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Mobilizing the Business and Business of Mobile

Challenges for Mobilizing Enterprises

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Enterprises thinking of mobilizing some of their staff face many challenges. In the current economic climate, justifying the investment can be a tough sell. In addition to the proliferation of new devices and training issues for users, there are some key issues that need to be addressed.

Mobile use cases: In case of some solutions like Field Sales and Service Management, Logistics, Delivery Management, the use cases are very well defined and hence easy to implement. as such, these are the first ones to get mobilized and several companies have been doing that for years. However, there are several others where the mobile use cases have to be really thought through and vetted.

Integration with existing systems: Either mobilizing existing data or capturing data at customer location, enterprises have to integrate and extend the existing systems to support mobility. This typically involves custom development. A number of vendors have developed connectors to popular systems like SAP, Oracle, etc., however, there is some degree of customization required to support the enterprise specific use cases. 

Security: Another big issue with mobility is the security headache of so many disparate devices trying to access the enterprise data. A lot of effort are ongoing into addressing this with integrated device management solutions. Sybase did announcethe first integrated firewall and anti-virus management solution mobile devices under its Afaria brand of device management solution.

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO): The aforementioned integration and security solutions come at a price which increase the TCO for an enterprise mobility solution. In addition, most of the mobility middleware solutions themselves require a lot of consulting expertise to implement successfully without customization.

Time to market: Considering all the integration, customization and security resolution, the time to market will be extended. Certainly the prebuilt connectors help speeding the development up, but still the average time to market to get these solutions out are upwards of six months.

With all these challenges, enterprises certainly need to plan their mobility strategy carefully and select the right vendors for their needs.

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Written by dvdand

July 18, 2008 at 10:43 am

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