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For businesses to really nail success in the mobile enterprise, the first thing they should probably realize is it’s not easy.

It’s one of IBM’s messages from its report, “The upwardly mobile enterprise: Setting the strategic agenda.”

How does your company interact with customers on mobile? How does it develop and deliver products and services via mobile? How does mobile apply to physical, human and digital capital?

“While there are always risks associated with the use of new technologies,” IBM concluded in its study, “we also see risks associated with not taking advantage of mobile capabilities as customers’ expectations grow, and new and emerging competitors achieve results in this space.”

Mobile First Success

CMSWire caught up this month with the director of IBM’s Mobile Enterprise division, Ed Brill.
Companies that just now are building out mobile apps and a mobile-friendly website are doing the right thing but are probably about a year behind.

Brill told CMSWire we’re now in the “second wave” of enterprise mobility that moves beyond, essentially, Mobile Enterprise 101.

The number of transactions on mobile devices is naturally growing, Brill said.

social business, IBM on Becoming a Mobile First Organization

“There’s a tremendous amount of insight being generated and an opportunity to engage the buyer at the moment of awareness,” he said.

It’s well beyond building a mobile app and instead about becoming a “mobile first” enterprise with having the right people with the right technology skill sets in the organization. How will they help build the right technology to engage with clients at the right moment?

Going Mobile, Healthcare Style

Brill cited IBM’s case study with client Ottawa Hospital as a prime example of becoming a mobile first organization. Where traditional workflow processes stifled the organization, the hospital went to a new Business Process Management (BPM) that put mobility at the center of care.

It was a great example of a hospital “rethinking their processes,” and not just saying, let’s go mobile. They ultimately wanted to increase the quality of patient care and leveraged mobile to do so.

“Too many people on their staff were spending time trying to get information from servers,” Brill said. “The current workflow wasn’t working.”

They needed to develop a clinical mobile app that anybody, anywhere on any device could access information. They “really reinvented their business process management overall” by mapping out patient flows, streamlining admissions and discharges and by giving physicians better access to information on patients in real time.

Enabling Employees

With the intersection of social and mobile, organizations need to be able to provide employees with the ability to work in a mobile environment on any device at any time, Brill said.

It’s critical, Brill said, for organizations to “provide the right tools in anytime, anywhere fashion. The traditional limitations are starting to evaporate.”

What is mobile today? Is it just an organization that has a BYOD policy? Brill sees that as only the first step to a successful mobile enterprise. Organizations that have comprehensive mobile strategies to avoid pitfalls and adjust to surprises will win.

“Maybe you commission an agency to build out an app for you, but what if all of a sudden that agency is out of business?” Brill asked. “Then the iOS 8 comes out, and no one knows what to do.”

Title image by Christian Bertrand (Shutterstock).