Mobility is challenging businesses to rethink and transform core technologies, skill sets, and business processes to effectively adopt a mobile-first approach. Stay tuned to know what’s in store for you…
By Amit Singh
Enterprise mobility has been the prime focus of IT investments in 2016 and will remain so well into 2017. According to IDC, the Indian enterprise mobility market is expected to grow from $12.7 billion in 2016 to $15.2 billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 5 percent. As enterprises continue to push their digital transformation agenda and focus on mobilizing business processes, IDC expects the India market to grow much faster in 2017 to reach $13.7 billion, an increase of 7.8 percent over 2016.
In the middle of hyperdisruption
According to many, we are in the middle of a ‘hyperdisruption’ — a once every 20- to 25-year shift to a new technology platform for growth and innovation that will drive the need for organizations to buy IT services. As per market estimates, in 2017, 3rd Platform technologies (cloud, mobility, Big Data and analytics, and social technologies) will drive one-third of all IT spending and account for virtually 100 percent of all IT spending growth. By 2020, almost 50 percent of all IT spending and 100 percent IT growth will come from 3rd Platform technologies.
“With Indian organizations paying close attention to the future of business processes in the mobile-cloud era, we believe that India is on the cusp of the next major technology wave,” says Nikhil Bagalkotkar, Chief Technologist, Citrix. “Considering how enterprise mobility has climbed the ranks of becoming a business priority, businesses need to analyse their preparedness to support their employees’ productivity enhancement endeavour.”
In a recent research, IBM Institute for Business Value found that 62 percent of IT leaders with a well-defined mobile strategy achieve RoI in 12 months or less. In fact, organizations that have achieved their business mobility goals were able to bring new revenue streams online 35 percent faster than companies that only focused on individual productivity needs.
In fact, mobility will play a major role in the ongoing IT spending and growth. “Over 60 percent of the enterprises consider mobility as a strategic move, while 33 percent believe that mobility drives competitive differentiation, innovation and business transformation,” discloses Rishu Sharma, Associate Research Manager, IDC. Further tempting them to go mobile is the 240 hours per employee per year they can gain through mobile productivity.
“Enterprise mobility has become a necessity for enterprises having large mobile workforce. In order to drive customer loyalty, designing experiences for tablet/mobile apps is a key priority for businesses. It not only offers increased productivity, profitability, and competitive advantages, but also opens door for innovation, enhanced customer experience, and the ability to build new monetization opportunities,” highlights Mohit Puri, Director, Sales Engineering, Sophos Technologies, India/Saarc.
Verticals like retail, banking, hospitality and healthcare are leveraging mobility in creative ways, with other verticals such as automotive, industrial, education, and logistics beginning to adopt at a brisk pace.
Rise of enterprise apps
Moving into 2017, there is a new sense of urgency. Enterprises are no longer just in competition with other large enterprises, but increasingly with mobile-first companies that are disrupting industries and capturing market share. New competition is coming from everywhere at a frenetic pace.
While a recent Gartner study found enterprise spending on mobile app development has remained low, accounting for just 10 percent of overall application development budgets. However, with competition coming from all angles, both budgets and focus are changing. The same study revealed that 42 percent of organizations expect to increase spending on mobile app development.
“In India the mobile app industry is seeing rapid and unprecedented expansion. While consumer apps are following global trends and are growing with the smartphone and tablet markets, the trends in the enterprise applications space are unique. While India missed the initial phase of development, we see Indian enterprises now catching up fast with the ‘mobile-first’ approach,” shares Anuj Mathur, CEO, Q3 Technologies.
However, legacy systems continue to be a major challenge to organizations across the enterprise space. “The best solution is creating an API layer that sits on top of the legacy systems, which allows centralization. This layer speaks to the legacy systems so that the systems and data are available to various facets of the business,” suggests Jayesh Shah, Director, Orient Technologies.
The Mumbai-based organization has found success with its Quikformz, a Java-based platform for quickly developing and deploying customized mobility solution for an enterprise across multiple mobile platforms and OS. It has deployed the platform for over 25 customers including Glenmark Pharma, Essel Utilities, IndiaCast UTV and Monsanto India.
