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End-to-end insight into the enterprise mobility lifecycle

​More and more consumers have embraced mobility – not just by buying smartphones and tablets but by using mobile applications across different aspects of their lives. We book restaurant reservations, order groceries and clothing, submit insurance claims, book event tickets, access our healthcare records and so much more all with our mobile devices.

These mobile adapters are expecting mobility. Anything less will simply not cut it. We all know that if a company cannot meet demand then it risks losing customers to competition… but we can't forget about the mobility needs and demands of its internal employees as well. These expectations are in fact an opportunity for enterprises to seize.

You've likely read a lot about mobility in terms of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) or wireless infrastructure, but it's so much more than that. While your organization may already have an end-goal in mind – for example, improve wireless infrastructure or provide better mobility tools for internal users or end-users – in order to plan an optimal mobility journey, you must first explore the mobility lifecycle. 

enterprise mobility lifecycle

Mobile Business Process Consulting
Any mobility journey starts with understanding the existing policies in the enterprise, the business objective of a mobility journey and the priorities for that year. From there, you can create strategies and standardizations that directly relate to those objectives. 

Any mobility journey starts with understanding the existing policies in the enterprise, the business objective of a mobility journey and the priorities for that year. From there, you can create strategies and standardizations that directly relate to those objectives.

This may seem like a simple step, but it is often overlooked. It can be difficult for organizations to pull putting the right people together – especially if it's from scratch – but having a cross-functional mobility team is really important. Their responsibilities should include advising on, defining and governing topics like:

  • Policies
  • Standards
  • Compliance
  • Training
  • Requirements
  • And technology
Mobile Application Development

Earlier, I spoke briefly about the 'consumerization' of mobile applications and quality and availability expectations set by consumers. Large-scale applications – like Facebook or LinkedIn – release new features through regular updates; it's how the product improves, delivers more to the user and keeps it from becoming stale or outdated.

Enterprises need to release material and updates at the pace that their respective users demand. In order to keep up with (or actually, be ahead of) the Jones', vendors now use application development tools and platforms on the cloud that allow for the adoption of rapid deployment processes such as

  • DevOps
  • Agile
  • Continuous development
  • Continuous testing
  • Continuous deployment
  • Continuous release
  • And continuous improvement​

To enable faster development in mobile applications, there's a growing dependence on pre-built services, such as Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS). This along with API management will be key requirements for enterprises to grow their mobility maturity.  

Mobile Quality
If you want to bake a cake, it's not going to matter how fast you make it if it tastes terrible. The same can be said for an application. Building it quickly is necessary, but the enterprise mobility quality (EQM) is just as, if not more, important. How can you be sure your application is good? Through testing and user validation.

Before release, testing and quality verification can be a timely process. Leveraging automation can help you do more in less time while still achieving the end result. After release, it's possible to continue using automation for a nimble response to any user complaints or suggestions for improvement. ​

For the enterprise, this stage is all about the central need to manage applications and devices, either as employees use personal devices for work purposes (bring-your-own-device or BYOD), employee select preferred devices which are managed by the enterprise (choose-your-own-device or CYOD) or employees are provided with devices by the enterprise (corporate-owned-personally-enabled or COPE).

When an enterprise adopts one - or sometimes a hybrid - of the above methods, leveraging an enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution can help manage multiple devices, applications, content and security across the enterprise.

Transitioning to mobile doesn't all need to be from scratch. Virtual desktop interface (VDI), for example, can provide mobile access to legacy applications. However, some aspects, such as wireless infrastructure, will need to be addressed if the current setup cannot handle employee mobility activity. 

Application Performance Management
After you test and release an application, it's imperative that it function as expected. Mobile applications depend on multiple infrastructure and backend services, which much be monitored and leveraged to obtain key data according to service level agreements (SLAs). This is especially important if the application is being used to drive business or support critical lines of business, such as a banking application.   

Managed Services
It can be extremely difficult for an enterprise to understand the scope of mobile initiatives as well as prioritize or allocate budgets. But, the need for mobility is not going away.

One of the ways that an enterprise can get started in mobility quickly is by leveraging managed services for areas throughout the lifecycle that cannot be handled internally for whatever reason; the most common areas that are covered with managed services are during application deployment and managing. Look for a trusted IT solutions partner with experience in creating, developing and managing applications as well as DevOps methodologies and automation.  This can help ensure you are getting the most bang for your buck.

Understanding the mobility lifecycle is a key first step, and one that must be fully understood to complete a successful mobility journey. There's a lot of available resources that can help you learn more about mobility, DevOps and more – check out some of my related blogs here:

Harish Sathisan:

As the Director of Avnet’s Mobility SBU, Harish Sathisan specializes in developing solutions that provide value add for customers around the world. Harish’s motto in ensuring success is to become the trusted advisor for the customer by providing great customer service. With extensive experience in the SDLC processes and implementation of those solutions, Harish and his team use the right process and team members to deliver success for their customers.