Mind the Gap: Minimise the risk of failure for your investment in mobile technology

Moving to mobile technology will always be a big investment for any organisation.

Despite the promised Return on Investment (ROI), savvy financial directors know that targets are often missed on any large IT project. It is therefore in an organisations interest to ensure that risks are minimised so that the mobile project delivers its promised return.

However, there is a real gap between what mobile device providers offer and the full range of tools needed to keep on top of the implementation and on-going running of the system. Companies like B2M are now filling that gap with Mobile Device Management software like mprodigy it helps organisations ensure these systems can be managed properly and deliver the promised benefits.

Return on investment (ROI) is now a standard part of any proposal when organisations plan to invest large amounts into new technologies. Financial Directors rightly want to ensure that the investment will pay for itself and provide real financial benefits. However, they are also increasingly aware that promised ROIs are not always met - either targets are achieved later than anticipated or missed completely. This doesnt negate the need for investing in new technologies but it does highlight the need to manage the investment effectively. 

Implementation plans often miss ongoing management

The problem is that the initial investment proposal usually focuses on what goes right, assuming that the plan will work with minimal or no hitches. Consideration of problems, if there are to be any, is found in a general contingency built in to the implementation plan, which is designed to get the solution up and running. This misses a key point that the plan often does not cover the on-going management of the system.

As stated in a recent Yankee Group report, suppliers of mobile devices have shown relatively little interest in providing robust, on-going management systems. This contrasts with the reality of introducing new technologies where experience tells us there will always be issues to be managed. In the mobile environment these will vary from devices which break down miles from the office, to delivery drivers who find it hard to move from paper based to on screen processes.

There are many aspects to Mobile Device Management. What happens when remote devices fail or need new software updates? How do you keep track of mobile assets that can become easily misplaced? Are suppliers meeting Service Level Agreements? And do the systems actually deliver the improvements they were meant to?

The new challenges posed by mobile devices

It is easy to take these aspects for granted but one organisation that invested over four million pounds in mobile equipment had lost 18% or 750K worth of the devices within a year. They simply were not prepared for the on-going task of managing the solution. And the manufacturer of their mobile devices had not provided the right tools to help them avoid these problems.

Mobile devices by their nature pose new challenges for the IT departments. As Julie Purves, Managing Director of B2M Solutions points out, Often even small problems need IT to turn up in person it is not unusual to see IT teams spending most of their time driving all round the country, trying to keep these devices working.

Ensure your investment in mobile technology is a safe investment

The gap between what mobile device providers offer and what is actually needed is being filled by suppliers like B2M whose product mprodigy is a Mobile Device Management System that provides a comprehensive range of mobile management capabilities. B2Ms management team set up the company after spending many years implementing mobile systems. Julie Purves says, We saw the problems faced by ongoing management, and realised there was an important gap that needed to be filled. Without a system like mprodigy, predictable problems which can arise daily in the mobile environment put these large investments at risk.

In addition to comprehensive asset management, mprodigy enables devices to be interrogated and fixed remotely. In the case of Lynx Express this has reduced the need to bring failed devices back to the central IT department by 80%!  Moreover, software can be updated and tracked remotely too. The mprodigy system also helps track usage, helping managers to see how well the new systems are being adopted, how well suppliers are performing, and identifying problems that arise in the day to day use of the mobile devices.

When a large IT project is signed off it is easy to think that the day to day management has been thought through. Unfortunately for many, mobile technology poses new problems that often taken users by surprise. If you want to minimise the risk of project failure, and ensure your investment in mobile technology is a safe investment, then the time to plan for the day to day management of the system is before the system is installed. Including a good Mobile Device Management system in your solution from the start is key to the overall success of the project.   

About B2M Solutions - Managing the Mobile Enterprise

B2M Solutions specialises in the management of the mobile enterprise.  Its unique approach to mobile management helps deliver the very best from both the technology and the people involved in an enterprise-wide deployment of mobile devices.  B2Ms mprodigy mobile management suite consists of five complementary software modules that provide total management over a population of hand-held devices in tough field and industrial environments such as parcel delivery, logistics, shop floor and field service.

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