Identifying and Prioritizing the Business Benefits of Mobility

Riley Roberts

Based on input from clients and prospects and a review of initiatives they have undertaken in the past two years, most CIOs and other IT professionals believe that enterprise mobility will have an equal or greater impact on their businesses than the commercialization of the Internet did in the mid-1990s.

This is a bold statement, as the Internet is a constant “game-changer” for millions of professionals and consumers. However, for many enterprises, the mobility wave has arrived and it cannot be ignored. Much like the Internet, mobility is affecting the way businesses are run in numerous and powerful ways. From mobile apps that streamline business processes and facilitate previously unforeseen levels of customer interaction, to services that manage organizations’ mobile strategy and security, mobility is clearly driving critical business decisions. The challenge for most CIOs is not only figuring out how to get the most from mobility, but knowing what “the most” means for their organization.

Rather than try to capitalize on every benefit that mobility has to offer, executives should prioritize those benefits that will have the greatest impact for their organization and then craft a strategy around them. This approach will undoubtedly yield far greater results than an unfocused plan that might reach an entire organization but will result in chaos and yield little return on the mobility investment. To create a cohesive mobility strategy, CIOs today must first determine “what are the greatest business benefits of mobility?”

Driving Business Value Through Mobility

These business benefits can be categorized as either cost-saving or revenue-enhancing. These are the two most impactful drivers of business value when it comes to mobility:

Cost-Saving: if cutting costs is a priority for your organization, then an internal-facing mobility strategy should be your focus. Business to Employee (B2E) mobility can have an enormous impact on the enterprise, as it creates cost savings across the board. Choosing to focus on internal mobile applications and strategies can affect your organization in the following ways:

  • Greater employee productivity –BYOD has taken off and it is becoming increasingly difficult for CIOs and IT departments to tell employees they cannot use their personal devices at work. And in some cases, it is actually helpful for employees to have access to data on the server on their smartphones, including company emails, files and calendar information. That being said, the proliferation of disparate devices in the workplace clearly challenges IT departments to ensure work information is secure and that all devices are appropriately integrated and connected to enterprise systems. Yet, once employees can work from their own devices, their productivity levels have increased significantly. This is due primarily to employees working at home from their mobile devices. One study reported that 38 percent of CIOs listed “improved workforce productivity” as the main driver behind investment in mobile technology.

Additionally, mobile connections provide more and better opportunities for easy communication among employees, allowing for more knowledge transfer, and thereby greater productivity when people don’t have to wait for the information they need. Finally, the use of preferred devices increases employee satisfaction, which also boosts productivity and leads to increased employee retention.

  • Streamlined internal processes – mobile applications that improve internal processes produce great cost savings. Whether it is an app that allows employees to quickly and easily file expense reports and book travel arrangements, or apps that enable new communication processes or allow employees to easily update documents or client orders, mobility can significantly increase operational efficiency.
  • Reduced cost to serve customers – mobile applications that simplify customer service and interaction can play a major role in cost savings. Apps that allow call center agents or field technicians to more quickly and accurately handle customer inquiries on the first call or visit save incredible amounts of money. Additionally, customer-facing apps that provide customer self-service eliminate the need for resource deployment. Therefore, the customer issue is resolved at no cost.

Revenue-Driving: The opposite end of the benefits spectrum is the deployment of a Business to Consumer (B2C) mobility strategy that drives revenue through customer engagement on mobile devices. Mobility can truly enhance the customer experience and a great customer experience increases sales and service volumes. Improved customer experience drives revenue in the following ways:

  • Increased share of wallet – Have you ever used Groupon’s mobile app? If so, did you buy multiple fitness packages at your local gym? Maybe that’s just me; the point is, the app provided such an easy and convenient customer experience that I barely even thought about purchasing two items at once. The app is slick, sexy and, most importantly, extremely easy and functional. All Groupon had to do was put it in front of me, and I up-sold myself with an extra purchase.
  • Increased customer acquisition – app stores are excellent vehicles to reach new customers because consumers are constantly talking about the “great new app” they have found to simplify life.
  • Increased customer retention – With all the negative customer service stories of consumers waiting on hold for “the next available agent” for hours, a company that can expedite and improve interactions will keep more customers. Mobile apps are facilitating these convenient interactions and providing customers with a much better experience, reducing the likelihood that they will switch to a competitor.


Although it is a relatively new and evolving capability, enterprise mobility initiatives can drive significant business benefits for companies of all sizes and industries, the most valuable being cost reductions and revenue enhancements. To achieve optimal success, CIOs must first understand which specific benefit their organization needs to gain and then ensure the business needs are aligned with the basic benefits that mobility has to offer. A critical next step is the development of a relevant business case, leading ultimately to an effective and successful mobility strategy. Following these steps will ensure that the organization can fully leverage its investment and remain ahead of the enterprise mobility curve.

Riley Roberts is a senior consultant with HCL EAS Services and is a member of HCL’s Innovation Team. As a member of this team, her goal is to drive forward new internal initiatives and propositions for all disruptive technologies, including enterprise mobility, big data and cloud. She has focused specifically on helping to define and articulate HCL’s offerings in the area of enterprise mobility so as to provide clients with the new age products and services they require in order to fully realize the benefits of this new technology. Riley enjoys working with the Innovation Team for the opportunity to address the challenges of a changing market through the use of disruptive technologies.

Follow HCL’s Innovation Team on Twitter at @HCL_Innovation to keep up with the latest on disruptive technologies.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Jul 14, 2013 9:41 AM Romesh Romesh  says:
Enterprise mobility is what Internet was a couple of decades back for enterprise. It's about make sure that all the investments that an enterprise has done in IT over the years is accessible to employees wherever they are. And they are away from their desk most of the time in the modern work environment. Enterprise mobility needs to be looked as a base foundation of the enterprise's digital agenda. Both inwards looking, targeted at employees and external, targeted at enterprise's digital consumers. Reply
Mar 4, 2015 12:49 AM MobilePundits MobilePundits  says:
Nice points about the benefits of mobility.More people are attracted to mobility options when it comes to work, which allow them to operate outside the office. Business should be taking advantage of this, as it can help increase productivity. Reply

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