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Mobility is transforming the way we do business, and organizations in pursuit of high performance are adopting this new trend vigorously. In this paper, Accenture looks at the nature of mobility and identifies the elements of a mobility framework for the enterprise.
Although mobile devices have proliferated wildly—and with shipments finally surpassing those of pads, netbooks, notebooks and desktops for the first time in 2011—companies have barely begun to tap the potential of enterprise-level mobility. These new capabilities can help increase the efficiency of business processes, improve decision making and deliver (and collect) accurate information—all at speeds approximating, if not reaching, real time.
We believe that within the next five years mobile solutions will completely transform how companies operate, manage and monitor the workplace. Among the most significant changes:
Tablet computing will provide collection and distribution points for mobile reports, and will serve as portals for immediate decisions.
Smartphones, and mobile devices in general, will allow easy, continuous access to real-time performance metrics.
Mobile applications and their convenient, untethered access to data will promote more efficient and effective analysis to drive sound decision making.
Real-time access to performance management information from across the enterprise will become a key competitive and differentiation strategy.
Due to the ease of use, portability and intuitive features of mobile devices, managers at all levels will be able to make informed decisions based on the most accurate, up-to- date information available.
Indeed, we think that mobility is evolving and will be the dominant theme in business technology for years to come.
Consumers have enthusiastically embraced mobility and have incorporated mobile devices into almost every aspect of their everyday lives. While businesses have begun to implement mobile strategy and tools, we believe mobility has its greatest transformative potential in providing access to information, both for the execution of day-to-day operations and, at the management level, for improved and accelerated strategic decision making and competitive response.
Five key features of mobile technology make this transformation possible:
Untethered access. Mobile technology offers enterprises the ability to access information without the built-in restrictions of a physical corporate network connection.
Predictive applications. Mobility can be used to monitor triggers and alerts that affect key decisions.
Intuitive access to the enterprise. Mobile solutions can help integrate enterprise-wide operational and financial data while supporting more effective communication between those responsible for evaluating and acting upon such information.
Decision windows. Mobile solutions can help provide metrics and information within the highly differentiated time windows that are unique to each executive work stream.
Sensing and collaboration. Field operations can also use mobile technology to “sense” and send relevant updates back to headquarters, and make information actionable.
Mobility has a number of benefits for enterprise performance management specifically. More generally, it can help employees at all levels contribute to the collection and analysis of business intelligence; help leaders make better strategic decisions; and support remote/flexible work.
Establishing the proper framework for mobility at the enterprise level can be challenging. Mobile solutions must be usable relative to the needs and business requirements of the organization, and should be aligned across business units. Security is a key concern, as is compatibility with existing systems.
The essential elements of a mobility framework are:
Eric R. Noren is a senior director in Accenture’s Finance & Performance Management global business domain based in New York and the global lead of Accenture’s Metrics, Reporting and Analysis group. He has more than 20 years of consulting and industry experience in finance and accounting and assists large multi-national companies with their finance function strategy, enterprise performance management and reengineering financial organizations and processes.
Joel Osman leads the Accenture Global Enterprise Mobility Product and Offer Development team where he oversees the design, development and deployment of mobile solutions, products and mobility managed services. Prior to his current role, Osman led the Mobile Solutions Group in North America delivering mobile strategies and application solutions on diverse devices and networks for both enterprises and end consumers. Before that, he was part of the Accenture Technology Labs where he led global R&D for M2M and mobile technologies.
November 28, 2012
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