Enterprise Mobility – The promised land…Part 2

  May 31, 2013 1:15:12 AM

Just like the explorers out on sea in search of new land, betting a business on a new trend in technology is nothing short of being intrepid. Patience, fortitude, courage and belief… Constantly looking at the compass and course correcting may be the order of the day.

For Sasken, having started out early in this field gives the benefit to look back when most others are only looking forward – Let me explain.

Assuming that past is a good indication of the future when it comes to business – Enterprise Mobility in Sasken has built a useful rear view mirror and now looking forward out through the windshield takes on a whole new meaning.

Almost like primary research, our investment has yielded hard insights about Enterprise behavior, buying patterns, their fears and their caution when it comes to bringing in new technology trends in their main stream.

Fundamentally, their is one *big* question out there in the Enterprises, and there isn’t a clear answer just yet – Everyone accepts mobility and the value it brings; It is given. The big deal being made out about that question, however, is “err… how I am going to do it?”

Choosing from multiple technology and platforms, a choice of approaches to application development, an option of getting it done in-house versus sourcing a vendor – all are colluding to create a heady mix of intellectual cocktail.

Bad News – That question isn’t going away in a hurry - Enterprises are still learning and there are many teachers.

Good News – The question is real - Enterprises *will* learn and answers *will* become clear and hence the opportunity!

Look around and see who in the space are leading this charge and you will find that a new pack is forming on top of the old… I like the way Forrester recently put it: (paraphrased below)

Every company intending to make a business in Enterprise Mobility may need to choose it’s positioning out of a possible list of four.. You are either a Design House which has taken upon itself to define and redefine the next big User Experience and Interface, or a Technology Boutique which has taken up on itself to master a new mobile middleware / cross platform / application development and be best in class, or you are a Global Multinational / Global Out-Sourcer which can chew anything and everything thrown it’s way and hit it with scale, or you are a Telco / or an OEM trying to get back in to the “game”..

Make no mistake – each of the positioning is a marketing statement. It however does not preclude the possibility of secondary and tertiary characteristics of other possible positioning – all being present in one.

So my friends – who are we ? Where do you see Sasken positioning itself – now that it has built a rear view mirror and is looking out of the wind shield…

 

Enterprise Mobility – Land Ahoy! Or a Mirage ?

In the previous post I opened the topic about some key questions plaguing the Enterprises when it came to mobility and also the importance of positioning for vendors in the space.. In this post I dwell on some characteristics that I came across in an article by Chris Marsh – Principal Analyst, Enterprise Mobility at the Yankee Group and indeed resonating with what we have seen as first hand experiences.

Most enterprises are actually just experimenting. What that means is that we are going to see several small sized opportunities. These could be proof of concepts, point solutions for specific set of workers or for specific role based employees. Good thing though about this is that users in the Enterprises seem to be influencing their own CIOs and IT Departments.

Then, there is a set of Enterprises who have chosen to think forward and brought in policy level changes to bring about mobility. It is safe to assume that in such a case, a deeper thinking of deployment architectures and technology choices would become imperative.

Finally, there are those Enterprises who are true believers of the Mobile First paradigm, who have taken it upon themselves to re-envision business process altogether. This, while takes courage – is inevitable for those Enterprises, whose business is primarily consumer driven! I don’t think there is a choice, since the consumers have access to the latest and the smartest – and they “expect” the enterprise to match their skills, smarts and desires! Infact Retail is once such segment where consumers and shoppers are driving and forcing change more than Enterprises themselves. Adapting and bringing about mobility in such Enterprises, demands serious architecture considerations, organizational and process change.

It takes a lot of time for Enterprises to move from the basic experimentation start point to an evolved and a mature stage when mobility truly influences many aspects.

Therefore, it is not without reason that we are seeing Enterprises “talking a lot”, yet, “committing the least”. But, the market *will* catchup – It is only a question of when. Every Organization would like to time it right – i.e. be ready when the market is ready. And this can be painful at times.

Speaking about Technology – there is a whole new class of mobile middleware infrastructure to support application development, deployment across device diversity &  against diverse enterprise backends, and security. To be fair – Yes, these new technologies hold a lot of promise – but they are yet quite young in terms of the maturity. It will take a few years for this technology to mature.

People who have studied and evaluated these new mobile middleware technology infrastructure may agree that if their life span is about 10 – 15 years, then they are just about 3 years old. Young isn’t it ?

That may also explain the slower rate of adoption and real business compared to the hype around enterprise mobility!

In a next post I will talk about what might be the relevant offerings to build keeping in view the three different types of enterprise characteristics…

Authored by: SR Raja

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