This week I had a great lunch meeting with a new client. One of the first things my client shared with me was the fact that “We’ve purchased 20 plus iPads for a pilot project and now everyone is wondering what to do with them.” The client then asked me “Do you have some recommendations?”

This is a common theme I run across among potential and new clients. In their excitement and promise of enterprise mobility they rush to invest in new equipment without developing a plan for enterprise mobility.

The timeliness of this is evidenced in Kevin Benedict’s blog post today highlighting some of the results of his  2012 Mid-Year Enterprise Mobility Survey where he asked vendors key questions about the challenges encountered implementing mobility. The number one challenge…. Drum roll please…..

“Q: What are your biggest challenges to implementing enterprise mobility today?”

“A: The number 1 answer was, “Developing an enterprise-wide mobile strategy.”  There was a tie for the next 2 between, “Determining anticipated ROIs” and, “Educating stakeholders on the potential impact of enterprise mobility on the business.” 

(source Kevin Benedict’s Enterprise Mobility Strategy Blog)

The importance of developing an enterprise-wide mobile strategy is critical. Many companies that I’ve delivered mobile solutions for are on the third or fourth mobile implementation specifically because they hadn’t developed or thought through these three areas.

In the case of my client this week they clearly hadn’t developed an enterprise-wide mobile strategy. In fact it was just the opposite, they through iPads at the stake holders and said “here catch the vision of mobility”. That’s going to be a little difficult with 14 plus divisions, each with different ideas, interest, understanding, comfortability and vision of mobility. Further compounding the problem, each division has it’s own ability to accept or reject the proposed solutions. (You might have guessed it’s a state entity).

How do you successfully implement an enterprise solution in such an environment? You have to go back to the foundational requirements.

  1. Develop an enterprise-wide mobile strategy.
  2. Educating Stake Holders
  3. Determine anticipated ROIs

I’m working with my client through this process now.

Notice that while Kevin’s survey results showed “Determining Anticipated ROIs” and “Educating Stakeholders” tied in importance, each customer is going to be slightly different. But generally I see the exact trends that are demonstrated in Kevin’s Survey.

With my current customer I placed educating stake holders a higher priority based on the sophistication, interest and willingness to adopt mobility of the division managers. Either way you will have to address both of these issues. I tend to see educating stake holders and determining anticipated ROIs as dependent companions that help illustrate and articulate the transformative power of mobility.

Bottom line don’t do anything with mobility until you lay a solid foundation for success.

Jody Sedrick

Follow me on Twitter: @jodysedrick and @zenewareinc
LinkedIn Profile 
Zenware is a Boise Idaho based company that specializes In custom mobile software development, custom iOS development, custom Android development, ipad software development, iphone software development, custom web development, web hosting and Saas based work order management software.