March 31, 2009

Five Steps to Effective Mobile Management

  • Michael F. Finneran, dBrn Associates, Inc.
It is no secret that enterprise initiatives for fixed mobile convergence (FMC) and mobile unified communications (UC) are not being deployed at a rate commensurate with the hype. Embarrassingly, few users get beyond the most rudimentary mobility solutions: cell phones, push email, and a wireless LAN for mobile data access. It appears that mobility remains the strategic development that is least likely to be used strategically. While some of the blame can be attributed to product deficiencies, the main reason these initiatives are not moving forward is that enterprises are simply not organized to capitalize on the potential.

The biggest obstacle to enterprises attempting to deploy mobile applications is that they have different groups responsible for the different forms of mobility and no incentive for them to coordinate their activities. Enterprises have organized around technologies, and the two major components of that are cellular and Wi-Fi. In such an environment it is highly unlikely that anyone is going to propose the idea of eliminating Sprint Nextel walkie-talkie phones with a push-to-talk system that operates over the wireless LAN.

Therein lies the biggest problem with moving forward on a meaningful mobility initiative. We have people responsible for cellular and people responsible for wireless LAN, but we don't have anyone responsible for "mobility". In this paper we will lay out the five primary steps an enterprise should take to establish meaningful mobility plan. They are:

  1. Organize Around Mobility
  2. Quantify Networks, Users, and Expenditures
  3. Take Control: Define the Policy
  4. Initiate Near-Term Improvements
  5. Start Thinking Strategically
Different organizations will be at different stages with regard to each of these, and those who have already addressed some of the preliminary issues will be able to move ahead more quickly. However, the key will be to organize around "mobility" not mobile technologies.

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