Image source: cisco.com
Vendors and services providers for mobility management solutions can overly fixate on the vast array of software platforms and services for "corralling" mobile devices and ensuring secure computing. While these are vital areas, ultimately to enable successful organizations it can be far more important to provide services to amplify the value of what employees are doing with mobile devices. Particularly as businesses have become more mobile, the never-ending ebb and flow of data has made comprehensive data management a mission critical element both for business agility and for guaranteeing trustworthy, useable data.
Mobility adds a distinct flavor to real-time data management, particularly since mobile is a top source of big data. But data by itself – no matter the source – carries no value. Even worse, poorly managed data can cause real harm to organizations. Real value accrues when data sources are streamlined and cleaned up, when the processes that consume and create data are more responsive to business needs, and when business users trust the data they are using for decisions and work requirements.
Obviously business data is everywhere these days, as cloud services and mobile software offerings keep pace with worker preferences for tools. End-to-end task workflows may even take place on multiple platforms, off and on premises. The future of applications for mobile devices is ultimately about providing the workforce with the data they need, when they need it and where they need it. With a growing "mobile first" mindset for workers, organizations must enable as much functionality for their employees as possible while also ensuring data - and corporate - security.
One of the important changes for data management solutions is the demand for many different ways that integration processes can be created and used. Not only do data integration platforms need to be high performance, they must continue to innovate ways to connect to data where it lives, and then perform any number of actions to take data where it is needed. Added to integration and management imperatives is the ongoing battle to eliminate more data silos, to speed up access to the right data from mobile devices.
With 'speed to solution' as a crucial aspect of mobile data management, managed services can play an important role to provide what many organizations need, by applying expertise in mobility and cloud services to 'old school' data management processes and mindsets. True data mobility gives rise to data flows consistently and "effortlessly" (from the user perspective) between any points whether cloud or on premises.
Managed services have a natural fit with the management of the entire life cycle of mobile data and information. The objective is to keep up with changes regarding where data is created and stored, and where it needs to flow, to reach everyone in the organization who can benefit from such data. So mobile data management is as much about continuously creating and maintaining the right business processes as it is about data access and security.
Process-centric initiatives are often optimal approaches for the things that companies want to accomplish. Business processes make it possible to directly connect work to business outcomes that lend themselves to various metrics that provide clarity for business performance. It is through business processes that data can be mapped to business value.
Some of the difficulty for transitioning how enterprises derive value from business processes (and the data running through them) is the fact that most data-related initiatives have been driven by IT instead of by business-oriented roles. To enable better business outcomes, mobile data management initiatives need to bring business and IT teams together as symbiotic partners. Managed services providers can be the game-changing bridge to promote strong relationships between business and IT teams in order to best support a growing mobile workforce.
Julie Hunt is an accomplished software industry analyst, providing strategic market and competitive insights. Her 20+ years as a software professional range from the very technical side to customer-centric work in solutions consulting, sales and marketing. Julie shares her takes on the software industry via her blog Highly Competitive and on Twitter: @juliebhunt