CFO Insights 2020 June

Mobility “Information and insights on-the-go”

CFO Insights is a monthly publication to deliver an easily digestible and regular stream of perspectives on the challenges confronting CFOs. In this article, we focus on how mobility in the enterprise affect on their business and lead to the transformation of business models and the value chain.

What is Mobility?

The surge in worldwide spending on mobile devices along with the superior performance by smartphones which includes mobile wallets, E-commerce, biometrics, GPS, and cameras have caused a shift in the way we operate in our personal lives. Workplaces are also seeing millennials increasing in share as a part of the workforce. This has resulted in more employees expecting the same seamless experience provided the smartphone at the work. Moreover, it has led to a transformation of business models and rise in expectations across the value chain.

Enterprise Mobility Management is the set of people, processes and technology focused mobile devices, wireless networks and other mobile computing devices to allow mobility of workers, corporate data and information.

Several organizations who have embarked upon their Digitalization journey view enterprise mobility as a critical aspect in their operations and expect it to be one of the top IT investments. Implementation of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies would lead to higher employee satisfaction through increased productivity, higher engagement after work hours, and collaboration. This can also reduce costs and maintenance efforts for the IT function. 

The implementation of mobile policies increases the infrastructure requirements multi-fold to manage new devices, services and connectivity models. Traditional approaches are inadequate to support mobility as the number of apps explodes, and the development and distribution of those apps requires new skills, new processes, and new platforms. Each new mobile device introduced in the enterprise has consequences on the cost and performance of the IT environment. Cybersecurity is one of the major concerns as the decentralized access of corporate data is an element as crucial as the decentralization of work. Businesses might also have to consider aligning their mobility strategy in order to collaborate with external parties like suppliers, distributors and even customers who might have their own BYOD policies in place. This is a long and difficult journey and requires cross functional collaboration.

The top three areas in which companies are investing in to achieve their mobility are in building and deploying new applications for customers and employees, infrastructure upgrades more aligned to mobile-cloud principles, and re-engineering business processes to best take advantage of mobile platforms and work styles.

More than 60% of organizations are still in the process of making existing IT assets mobile-enabled; 30% are using mobility to re-define existing business models and drive incremental revenue streams.

Mobilization of the Business Process

Mobilizing the business process means taking existing business processes and optimizing them to be used on mobile devices. This could involve every line of business within an organization. Companies would need to carefully analyse each business process to determine the most suitable ones to be mobilized, and therefore maximize the ROI. Also, mobilizing the business process can be a complex technical challenge for some organizations. It will require procuring additional software solutions or reengineering existing solutions, or sometimes both. The additional cost of which can become a barrier from gaining stakeholder buy-in.

Organizations should take a proactive approach in trying to take on these policies to drive maximum value out of enterprise mobility, rather than a reactive approach in trying to avoid employee dissatisfaction from lack of agility.

Mobilization across the Value Chain

Mobilizing across the value chain involves collaboration between the organization and its value chain partners. Mobilizing the channel can streamline the entire value chain operation, allow quicker time to market, and resolve issues before they become problems.

Employees showing highest demand for BYOD policies are those who serve external clients, those who like to use the latest technology in their personal life, and those who connect to the Internet while traveling.
For customer facing functions such as Sales, Marketing and Services, mobility can help employees connect better with customers and help in faster issue resolution. In terms of sales, it helps the employees to track and maintain leads and get real time competitive information and for customers, it could help in purchase by enabling connectivity through multiple channels.

Mobility in the CFO’s office

Enterprise mobility is gaining acceptance in the finance functions as many finance leaders realize that the demands of the millennial workforce cannot be met without smart mobile solutions. Some of the areas where Mobility is becoming mainstream in finance are:

  1. Use of Mobile apps for managing the full cycle of travel management– booking trips to submitting expense claims and getting notified on reimbursements. Many providers are now offering mobility as an USP for their Travel solutions.
  2. Workflow approvals for Accounts payable processes, including exception approvals, are slowly gaining acceptance and are believed to be on the cusp of an explosion through mobile leverage.
  3. The same can be applied for approvals for changes in master data; e.g., Vendor master changes often require multiple parallel approval layers.
  4. With mobile wallet payments becoming main stream in India, it is only a matter of time when corporate payment solutions for B2B payments can also get on to mobile app based payments.
  5. The biggest use of mobility in Finance today is in the use of dashboards and reporting, where most BI solutions are coming with an embedded mobile enablement option. Many corporate leaders are now demanding mobility in reporting to be an essential ingredient of an enterprise information management strategy.

Additional resources

Deloitte Global CFO Insights:

In this issue, our authors discuss what finance leaders can do to manage effectively in a world of remote working, as well as how the concept of creating value may change for finance moving forward.

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