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TDWI Upside - Where Data Means Business

Maximizing Enterprise Mobile ROI with Mobile Operations Intelligence

Mobile device management is only half the battle. Mobile operations intelligence is just as -- if not more -- critical.

Companies will continue accelerating the pace of investment in mobility projects to increase workforce productivity and ultimately enable better customer experiences. Analyst firm IDC shows global enterprise mobility spending already skyrocketed to $474 billion in 2017 with no loss of inertia in 2018. Another firm, Strategy Analytics, revealed in a 2018 survey that 46 percent of enterprises plan significant investment growth for mobile projects.

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For organizations to squeeze value from that spending, they need visibility into how those mobile assets are performing. Many organizations discovered that the cost of supporting mobile devices and data plans is far greater than the initial investment they expected. Although MDMs are touted as great tools to manage devices, CIOs are getting blank stares from their teams when asking whether they can analyze real-time device behavior, applications and network performance, or data compliance.

In other words, IT organizations need to shift their focus from simply managing devices to finding ways to optimize mobile performance and troubleshoot the mobile experience. Workstyles and work expectations have changed. Both employers and employees expect real-time business processes where access to applications anywhere is critical. Underlying it all is a complete dependency on mobile networks that are outside of the company's control. In other words, most enterprises are dependent on access to data using networks and applications they do not own.

CIOs and their IT support organizations are beginning to acknowledge the factors outside of their control. With zero visibility outside of the firewall, support tickets for application and device performance issues frequently go unresolved, leaving field workers and end users frustrated. Less-than-advertised network speeds and poor application performance rank high on the list of frustrations from workers whose offices are in their vehicle or virtually in their hands. Ultimately, the optics for mobile initiative success are impacted, data costs grow, and the burden on help desk support only increases.

Mobile operations intelligence solutions give IT the information needed to monitor the real-time performance of mobile assets, providing a layer of insight that enables faster responses to network, device, application, or service issues. With mobile operations intelligence, IT departments turn devices into rich data sensors in any network, in particular those you do not own. For example:

  • Visualize comprehensive real-time data for user behavior, device, and application performance, and network throughput on any network
  • Empower users and frontline IT staff to conduct self-service troubleshooting and identify the root causes of performance issues without requiring escalation
  • Monitor traffic patterns to ensure that corporate applications and devices are accessing networks securely and compliance and governance rules are maintained

As many organizations accelerate investment in mobility to pursue a "mobile-first" IT strategy, the need for greater insight and control over mobile assets is the elephant in the room. It's no longer sufficient to deploy devices and hope performance and employee usage will "just work." Successful enterprises will evolve mobility from simple configuration management to a data-driven approach leveraging powerful analytical tools for IT operations. The opportunity is already there for enterprises to gather mobile intelligence from field devices in use by their employees. It's the savvy CIO that can understand the power in this data and take the first step to harnessing it.

About the Author

John Knopf has lead the strategy and direction of NetMotion Software’s product portfolio since 2002. With over 30 years of software industry experience with early- and mid-stage Seattle companies, Knopf has lead numerous products from inception to launch and commercial success. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brigham Young University, loves snow skiing, and is a year-round bicycle commuter.

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