Companies are racing to meet the demands of mobile strategy. But slow project tracks and clunky workflows are making progress too slow for IT’s taste.
Investments in the mobile channel are increasing for all types and sizes of companies, as Antenna’s Mobile Business Forecast 2012 reported. Businesses in the US and UK are making average current investments of $422K rising to $926K in the next year and a half, and a third of companies are planning to launch four or more mobile projects in the next 12-18 months. But these companies are working with three separate mobile solutions vendors simultaneously, on average, due to general inability of suppliers to address multiple mobile value chain aspects. Eugene Signorini, Senior Vice President of Research for Yankee Group explains: "The question today is how companies seize the opportunities afforded to them by mobility while still maintaining control and visibility. Today an organization must consider the entire mobile experience and approach enterprise mobility in a holistic, unified fashion to satisfy both employees and customers and drive new revenues and growth."
Companies must balance mobile strategy with effective project management
The report shows that companies spend resources on too many projects at a time – mobile solutions suppliers are mostly small specialist providers, and brands must commission multiple projects in order to multiple strategy sections piecemeal. By undertaking concurrent development they are likely to see mobile strategies become fragmented, redundant tech being implemented, and the projects end up being difficult to manage. Project managers are essential to this process to balance the drives of department heads and IT – speed and effectiveness with due diligence and data protection. "Mobile technology has changed the way that people interact, and the implications for business are equally profound" Eugene Signorini says.
Businesses must contend with sluggish strategy implementation
All this project managing and employee balancing takes time. Mobile trends and the limitations of some businesses have contributed to CIO or CTO frustration. According to the forecast, “45 percent of IT and business decision makers in the UK and U.S. are dissatisfied with the speed at which the mobile projects they commission get to market.” Slightly fewer are dissatisfied with the cost of deployed solutions. On average, companies take over six months to complete projects, with 10 percent taking a year or more to finish them. These problems point to a large area for growth in fast, high-quality mobile products, and the lack of transparent pricing by solutions vendors. Businesses also must spend more time preparing for mobilization before making solutions purchases.