Embedding Mobility Into the Enterprise

Enterprise mobility continues to steam ahead throughout most organizations at a breathtaking clip. According to a CompTIA study, more than 70% of companies have made some level of investment to build out mobility solutions, with mobile devices ranking as the top investment item.

Still, as companies continue to identify and deploy a growing variety of mobile apps aimed at improving the productivity of their workforces and collaboration with business partners and contractors, one of the growing trends within many enterprises are efforts to integrate mobile solutions more completely with legacy systems.

As many CIOs know, there are countless legacy applications that continue to chug along and deliver valuable benefits to end users and the organization. CIOs can work closely with line of business and functional leaders to identify opportunities for aligning mobile capabilities into legacy app portfolios.

For example, the property and casualty insurance industry offers a clear opportunity for such integration. Claims adjusters who are provided access to customer records via their mobile devices (smartphones, tablets) are able to expedite the claims process faster for customers. This results in higher rates of customer satisfaction and improved productivity in the claims process.

Also, by integrating mobility effectively with legacy apps, CIOs and their teams are able to extend the life span of legacy systems and avoid making disruptive and costly changes.

Of course, these activities don’t occur in a vacuum. Many IT organizations are deficient in mobile technology skills. A recent study conducted by Accenture reveals that a whopping 90% of companies lack necessary digital skills, including mobile expertise.

Third-party providers, consultants, and contractors can be used to address the skill shortage. Still, it’s important for CIOs to work hand-in-hand with business leaders to clearly identify the capabilities being sought from mobile/legacy system integration projects to ensure that external providers are being given clear guidance on the steps needed to deliver the desired features and functionality that result from these efforts.

As companies continue to add new mobile apps to their enterprise app portfolios, CIOs are also discovering opportunities to integrate these apps with existing legacy systems.

For instance, field service technicians for a utility company can access customer account information, history of prior service conducted at a residence, and information about existing equipment and parts that can be made available through their mobile apps to service customers more effectively and efficiently. Meanwhile, a physician who is conducting a check-up on a patient aided by the use of a mobile app can check the patient’s medical history, recent illnesses and allergic reactions to medicines to provide the patient with a more comprehensive exam.