer intimacy, and a more responsive and flexible organization that adapts in real-time is widely accepted now. And yet the fiscal constraints are real, so what to do?  The answer: do more with less, work smarter.

The November 2008 Aberdeen benchmark report You Can Take It With You: Enterprise Mobile Messaging & Collaboration identified the mobility benefits that accrue to the top 20% of enterprise performers:

  • 40% increase in employee productivity
  • 35% improvement in customer satisfaction
  • 25% increase in employee retention
The December 2008 Aberdeen study Mobility Management: Does Outsourcing Make Sense? found that as the handheld mobile device has evolved from pager to cell phone to smartphone to mobile computing asset, enterprise mobility has become increasingly vital to conducting all manner of business transactions.

The growth in mobile adoption, combined with mounting device complexity, demands greater I.T. management and support. The report quantifies the top 20% of enterprise performers (the "Best-in-Class") as those that provide significantly more responsive mobility support, greater device compliance to I.T. standards, and lower cost per mobile employee.

As employees become accustomed to mobility as a core experience throughout their lives, they are bringing these devices into the workplace. Regardless of enterprise attempts to enforce I.T. policies, these "personal-liable" devices encroach from the edges. This leaves businesses with the decision of whether to treat the devices as productivity tools, or as rogues to be prohibited from accessing enterprise resources. This adds pressure on I.T. departments that are often already overwhelmed.

I.T. faces a difficult decision: limit the devices used for business and potentially stifle productivity at a time when they are seeking to optimize efficiency; or allow the devices to "come to work" and risk compatibility, security and GRC gaps.  Corporate I.T. departments must remember the critical nature of their role in identifying and supporting the technologies that strengthen core business capability.

Best-in-Class I.T. departments are establishing minimum standards for I.T. compliance, developing a limited list of supported devices, and implementing centralized device management and deployment tools, all of which go a long way towards mitigating chaos.

The Best-in-Class drive down cost and expand their mobility initiatives by outsourcing device management and support capabilities to a far greater extent than all other companies. Best-in-Class enterprises:

  • Are three-and-a-half times more likely than others to outsource their mobile help desk to a managed mobile services vendor;

  • Are two-and-a-half times more likely than others to outsource mobile device procurement;

  • Saw a 35% decrease in support cost per mobile employee over the prior two years.

Outsourcing allows organizations to focus internal resources on core competencies while providing cost-effective mobile support to a broad range of employees.

Andrew Borg is Senior Research Analyst, Wireless & Mobility, Aberdeen Group. For a free copy of the 2009 Mobility Benchmark report, email andrew.borg@aberdeen.com


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