Mobility is high on the agenda for Australian organisations, and looks set to get increasing attention and funding in the coming years. However, many organisations continue to struggle to make significant progress in their mobility initiatives and generate a better return on their investment.
Accenture research has found three major shortcomings that are holding Australian companies back including: a lack of enterprise-wide focus on mobility; misdirected mobility funding priorities; and no formal metrics for evaluating the effectiveness of mobility initiatives.
Accenture annually surveys executives around the world about their views on mobility in the enterprise, and our most recent edition has uncovered some intriguing findings about the Australian market.
Australian executives’ enthusiasm for digital technologies broadly, and mobility specifically, continues to grow, and is generally outpaced only by that of Chinese executives. In fact, Australian respondents overwhelmingly view their investment in digital technologies as a strategic investment that can help them engage with customers and grow their business.
Furthermore, they see mobility as important to their business—more than any of the other major digital technologies—and plan to invest an average of one-third of their IT budget in mobility.
Despite this enthusiasm, however, many Australian companies continue to struggle to make progress in their mobility initiatives. Less than half of the executives polled described their overall adoption and deployment of mobile technologies as effective, and only 16 per cent said their company has generated a 100 per cent or greater return on their investment in mobile capabilities thus far.
Based on our 2014 mobility insights research, Accenture believes there are three main reasons for this lack of progress:
A decreasing number of Australian organisations reported having a formal, enterprise-wide mobility strategy. Instead, many are opting to develop business-unit-specific strategies that may not further the mission of the broader organisation. The problem with this “bottom-up” approach is that it makes it difficult for mobility proponents within a company to get a seat at the leadership table and get senior leaders’ support of key mobility initiatives. It also can dilute mobility’s impact in general, as initiatives that do get implemented tend to focus only on improving a specific aspect of the company’s operations or service offerings.
Australian companies are struggling to develop formal metrics for evaluating the effectiveness of mobility. Only 12 per cent, compared with 24 per cent of those in the United Kingdom and 23 per cent in China, have developed such metrics. This lack of formal metrics or analytics makes it difficult for Australian companies to truly gauge the effectiveness of their mobility efforts to date, as well as to determine priorities and securing funding for future initiatives. In essence, it suggests Australian companies are still experimenting with mobility with little clear vision for what they expect mobility will enable them to do differently and better in the future.
There is a lack of alignment between spending and priorities. The mobility priorities cited as important to the business by the largest percentage of Australian executives were also among the least-frequently named targets for budget allocation. For instance, 52 per cent of respondents said generating deeper customer insights through mobile analytics is important to their business, yet only nine per cent said building capabilities that help them do that is a priority for investment. Similarly, despite 51 per cent citing improving asset reliability and maintenance through the deployment of sensors and other mobile technologies as important to their business, only 16 per cent said such capabilities were an investment priority. In other words, while Australian companies are, indeed, increasing their mobility budget, they look to be spending the least on some of their biggest priorities— hardly a recipe for success.
Our survey clearly shows that Australian companies have considerable opportunity to get more out of their mobility initiatives than they have to date. Three things are key to doing so:
They need to develop mobility strategies that cross organisational and functional silos. Getting the CEO more engaged in mobility strategy development, implementing strong governance from the top, and deploying a mobility centre of excellence are important first steps.
They should develop formal metrics that make it possible to gauge progress and impact—and, ultimately, determine mobility ROI and how mobility can generate real business outcomes so they can direct and justify future spending.
Balance of investment:
They must look to strike a better balance in their investment across all digital technologies, seeing such tools as social media, connected devices, cloud and analytics as complementary to, not separate from, their mobile strategies.