This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.
Decoding the DNA of Managed Mobility Services
At the dawn of 2020, many young Americans are reaching prime working age, bringing a preference for mobile devices and remote working to the job. The impact on companies of all sizes will be considerable.
In a recent piece in The Boston Globe, TJ Mahony, partner at venture capital firm Accomplice VC, noted:
"'Remote first' team builds [starting a company with employees based anywhere] has been a trend among knowledge workers and many new startups. In fact, HubSpot just added its first ‘remote experience manager.’ Location will be removed from core job requirements, and the geo fence that has historically limited the supply of talent, diversity, and inclusion will erode."
But even as that geo fence erodes, it's important to note that the employee experience (EX) risks erosion as well. The EX could reach a tipping point. In our “Amazon economy” of on-demand convenience, enterprises will be compelled to address frictions in the EX, much as the customer experience (CX) is being addressed in the consumer world.
Hence the growing significance of managed mobility services (MMS).
In 2020, MMS – a discipline focused on delivering seamless, personalized, and productive end-user experiences to a geographically dispersed mobile workforce at scale – will be critical to business success worldwide. In fact, MMS could be the fastest-growing segment in enterprise managed communications services.
But it’s also a space that’s growing more complicated, as a whirl of mobile workers with hectic lifestyles seek effective communications within organizations that are increasingly challenged by pressures like cost, compliance, and security.
One way to conceptualize MMS is as a sort of double helix within enterprise communications – one spiral strand represented by the enterprise pushing key information, proactive care, and assets out to mobile users, while simultaneously pulling user data back into the enterprise via the other spiral strand. It’s a flow of intertwining information with the potential to propel or impede the future of work, a whirling dervish set to test organizations at a time of rapid change, whether companies and their employees are prepared for it or not.
Decoding the DNA: Threats of Discontinuity
While employees seek a seamless mobile experience conveniently managed on their own devices, program administrators and IT departments wrestle with stressed systems and multiple device ownership models (hybrid mobility). End-users desire ease-of-use and low effort through one interface that simplifies and standardizes interactions, while businesses dealing with mobile data usage and spending increases require greater transparency into sources of data consumption, seeking intelligence on the costs and productivity of their workforce across different environments.
It’s therefore no surprise that a need is emerging for service orchestration throughout a mobile ecosystem flowing with data, to seamlessly manage data passing in and out of enterprise and provider platforms, to and from end-users, to bring coherence to employee experiences and the mobility life-cycle; an agile, expert, full lifecycle management capability supporting a growing number of devices and business models.
And yet, today’s MMS landscape is fragmented, inhabited by an assortment of pure-play MMS providers, systems integrators (SIs), and carriers with an array of capabilities. For instance, a host of vendors offer solutions such as financing, helpdesk services, logistics, or break/fix, aiming to manage devices throughout their lifecycles. Unfortunately, each vendor seems to operate within a particular silo, even as the enterprises they serve struggle with informationally siloed systems.
And while mobility – the emerging presentation layer of the digital enterprise – is supposed to be at the center of an organization’s digital transformation strategy, the complex mobile estate overwhelms IT departments, which already lack the necessary expertise and tools. When it comes to MMS, it seems that few approaches focus on simplifying and automating enterprise operations as well as delivering quality end-user experiences. Problems continue to emerge, and discontinuity infects the enterprise. There are plenty of unsuccessful MMS engagements out there, and some enterprises are even considering handling mobility themselves in-house.
In Search of Strategic Approaches to the Modern Mobile Workforce
Clearly, enterprises face unique constraints and challenges in a competitive digital work environment where the race for talent and improved productivity is unrelenting. Companies, therefore, need solutions that take them from a world of disconnected point solutions (i.e., help desk, logistics center, staging and kitting, break/fix, MDM platforms, TEM, etc.) to a single secure platform where data is captured from anywhere, managed and governed within mobility source systems, and the end-user experience is simplified.
In an idealized orchestration scenario, a modern platform provides seamless workflows, enabling information to move easily between enterprise and vendors while integrating information from IT silos into a single view. Enterprises glimpse the entire mobile estate in one dashboard. Devices, services, applications, and all associated costs and other data are captured and reflected in an instant, and information is customized based on the program. In the emerging world of the Internet of Things (IoT), any frontline worker’s mobile computing device is accounted for (PC, printer, wearable, doctor and patient device, etc.) and brought into the platform.
In other words, effective solutions would provide everything employees require to manage their specific corporate mobile experience (whether it be via voice-activated command, the swipe of a screen, or pressing of a button), while at the same time gathering all the relevant data insights organizations require to prosper in turn. An elegantly simple dashboard would provide a range of options, removing friction for the employee (again, as in the consumer world). And an anytime/anywhere, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) powered virtual assistant would provide visibility into employees’ mobile assets, identifying where users need help, while proactively suggesting the best solution. Such are the dynamic technology solutions required to keep the mobility estate functioning smoothly, like the nucleotides that hold together the two spiral strands of nucleic acids in molecular biology’s double helix of DNA.
Ultimately, strategic approaches and holistic solutions are needed to overcome the complexity of MMS. Tools must focus on simplifying and automating operations as well as delivering quality end-user experiences through effective data integration and data management. By decoding MMS’s DNA, organizations can improve their chances of successfully transitioning to digitized workplaces built to flourish in the 2020s.