Further, enterprises are witnessing the rise of companion apps: these are apps that intend to make a certain function or task easy instead of cloning all the features of a particular desktop app. “Companion apps are rising in importance as users don’t deem mobile as their only option. Businesses require few important features like attendance, inventory, accounting and financing, supply chain, payroll etc on the mobile apps,” explains Minesh Doshi, Director, Silver Touch Technologies.
The Ahmedabad-based company has developed and deployed HRMS companion apps for organizations like Tirth Agro and Gujarat Enterprise. It has also provided customized mobile application with SAP Business ONE for companies like MTS Engineers, Divine Tree, Hi-Bond Bearings, Nishant Constructions and Astron Packaging. Further, Silver Touch has bagged few large and complex mobile app development projects from Gujarat government and Indian Navy.
BYOD push for EMM
The tremendous productivity and efficiency benefits, coupled with the rising popularity of mobile apps have graduated BYOD to much more than a trend. BYOD is fast becoming the established norm in many enterprises.
It however brings new challenges in its wake as employee devices rarely feature the required enterprise-grade security. As more organizations deploy and manage mobile devices into their IT infrastructures, vendors are deepening their investments into enterprise mobility management (EMM) suites, products and solutions. These EMM suites configure devices and applications for enterprise deployment, so that organizations can mitigate data loss or theft, as well as track device inventories and troubleshoot mobile device issues through remote actions.
EMM involves combination of Mobile Application Management (MAM), Mobile Information Management (MIM) and Mobile Device Management (MDM). MAM controls the applications that are needed; MIM allocates only approved applications to access and transmit the corporate data, while MDM enables restrictive policies on the device.
“CYOD (choose your own device) is emerging as a preferred choice where businesses can pre-select a mobile ecosystem. The apps are pre-installed and employees can choose from a controlled group of devices. EMM and CYOD have become quite useful in reducing complications of device management,” explains Manasi Saha, Director, Macaws Infotech.
The Kolkata-based solutions provider has recently implemented EMM solutions for companies like Exide and Vedanta.
Further, EMM systems are moving away from just mobile device management, and putting a focus on endpoint management. Systems can now manage a wide range of devices from laptops, IOT devices, smartphones, and tablets. Moreover, EMM solutions are more tightly coupled with broader solutions. Examples include AirWatch already a part of VMware’s Workspace ONE, Microsoft Intune integral to the Office 365, and MaaS 360 a part of IBM’s MobilityFirst solution.
Services and beyond
As today’s organizations begin to look at mobility as a key strategic initiative rather than a ‘nice to have,’ services are playing a critical role in enabling businesses to create new and better experiences for end customers, partners, and employees.
Solution providers like Magnamious Systems are playing an important role in building the mobile strategy for the businesses. Besides offering EMM solutions from Citrix, Magnamious has large services practice for enterprise mobility. “Mobility management services is a lucrative business with long-term predictability of revenues; 15-18 percent of the project cost for mobility and EMM solutions. We have a team of 20 people certified on Citrix mobility solutions and offer solution designing, implementation and maintenance services around EMM, WAN acceleration and cloud solutions on Microsoft Azure,” explains Jiten Mehta, Director, Magnamious.
The Mumbai-based company has recently bagged a contract to manage 27,000 devices including smartphones, tablets and notebooks for a large BFSI customer. “This is a prestigious contract where we are managing large set of devices through Citrix XenMobile and NetScaler for Rs 1 lakh per month. We have three more similar contracts where we are managing 1200-1500 devices,” adds Mehta.
Moreover, few of the solution providers are thinking beyond management contracts to offer pay-as-you-use services. Noida-based Technoware Systems, which has implemented 2000 licenses of MDM solution for a large metallurgical unit, has plans to offer such solutions over the cloud. “License cost of the MDM solutions are not much, however, enterprises find it challenging to manage the devices due to issues like compatibility and certificates. Mobility management services over cloud under pay-as-you-use model will be in huge demand for enterprise mobility,” elaborates Shantnoo Sharma, Director, Technoware.
Whatever may be the service model, mobility initiatives will continue to be a top priority for executives as they work to develop a strategy that supports enterprise-wide adoption. Many enterprises in verticals like retail, banking, and healthcare have developed comprehensive mobile strategies that have become key sources of competitive differentiation.
However, companies that have not yet developed a mobile enterprise strategy run the risk of missing opportunities to create sustainable competitive advantage, drive business innovation, develop new and creative revenue streams, and deliver a high-quality experience to their customers.