Have you ever come across a situation where you are suppose to travel next day and your travel plan is pending for approval from someone at manager level or someone from finance department or travel desk? You give a call to the concerned person and the reply is that they are not in a position to approve, due to some reason.
Another time, you are on a flight or train and suddenly remember that you have not applied for leave on your enterprise leave application.
Or another, you are outside your office premises for some work and immediately need to contact your fellow colleague to get a urgent mail sent to a manager or the client. And, when you look at your mobile contact list, the colleague’s number is missing!
There are more examples and diverse circumstances, but if you have come across any such situation(s), my guess is, you would have. In all probability it would have left you frustrated and annoyed and you would have either blamed your helplessness or some individual. In either of the cases you will realize that it was not any individual’s fault but the dependency on your office systems and enterprise applications, which has caused this predicament.
But have you ever thought that if your organization had moved beyond those systems and applications and recognized the potential of one thing which was common in all these situations, a device which you or your colleagues carry in the pocket or hand bag i.e. a SMARTPHONE, things would have been different?
You will say 'so what, if I have the smart phone, I couldn't have done anything better as all those tasks can be done only from those enterprise applications on the office PC'. I will agree if your organization lives in those old days where it considers a mobile phone only for employee’s personal use as for games, camera and calls. It’s time for the organization to take a leap forward and move beyond the usual.
Now let’s go back to our cases mentioned above, and see how enterprise mobility would have facilitated each situation. Travel plan would have got approved if approval facility was available on mobile of that concerned person. If leave application was available on your cell phone, you would have easily keyed in your leave days and applied for it, sitting on your flight seat. A contact directory or an address book on your mobile would have listed all the people in your organization.
Considering the exploding penetration of smart phones in consumer hands, it is imperative that today's enterprise start utilizing its scope. In today's action packed world, doing things on-the-go makes more sense than laboriously working on that office desktop/PC. An enterprise can be far more productive, if it puts more power in the hands of its employees, quite literally here.
In order to achieve this, an organization needs to carefully plan and take a gradual approach in making enterprise mobility possible. Here are a few methods through which it can make it happen are - First one is to spread and encourage the reach and use of smart phones in the organization (some companies are already doing it by providing Blackberry and iPhone to its senior staff). Second is to enable enterprise applications on mobile phones. Third is to leverage its usage, as we know it has already become part of young employee baggage. All that the companies have to do is to influence and promote to a wider audience. The last and difficult one is to learn, to constantly evolve and make improvements, as technology never stops advancing, and it is for organization to keep pace with it.
Let me concise the above points and simply mention it as SELL - Spread, Enable, Leverage, Learn. A straightforward strategy for an organization which want to improve productivity, reduce reliance and empower people is SELL the CELLPHONE. This will not only help in dramatically lowering decision making time and reducing costs, but also make organization mobile.
Be it for checking cricket score or keeping tab on stock prices or ‘like’ a link on Facebook, mobile is the preferred option for all of them. So why not use the mobile for those simple things which when happening smoothly, none will appreciate but when it doesn't, it leads to frustration and criticism all around.
Evolution of the cell phone and its features has shown a remarkable progress.
It all started with the landline phones which we can hardly see anywhere now. Then when SMS came into picture, sending greeting cards and postcards was like using typewriter. Cameras went into storerooms as every mobile had one in it. The ‘Snake’ and ‘Angry Birds’ have made Mario go into oblivion. All this is happening so rapidly that it is hard to predict anything!
Hence can we foresee a situation, when grandchildren will know about computer systems in their history book? Whether this will be true or not, only time will tell, but implementing enterprise mobility is definitely a step in the right direction.