Mobile capabilities have penetrated all aspects of our lives. People of all ages now use their mobile devices as a vital personal tool, and this practice has extended into almost all areas of business. As our workforces have become more global, connected, and technology driven, our employees have come to depend on their devices as a tool to be effective in their roles.
“Mobility capabilities tend to be a direct reflection on IT leadership and its ability to implement the technology”
Prior to joining my firm as CIO, I was a consultant who led mobile strategy engagements for Fortune 1000 management teams. In my experience, there seemed to be two extremes in terms of the use of mobile technology inside of companies. You had the hyper-mobile organization that embraced mobility and had enabled their employees, customers, and partners with extensive capabilities. Then you had the companies that still viewed their mobile devices simply as email devices. These days, if your company is closer to resembling the latter than the former, then building your enterprise mobility capabilities must become a priority.
Why is this important?
There are many reasons, including:
• CEOs think mobile technology is strategically important to their businesses;
• Many millennials use their mobile devices as their primary computing device and expect their companies to provide mobile capabilities to support their jobs; and
• Studies have shown that a majority of office-based employees consider technology to be more important than other perks, including food and beverage, beautiful office space, and office amenities.
In addition, mobility capabilities tend to be a direct reflection on IT leadership and its ability to implement the technology.
How do you achieve enterprise mobility quick wins?
Many companies already have the platforms implemented to have robust mobility capability. Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) platforms were initially implemented to enable secure email, calendar, and contact access on mobile devices. The problem is that many organizations stopped there and never took advantage of the additional robust capabilities that these platforms provide.
You can achieve quick wins by deploying the following capabilities that you already have in your EMM platform:
• Deploy the Corporate App Store – Quickly build a healthy portfolio of apps by taking advantage of apps for systems that you have already implemented, deploy containerized apps that are built by app vendors for your specific EMM platform, and then publish apps that are available on the public app stores that you think will provide value to your employees. This is a great opportunity to engage your employees and find out the apps that they already use to do their jobs.
• Enable Secure Browsing – This is an easy way to allow access to your intranet and internal web-based applications. Some intranets may not be responsive or mobile friendly, so a long-term roadmap must be established to mobile enable key capabilities within those intranets. Many companies start with a people directory.
• Activate Mobile Instant Messaging – If your EMM or collaboration platform is mobile enabled, install the app and allow your employees to instant message as they currently do on their computers.
• Document Sync or Sharing – Most EMM platforms allow you to share personal or group networks by exposing internal documents within the secure EMM environment. Once this is enabled, many employees feel that they finally have something similar to a cloud drive for their files.
How is this applied at a law firm?
Technology is becoming increasingly more important as we rely on it to connect lawyers across the globe and be ever available to serve clients. EMM platforms are a crucial way to provide access to secure client files, especially when lawyers are traveling.
At Morgan Lewis, we have personnel spread across 30 locations in 11 countries. Our personnel are very mobile and need to be always on for our clients. This means mobile access to our firm information is critical. Three years ago, we implemented our corporate app store that included the native EMM productivity apps and apps that extended our current systems, including timekeeping, expense management, and phone conferencing. We then extended those capabilities to include payroll, Webex, legal research, healthcare, travel, and other apps that we thought would be helpful. Within six months, our app store included more than 30 apps. This rapid expansion of capabilities was not very difficult and transformed our mobile capabilities, making us more effective for clients.
Build upon your Mobility Success!
Once you have executed these quick wins you will be in a great position to advance your mobile strategy through building your mobile app center of excellence, developing customer apps for employees and customers, and use IoT and other mobile technologies to help transform your business.
Michael Shea leads a dynamic team that provides technology services to Morgan Lewis staff and clients around the world.