There have been a plethora of articles recently regarding who is the top dog of mobile devices in the enterprise. Depending on how the author of any given article looks at the data, the winner seems to change from day to day. One day it is Apple, the next Android. It will probably be Windows Phone tomorrow (ok that may be pushing it but you get my point). There is value in understanding this data. However, from the perspective of BYOD, if we are looking at device metrics, then we are concentrating on the wrong data and not doing a good job of measuring value of enterprise mobility. Yes, Apple is making boatloads of money and that makes for great press but, that is not demonstrative of the value of BYOD. Just because there are a lot of Apple devices in the enterprise doesn’t mean businesses are getting the value they should out of them. Who sold the most devices last quarter, who has the most apps in their respective marketplaces, who sells more devices to new users – none of these metrics provide any indication to how effectively mobility is being leveraged in your organization. The reason for this is simple. Metrics such as number of devices or apps in the marketplace are easily collected and consumed. What is needed is the correlation for BYOD. What we need is a simple measure of value for enterprise mobility.
So what would a simple but effective measure of enterprise mobility look like? It would have to reflect an organization’s ability to capitalize on all the benefits of BYOD and mobility. It would have to also reflect on an organization’s maturity level in effectively implementing BYOD. This can be achieved by simply measuring:
- The Percent of “Mobile-Only” Employees
“Mobile-Only” – That is, when an employee does 100% of his or her work only from a mobile device. Measuring “Mobile-Only” employees for the value of BYOD works because of the requirements necessitated to support such a configuration. If an enterprise mobile ecosystem has evolved to the point where employees can go all-in, go “Mobile-Only”, then we can assume that they have reached a level of mobile maturity that includes:
- The appropriate level of enterprise data/information security
- Capable hardware that functions in all daily use-case scenarios
- An app ecosystem that allows users to perform all necessary tasks
- ROI – It has to pencil out on the balance sheet
An organization would be just plain reckless to attempt to go “Mobile-Only” without the above assumptions in place and working in concert.
When you look at measuring the value and maturity of enterprise mobility from a “Mobile-Only” perspective, you quickly realize we still have a ways to go. Could you walk into your organization today and replace all your desktops with mobile devices? What gaps do you still need to fill? What infrastructure and processes do you need in place? Could you be assured that your data would be secure? Are there certain tasks that still couldn’t be performed? Can you connect your mobile devices to monitors, projectors, and keyboards? The necessity of answering all these questions before you can go “Mobile-Only” is what makes it such an effective metric for measuring BYOD value and maturity.
What do you think – What aspects does measuring “Mobile-Only” miss? How would you measure the value of BYOD? Post a comment and let me know!
Benjamin Robbins is one of the founders of AdminBridge – providing IT Administration from mobile devices. For more information visit http://adminbridge.com