In searching Google here is the first definition of what Enterprise mobility is that popped up. “Enterprise mobility is the trend toward a shift in work habits, with more employees working out of the office and using mobile devices and cloud services to perform business tasks.”
While I not an English major, it seems to me that this definition is saying that Mobility is an intention to be mobile where one must use a mobile device that will use some type of web based service to support their mobility. Now you may not have had as rough an English teacher as I had back in the day, but we lost marks for a definition that was specific to an example of use!
Let’s take a closer look at this definition. My first question is, how could “mobility” be a trend towards people wanting to work outside the office? That does not make sense, have we not all at one time wanted to do this long before the Internet was born? Secondly, how could an employee be mobile if you are not using a mobile device, and finally why are “cloud services” the only way to achieve connectivity to your office and hence “mobility”? What happened to cellular networks and WiFi networks directly connecting you to your data? I do not recall these other mediums/options dropping out of the race with the introduction of “Cloud Services”.
The oxford dictionary defines “Mobility” as “The ability to move or be moved freely and easily”. So, it should follow that “Enterprise Mobility” would mean “The ability of the Enterprise to have their staff move or be moved freely and easily while being able to still perform their duties”. I may be wrong but I feel this definition covers my employees who wish to work from home, sales personnel who need to use someone’s WiFi to get ready for the next meeting, or staff needing to work from the “field”.
For decades we could take a computer, install software, attach a phone line to a modem and connect our computers to our office and work with our software. Why is it that in today’s market my phone computer (smartphone), which is a more powerful computer than the one I had 10 years ago, is prevented from installing my software and connecting directly to my office?
The real question today is not WHY?...it is WHY NOT!? Why not mobility which runsyour business from anywhere and on practically any device without having to pay someone to host your data in their cloud?
Why do you need to use cloud services when you have paid for a File Server in your office; you have paid for Internet connectivity in your office; your cell phone (mobile device) can attach you to the Internet and it is a computer; what is stopping you software from attaching to your office and getting the data you need?!
Smartphones or tablets are capable of giving you complete and unlimited access to your business data so you can make informed timely decisions. You only need software that is properly written to deliver the features you need to complete the connection. When looking for mobile solutions ask for mobility built-in! “Can your software work on my mobile device directly to my server?”
Challenge your software vendor to deliver functionality you need. Do not settle for what they can offer unless it is truly the only thing on the market. In my next article we will tackle “Document management” and what it should mean to you and the software features that should exist to allow you to be functional in your business today.