4 Key Paths to Enterprise Mobility: How Your Enterprise Could Save a Million Dollars


Ask a line-of-business or IT manager to list, one-by-one, each step that her enterprise took to end up at its current mobility strategy, and she likely won’t be able to tell you. Business leaders aim to take steps that lead logically toward a well-defined, long-term vision, but for enterprise mobility, adoption rarely follows this path. Often, an enterprise will invest in mobility or adopt managed services in stages, in an inefficient, and potentially costly strategy that delays the enterprise’s ability to unlock the strategic value of mobility and to achieve digital transformation. There are many roads to Managed Mobility Services, but taking the one less traveled – adopting a full suite, managed services contract initially – might make all the difference.

Businesses were slow to predict the impact that mobile would have on their workforce and on their business operations overall, and thus few enterprises put a long-term, cross-departmental mobility plan in place before beginning to invest in mobility. This left many with mobile environments that support multiple carriers, device types, applications, and departmental policies without a coordinated, organization-wide approach that spans purchasing, logistics, implementation, kitting, replacement, bill pay, and so forth.

Though this piecemeal approach is sub-optimal, once in place – short of a significant business case being made or a major catalyst event forcing the enterprise to act – it is likely to remain out of simplicity, and to avoid the need to address and prioritize the various stakeholder interests involved in enterprise mobility.

Generally, expense management presents the clearest business case for an enterprise to pursue managed services, due to the visibility of expenses in the enterprise. Thus, an expense management contract will often be adopted first. By Blue Hill estimates, unmanaged direct mobility costs can be 20% overweight compared to a managed environment. For the average billion-dollar revenue company, telecom and mobility spend averages $5-10 million per year, making this a million-dollar savings opportunity.

After businesses have made the case for Telecom Expense Management (TEM) solutions, they will often pursue additional managed services to achieve greater cost savings and efficiency gains. Blue Hill documented the costs and benefits of various mobility strategies in our recent report, The Cost of Not Acting for Managed Mobility Services.

The timeframe for adopting components of MMS varies, but most enterprises generally seek to support financial, technical, logistical, and/or strategic needs through managed services. Successful Managed Mobility Services support some or all of the following components of enterprise mobility: 

Financial: contracts, invoice management, payments, data consumption/roaming, dispute management

Technical: kitting, staging, content, data, identity, security, apps

Logistical: sourcing, device fulfillment, device repair/replace, device replenishment

Strategic: mobile business assessment, health and security check

Enterprise mobility needs become more complex over time, and rise up the enterprise hierarchy from the basic ability to use mobility, to security and governance, to the widespread adoption of mobility, and then finally to more strategic or transformative uses of mobility. Enterprises can achieve these high-level hierarchical needs through multiple managed services contracts that the enterprise has invested in over time. However, the greatest strategic and transformative value for managed services is achieved when an enterprise pursues a full-suite Managed Mobility Services contract initially, giving the vendor visibility into all areas of the enterprise’s mobility environment: expenses, operations, logistics, and even applications and security settings at the device level.

Utilizing a single vendor for managed services creates synergies in financial, operational, technical, and strategic value by placing all responsibility with a vendor that acts as a single point of contact for all enterprise mobility needs. By managing all aspects of an enterprise’s mobility strategy, the MMS vendor can seek cost savings and efficiency gains throughout the entire mobility lifecycle, with a greater understanding of how to optimize the environment from a financial, operational, technical, and strategic standpoint.

For enterprises with an existing TEM contract: it’s not too late! Blue Hill recommends that these enterprises pursue opportunities for additional managed services with their existing vendor relationship, or look to outside vendors if their TEM vendor does not also support Managed Mobility Services. For enterprises with an unmanaged mobility environment, Blue Hill recommends considering a single vendor for all Managed Mobility Services to achieve the greatest potential strategic value from the relationship.

About Charlotte O'Donnelly

Charlotte O'Donnelly is a Research Analyst at Blue Hill Research supporting written and research topics in mobility, IoT, and technology expense management. She is primarily responsible for surveying the market and reporting on significant trends and developments from market leaders in this space. Charlotte also supports the analysis, writing, and creation of client deliverables, multimedia assets, and internal initiatives. Prior to Blue Hill Research, Charlotte worked in mobile technology and financial services consulting. Charlotte has a background in business, technology, and law, and is passionate about the intersection of these subject areas.
Posted on March 13, 2017 by Charlotte O'Donnelly

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