Mobility: The Foundation of the Digital Enterprise

By Bob Violino Print this article Print
Mobility is the foundation of the digital enterprise

Some industry experts view mobility as the foundation of the digital enterprise, which will include the Internet of things, social, analytics and crowdsourcing.

Going All-Out for Mobility

Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE), one of the world's largest Coca-Cola bottlers, is also emphasizing mobility in a big way. The company has deployed a mix of smartphones, tablets and rugged handheld devices based on user segmentation.

"We have more than 7,000 smartphones and tablets deployed across our territories, and they are used by our sales, service, plant maintenance and route execution teams," says Don Weatherly, associate director and mobile development lead at CCE in Atlanta. "Mobility has absolutely become more pervasive at CCE. A large percentage of our workforce is mobile, and our mobile strategy enables us to provide information when and where it is needed."

For example, the sales teams now have real-time information about all the customers they're going to visit, including orders, equipment needs and work cases they have opened with CCE. Service technicians have information about customers, prior service calls and real-time parts availability, and they can communicate with each other when needed.

CCE sees mobile technology as one of the building blocks needed for a digital enterprise. "To enable a robust digital enterprise, you need to have access to your enterprise information across all your systems and the ability to expose that information in a secure manner," Weatherly says.

To build a mobile foundation for the digital enterprise, Farpoint's Mathias suggests that IT "take everything the organization does and—with some security restrictions—make it available in mobile."

He adds that an extensive mobile infrastructure is vital. Companies need to build or expand IP-based wireless wide-area and local-area networks, Mathias says, and provide access to users who need to use these networks—and then provide appropriate mobile devices if they don't have their own. Deploying technologies such as enterprise mobility management platforms—including mobile application, device and content management—is essential to success, he adds.

With these steps, "You have the plumbing you need, and you just need the apps," Mathias says. For some organizations, enterprise app stores are a vital part of the mobility strategy, enabling users to easily and securely download the approved apps they need.

This article was originally published on 2014-10-15

Bob Violino, a Baseline contributor, is a freelance writer and editorial director at Victory Business Communications.

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