Companies around the world have made major strides towards improving mobile efficiency at work, according to a global study of business and IT decision-makers by VMware.
For more than half (55%) of organisations, increased security is the critical driver to embrace a mobile model, with other critical priorities cited as improved mobile workforce effectiveness (38%), and improved end user experience (29%).
With technological advances having been made to improve efficiency of individuals at work, the research also highlights a chasm when it comes to improving wider business productivity, with only 22% of respondents in EMEA feeling they are part of an organisation that has moved at least one core business process to a mobile model. The findings also highlighted two primary concerns that stand out as obstacles to shifting to a mobility model that focuses more on business mobility and less on individual productivity: Budget and security were cited as the top barriers to investing in business mobility (equal at 49% of respondents).
While the survey reveals a chasm that must be overcome when it comes to embracing business mobility, it also details the top operational benefits seen by those who have successfully deployed: improving mobile workforce productivity (45%), streamlining business processes (34%) and reducing cost of support (29%).
It’s not only operational costs that are significantly improved when successful business mobility strategies are implemented. The appetite to embrace a mobile-led strategy results in significant returns on investment to the business; EMEA organisations reported a return of more than one and half times their investment, with the most notable gains involving increasing end-user effectiveness (34% saw this as where they saw the majority of their returns), and reduced time to provision end users (29%). In addition, IT and operational staff save 27% of their time when business mobility software has been deployed.
“Every organisation has mobile users today – but there are many others who would be more productive if their work could move with them. Likewise, businesses could be more competitive if their applications were mobile and secure and more so if linked directly to revenue generating activities. Investments in business mobility can and will drive a significant return, but should be targeted to maximise impact and result,” said Alex White, vice-president: end user computing EMEA at VMware.
“It is absolutely right that IT departments ask how to address mobile security, as well as how existing infrastructure and assets can be used to maximise ROI – but these are addressable and the reality is that the benefits of mobility are having significant impacts on business operations.  A mobile-first strategy simply makes business sense. This study shows that when it comes to business mobility, it is a case of taking risks is the lowest risk.”
With the demands placed on IT growing more and more complex all the time, it is important that the advocacy for business mobility comes from across the organisation. The study demonstrates that senior business executives remain one of the top advocates for pursuing a business mobility strategy, with 38% of respondents reporting that they see the senior leadership team as advocates for pursuing a successful business mobility strategy. Despite this, closer integration between IT and senior management is required, with almost a third (29%), measuring their organisations business mobility effectiveness on the number of user complaints about IT.
White adds: “In order to stay relevant today, businesses must adapt in keeping with the evolving environment they operate in, an environments that is increasingly disrupted by competitors from other industries. Instigating change to adapt is no longer just part of a business plan; it’s an essential survival tool.”