Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent

Latha Maripuri, Director, IBM Security Services

Latha Maripuri, Director, IBM Mobile and Security Services

By Latha Maripuri

Mobile technology has unquestionably changed how we interact in both our business and personal lives. In fact, mobile devices have quickly moved from a nice-to-have technology to a necessity for most of us.

But the integration of mobile within our lives doesn’t stop there. We’re using mobile technology in innovative ways and countless places across every industry. For  example, doctors can track therapeutic effectiveness through remote monitoring apps, keeping them updated on patients even when neither is in the hospital. The examples are endless.

The importance that consumers are placing on mobile technology is now creating a shift towards putting mobile first in business. In fact, IBM recently announced a new generation of mobile enterprise technologies that are based on this point of view. Although this presents a great opportunity to modernize how interactions and organizational functions are approached, it has also already created some concerns. 

Organizations that lack a clear mobile strategy are likely to wind up making tactical decisions that lead to a disconnected client experience, unmanageable operations, limitations on future growth and exposure to an array of security issues.

To get ahead of this trend, there are four key areas that every organization must consider when creating a mobile strategy:  mobile platform, security, management, and analytics.

1. Mobile Platform: First and foremost, any organization that is adopting a mobile strategy must create a strong foundation. The right mobile platform will allow for strong functionality today and provide the flexibility to adopt future requirements. Organizations that succeed in mobile will be able to provide value and consistency at a personal level, regardless of how the end user connects. Additionally, a platform will allow mobile applications and multi channel web experiences to effectively access back end systems and data.

2. Mobile Security: Security is an absolute requirement on all mobile devices – whether owned by the enterprise or the employee through a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program.  It also must be considered throughout the lifecycle of developing mobile applications. The right solution gives IT control and visibility into the devices connecting to the enterprise and the ability to push out security policies – while not inhibiting productivity or user experience.

3. Mobile Management: We estimate that there will be nearly a trillion connected devices in the world by 2015 – from mobile devices to cars, ATMs and everything in between. It’s not enough to just secure all of these devices. They must also be managed to ensure they are within compliance and can quickly and easily access networks, data, and applications. This is vital since a competitive advantage of mobile technology is the efficiency and timeliness it provides the user.

4. Mobile Analytics: With mobile data usage expected to grow 20-fold by 2017, being able to analyze this information in real-time will provide businesses with a wealth of opportunities for engaging with customers and constituents in completely new and personalized ways. The powerful combination of analytics and mobile allows for location-based information to be utilized, so information can be shared at a relevant time and place. Whether that means providing sale information as a customer passes by your store, or helping them find the closest bank branch, analytics enables mobile technology to create much more valuable connections and transactions.

To understand how some companies are putting this into action, consider ING Direct Canada. The Canadian banking institution is using IBM MobileFirst technology to help clients transform the mobile banking experience with new smarter commerce, social business and security solutions.

ING Direct’s Orange Snapshot gives mobile consumers a complete and simplified view of all their accounts, as well as bill payment and email money transfers, in two secure and easy clicks. Furthermore, ING DIRECT allows clients to share their experiences through Facebook and Twitter to make saving money more intriguing. As a result of this, ING Direct learned that many clients were able to forego non-essential purchases when they could better visualize the impact of their spending habits. They translated that insight into customer value by adding a Small Sacrifices feature into their mobile application that allows users to share with their social network when they pass up a small purchase to save (such as not buying a cup of coffee in the morning). This new capability also allows them to transfer that amount quickly into a savings account.

It’s no surprise that this connected, mobile world we are living in has created a new channel full of opportunities. By rolling out a mobile technology strategy early on, organizations will be able transform their business and expand their market in ways never before imagined.

I’ll be continuing the conversation on how mobile is transforming industries and the many ways for organizations to put mobile first on Facebook at 8 AM ET on April 12th. To join the chat: http://on.fb.me/10oWEVP.

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