Mobile is the new epicenter of the brave new world that we’re now living in.
Just as people once thought that the earth was the center of the known universe and later discovered that it was the sun, you may have thought there was another center to business, but I’m here to tell you this: the center is, indeed, mobile. By 2016, the mobile Internet will become the dominant form of Internet access as people will use 1.5 billion smart mobile devices.
Is your organization ready for this universal shift? Organizations who are fully aware of the mobile epicenter are the businesses that will continue to lead. How can your organization gear “up for a world dominated by mobile devices, applications, cloud services, and increasing customer engagement and line of business technology (LoB) purchasing driven by mobility”?
In my first article in the mobile governance series, I discussed “3 Simple Steps toward Creating Mobile Dream Teams.” In the second part of the series, I will provide a macro view of mobile for C-level audiences. From the bird’s eye view, or the top down, how would you say your organization is responding to the worldwide expansion of mobile? The overriding question before us today is this: Is your organization mobile dedicated or mobile deficient? If your answer puts you in the latter category, don’t feel bad, you’re not alone. Today, I’ll cover some strategies that you can implement to begin that journey toward becoming a mobile dedicated organization, capable of managing technology and the consumer’s mobile mindshift.
The Government | Manage Mobile Before the Revolt Happens
In the same way that poorly led governments can lead to revolt, poorly governed mobile initiatives can lead to results that end in chaos. Without great leadership nothing gets off the ground. I understand that your organization has silos, challenges, and budgeting concerns as it relates to mobile. This is a common scenario for many businesses that are trying to run Web, mobile, and social initiatives in parallel. However, there are ways around this. You must begin to govern, to lead, so that mobile will become manageable and actionable.
In “Organizing for Mobile Marketing Success,” Forrester Research suggests that organizations drop the “ownership debate”—Who owns mobile: IT, marketing, both?—which has been known to leave organizations paralyzed, and “focus on strategy, governance, and execution: Decide which mobile skills are strategic; implement mobile governance beyond marketing; and have a plan to acquire or develop mobile expertise to execute mobile marketing campaigns.”
Again, your focus is on strategy, governance, and execution, not who owns mobile, who’s responsible, and paralysis by analysis. The time to lead and govern the mobile universe is now, not next year or even next month. You don’t have time to wait.
Julie Ask, with Forrester Research, surveyed executives about their competency and maturity in mobile. Not surprisingly, mature organizations have a well-defined mobile strategy and clearly understand that mobile can enable both digital and offline channels. Specifically, 88 percent of companies with a mobile strategy for more than two years indicate that their “company understands the impact mobile can have” on overall success. So if you’re feeling as if your skills set and knowledge base in mobile is currently deficient, how and where can you fill up on the knowledge that you lack?
The Players | Get the Right People Eating, Sleeping, and Breathing Mobile
One way to become mobile dedicated is through talent acquisition. Obviously, no one has the time or the energy to become an expert in every area. In particular, a technology area that is rapidly changing and expanding such as mobile requires unique skill sets. Hiring someone with mobile expertise can be a viable option to address knowledge gaps in an organization. However, expect to compete aggressively for talent because mobile experts with a blend of technology and marketing knowledge are not easy to find.
Next, ask yourself this: Who is your organization’s mobility change agent? Change does not come easily or quickly and it often requires a catalyst. Any closed system will remain in the same state unless an outside force acts upon it. Therefore, you need an evangelist for mobile, someone who is bold and unafraid to speak about the greatness, the good news, of mobile. The IDC argues that “operating a leading mobility strategy is not easy, as it involves, among other things, significant cross-organization leadership, including commitment from many corners of IT, the C-Suite and from core functions … IDC believes that gathering the necessary commitment requires a key change agent in the firm who understands mobility and can evangelize its strategic importance to the business.”
Who is this person? If you’re reading this blog, it may very well be you. Or it may be someone at a higher level within your organization. The point is you need to identify your organization’s mobility change agent as soon as possible.
The Structure | Mobile Centers of Excellence
One of the most effective ways to better govern mobile is through the creation of mobile centers of excellence (MoCe). Many mobile mature organizations have set up MoCe to guide initiatives throughout the organization, to centralize strategy and standards, to establish best practices, and more. Forrester notes that “quality control will also be under the purview of this group, as it selects the most relevant projects to implement and makes sure they offer differentiated customer experiences and serve corporate objectives.” Forrester found that “mobile centers of excellence are not yet the norm,” but research is showing that they need to be.
Mobile | The New Epicenter of Business
In closing, don’t forget that the center of the universe is not the Earth, but the Sun. The center of business is no longer the stationary desktop PC, but mobile devices. Accept this reality and act in response to the truth. It truly is a brave new world.