It’s often been said that a business can’t be successful unless it has a plan. This is the case when it comes to mobile-enabling a company’s business processes. Last year, many companies were crafting mobile-enablement strategies. Today, over half (57%) of the 200 organizations Lopez Research interviewed in Q1/2103 have a mobile strategy.  If you’re one of the companies without a strategy, what should you be considering? I recently collaborated with Dipesh Murkegi, Kony Solution’s Senior Director of Product Strategy and Marketing, to outline 8 steps for a long-term mobile strategy, which include:

1. Collaborate

Before IT can build a technical plan to support mobility, it should work with line-of-business (LOB) executives to understand key operations.

2. Key drivers

IT and LOB executives must define the key drivers for mobile-enabling an application. Will mobile-enabling applications improve revenue, profits, or other business metrics such as efficiency?

3. Due diligence8 Steps to a long term mobile strategy_10 13

IT should conduct an information audit and identity what content is required to mobilize the moments of engagement. A business must complete this step before it mobile-enables any applications.

4. Prioritize devices

There are many types of mobile devices and operating systems. IT should study the usage patterns of its employees and customers and prioritize devices based on this usage and key drivers.

5. Integration

Mobile strategies should define a plan for integrating with enterprise back end systems such as ERP, finance, and other legacy operations systems. Before a business defines its development approach, it should also evaluate its mobile management strategy. A management strategy should include content, application, and device management.

6. Security

The mobile strategy should also include all of the methodologies a business needs to secure its data, including encryption and device detection.

7. Development approach

Murkeji said the application development approach shouldn’t drive a company’s mobile strategy. Business requirements should define a company’s development approach.  A company may chose to use multiple development models, such as native, hybrid, and mobile web application development to support the various design requirements of diverse applications.

8. Roadmap

A business should create a mobile application development timeline.

I agree with all of the points above, but I’d like to add that a business should constantly be reevaluating its strategic plans.  The challenge for any strategic plan, especially in the mobile area, is to create a dynamic plan that is constantly updated.  Five years was the normal length for a long-term IT strategy planning in previous technology waves.  However, many of the IT leaders surveyed by Lopez Research anticipated updating the company’s mobile strategy every two years. Given the rapid change in mobile, I believe a business should reevaluate its strategy annually.

Do you have an enterprise mobile strategy? If so, what components do you include and how often does your business update its strategy?

 

Maribel Lopez is the CEO and mobile market strategist for Lopez Research, a market research and strategy consulting firm that specializes in communications technologies with a heavy emphasis on the disruptive nature of mobile technologies. AT&T has sponsored this blog post.