Digital Transformation Conversations

Digital Transformation Conversations

This way to the future: Mobility’s billion-dollar reward

How much do you know about Mobility?

Do you know that Wal-Mart’s mobile app results in two extra visits to the store and a 40% additional spend per month from every customer[i]? That’s a lot of revenue potential.

Did you know about Domino’s Pizza, who allow customers to track the process from order to delivery on their mobile devices. Domino’s mobile sales have accounted for 22% of online sales in 2012 – larger than the entire company’s sales in 1998 alone[ii]!

How about the employee productivity and operational efficiency improvements of Indian general insurance company ICICI Lombard? It equips its surveyors with tablets that allow them to access accident case details, take pictures, classify claims and complete the claims process efficiently and remotely. This has improved their productivity by 30%-40%[iii].

These are exciting, innovative and ‘rich’ best practices with a clear revenue and efficiency upside. But as is often the case, much of the good news ends there.  Very few companies are as successful as Wal-Mart or Domino’s with their mobile initiatives. We conducted a comprehensive research and found that very few organizations are actually doing much in mobility. Only 18% of the companies we surveyed had high mobile maturity levels[1]. These top performers tend to adopt organization-wide mobility, offer feature-rich apps and are focused on continuous improvements in mobile capabilities. 86% of these top performing companies were from the Telecom, Technology and Financial Services sectors.

However, sectors such as Oil and Gas and Pharmaceutical, which have been traditionally slow to adopt mobile, have poor mobile maturity levels. While other sectors, such as Manufacturing and Consumer Products, have invested extensively in mobile initiatives but are yet to reach desired levels of end-user uptake. A leading automobile group introduced over 25 mobile applications but managed to receive only 300 reviews and 5,200 installs per app[iv]. The picture is pretty poor internally too. A survey found that only 25% of mobile apps for employees were being adopted and about three-fourth of all IT departments reported that investments in mobile apps did not result in the value or impact they expected[v].

So, why aren’t companies succeeding? There are compelling reasons why many companies haven’t been able to tap into the desired potential of mobile. One of the biggest deterrents to widespread mobile adoption is the data security risks it brings. A mobile work environment raises issues such as data loss and leakage, unauthorized access to corporate information[vi]. The proliferation of mobile technologies also makes device management difficult. New devices running on disparate operating systems require customized security policies and continuous monitoring. Many organizations also face challenges with estimating costs around mobility support. Typical costs include new devices owned by the company, infrastructure-related expenses such as security software, additional storage capacity and mobile device management. Finally, the other hurdle that companies face is in effectively aligning mobility with other technology initiatives. This might pose challenges around network reconfiguration and management.

Last but not least, merely investing in mobile technologies is not sufficient. What’s needed is a structured approach with clear objectives in place. Take the case of the Oil and Gas industry. While mobility features high on priority across the oil and gas sector, only 16% of companies have implemented a mobile strategy so far[vii].

Companies need to start by outlining their overall mobility strategy and define clear objectives. These objectives can be around customer experience, operational efficiency or business model. Second, it is important to assess infrastructure capabilities. This will involve determining the mobile application strategy – whether organization wants to go with native or web apps. It also involves defining the right device management solutions.  Organizations should then identify the key target groups, processes and functions where deployment of mobile technologies will be prioritized. Finally, organizations need to have suitable metrics that monitor the progress of mobile initiatives. To find out how to effectively leverage mobility to improve business, read our paper - Harnessing Mobility: How Mobility Acts as an Enabler for Digital Transformation.

[1] Mobile maturity of a company has been defined as a measure of the number of mobile websites and applications launched by a company, their presence across mobile platforms, depth and types of features of these mobile apps, implementation of mobility around internal processes (enterprise mobility, BYOD) and company’s overall focus on mobile technologies (investments, partnerships, future plans, mobile apps update frequency and award or recognition for mobile initiatives).

[i] The GSMA Mobile World Live, “Wal-Mart reveals more mobile success”, June 2013
[ii] Mobile Marketing, “Domino’s Mobile Sales Larger Than its Entire Business in 1999”, June 2013
[iii], “ICICI Lombard General Insurance Boosts User Experience with Mobile App”, 2012
[iv] Capgemini Consulting analysis
[v] Antenna Software, “Business Mobile Forecast”, 2012  
[vi] Symantec and Applied Research, “State of Mobility Survey”, 2012



About the author

Jerome Buvat
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