The Enterprise Untethered: Part Two

By  Alejandro Danylyszyn and Harley Young — August 13, 2008

In the second installment of this two-part series, Deloitte analysts Alejandro Danylyszyn and Harley Young details the five critical factors for successfully mobilizing your workforce. 
Part One proposes four steps enterprises can take to manage the chaos of wireless device proliferation and make mobility a part of their I.T. strategy.
Part Two Making It Work: Critical Success Factors
Mobilization is not a unique challenge and shares many risks with other IT projects that impact many areas of the enterprise. While expansive projects are often fraught with peril, five activities characterize successful mobilization initiatives.

1. Start Now with Organizational Change
Begin with organizational change. It is difficult and time-consuming, but is the greatest contributor to the overall success of the project. As technology standards change, some users may lose access to technology they enjoy today. Other users will need training to understand and benefit from the new tools. To avoid being derailed by either of these issues:
  • Identify the likely oppositionÃÆ'Æ'ÕÂ.ÃÆ'Â.Ã.Ã.•¬Ã…¡Ãƒ•Ã‚¬ÃƒÆ'Â.Ã.Ã.‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒ•Ã‚theyÃÆ'Æ'ÕÂ.ÃÆ'Â.Ã.Ã.•¬Ã…¡Ãƒ•Ã‚¬ÃƒÆ'Â.Ã.Ã.•¬Ã…¾Ãƒ•Ã‚.re apt to be early adopters of technologyÃÆ'Æ'ÕÂ.ÃÆ'Â.Ã.Ã.•¬Ã…¡Ãƒ•Ã‚¬ÃƒÆ'Â.Ã.Ã.‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒ•Ã‚and earn their support by explaining the business reasons for the change. Then, use their penchant for technology to bring them into the fold. Give them new devices, seek feedback, and get them to help create the future. Allowing them to feel they had a hand in the solution should help reduce objections.
  • Begin work on Quick Reference guides, create outlines for training courses, and work to identify which users might benefit from extra attention. Executive assistants are often overlooked here, but are excellent candidates because of the crucial role they play in supporting others.
2. Generate Support and Visibility
Enable support and visibility among business and IT users by pursuing shared wins and through cogent and candid communication. You donÃÆ'Æ'ÕÂ.ÃÆ'Â.Ã.Ã.•¬Ã…¡Ãƒ•Ã‚¬ÃƒÆ'Â.Ã.Ã.•¬Ã…¾Ãƒ•Ã‚.t need to barrage users with e-mail to make your point, but periodic notes will be welcome and should help users understand the ÃÆ'Æ'ÕÂ.ÃÆ'Â.Ã.Ã.•¬Ã…¡Ãƒ•Ã‚¬ÃƒÆ'Ã.‚¬¦Ãƒ.Ã.•¬Ã…"why.ÃÆ'Æ'ÕÂ.ÃÆ'Â.Ã.Ã.•¬Ã…¡Ãƒ•Ã‚¬ÃƒÆ'Ã.‚¬Å¡Ãƒ•Ã‚ For those more interested in the day-to-day progress, consider keeping an internal blog. While this does reduce communication flowing to users, it makes new developments available to those who are excited about the changes and want to stay in touch.

3. Derive Value from Existing Tools
Third-party vendors provide tools that help simplify the transformation of existing web-based applications for consumption by mobile devices; concurrently, service-oriented development environments allow the creation of layered applications that share core services but offer distinct presentations based on the rendering device (e.g., mobile vs. desktop.) Using these tools can help speed mobilization and deployment of complex applications.

4. Evolve Enterprise Standards
Enterprise standards related to software development and system selection should be updated. Even if applications are never adapted to support mobility, modifying development techniques to simplify the process is a low-impact change and can help move companies into greater compliance with industry standardsÃÆ'Æ'ÕÂ.ÃÆ'Â.Ã.Ã.•¬Ã…¡Ãƒ•Ã‚¬ÃƒÆ'Â.Ã.Ã.‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒ•Ã‚helping to remedy some of the lock-in noted earlier. Similarly, when evaluating new products for the enterprise, adherence to standards should rank high on the scoring matrix.

5. Be Relentless About Pilot Success
Engage staff who are both forthright about current shortcomings and avid users of mobile technology. Working with this group will be challenging, but patience and tenacity should be rewarded by a pilot that can convert strident users into vocal supporters. Because of the power of this user base, itÃÆ'Æ'ÕÂ.ÃÆ'Â.Ã.Ã.•¬Ã…¡Ãƒ•Ã‚¬ÃƒÆ'Â.Ã.Ã.•¬Ã…¾Ãƒ•Ã‚.s essential to go beyond the call of duty to make the pilot implementation effective, to implement negotiated features, and to resolve problems before mass deployment.

Final Thoughts
Consumer adoption of mobile technology also compels many organizations to introduce similar devices into the enterprise. Unfortunately, without a coherent mobile strategy, introducing the technology usually just expands the existing technology landscape and adds little to enterprise applications.

To avoid the risk of proliferation and help push real-time information closer to the point of customer contact, we believe companies must move to include mobility as part of their IT strategy. By investing resources to selectively add mobility to enterprise applications, companies will provide tangible value to mobile professionals, enable greater agility in many business processes, and provide greater flexibility to their employees. Arming staff with on-demand access to enterprise applications and data can help convert even the staunchest critics of earlier enterprise application deployments into raving fans.

The key to freeing users and unlocking value from your enterprise applications lies in the palm of your hand.

Alejandro Danylyszyn is a Principal in Deloitte Consulting LLP focusing on Technology Integration, and a subject matter specialist in enterprise/service-oriented architectures, and mobile/Web-based solutions. Harley Young, a former manager in the Technology Integration service area of Deloitte Consulting LLP, has become a true mobile professional, working virtually while pursuing his passion for world travel.

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