Enterprises have much to gain from the widespread adoption of smartphones and tablets.
A more mobile workforce can be more agile and productive, while organisations at the forefront of the mobile trend may be better placed to attract and retain top talent.
However, the transition from traditional PCs and laptops to new mobile platforms demands a fundamental shift in IT approaches and policies, as well as new IT skills.
Mobile communications increase the complexity of enterprise IT and introduce new risks and challenges. The shift is particularly difficult in Asia due to two factors:
Staff expectations are high and getting higher
It is no secret that mobile penetration in Asia Pacific is much higher than that of the US and Europe. People here expect the enterprise mobility experience to match the quality and convenience of their consumer experience.
They increasingly want to use personal mobile devices for work, with access to useful enterprise applications and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) support from their corporate IT team.
Furthermore, the mobile Asian workforce will continue to expect more as the consumer experience develops.
The region’s mobile environment is very varied
Mobile penetration varies greatly across the Asia Pacific, as does app usage. Slow Internet connections can force mobile users to favour instant messaging and other low-bandwidth apps while they are on the move.
CIOs need to be aware of this and to deal with multiple regulations, languages and cultural differences as they formulate an effective enterprise mobility strategy and roll it out in markets across the region.
What can Asia Pacific CIOs do to overcome these challenges? A mobile communications company with global expertise and local insights can provide the necessary support.
The company you choose should:
• Expertly manage your entire mobile infrastructure, ranging from mobile networks and devices to applications, security solutions and cloud technology.
• Confidently deal with the wide variety of issues and regulations applicable to your various Asian markets.
• Tap into the global security experience.
• Apply this understanding to your operations in Asia.
The financial services sector is adopting enterprise mobility in Asia, with firms offering BYOD support for a range of mobile operating systems.
Companies that have large workforces in the field, such as those in building services and in transportation and logistics, are obvious candidates for a mobile migration.
We are also seeing retail, education and government organisations being increasingly willing to allow workers to use mobile apps to improve their productivity.
In these and other sectors, mobile communications can facilitate better inventory tracking, provide ubiquitous access to web-based information and support real time communications.
Manufacturers are also embracing mobile technology to replace legacy systems based on two-way radio and to adopt machine-to-machine (M2M) communications solutions.
For example, Asian manufacturers are already using M2M solutions to remotely monitor the condition of shipments in transit by sea, road and air, as well as data on temperature, pressure, light exposure and vibration.
These help them to minimise the risk of cargo damage, loss or theft.
Enterprise mobility solutions have the potential to help you be more agile and productive.
Achieving this will require your IT team, your IT infrastructure and processes to be more agile and productive as well.
By Jason Yu - Director, Strategy and Innovation, AT&T Australia & New Zealand