Determine Mobile Devices
Determine which mobile devices, software and hardware will best meet the data requirement needs, and then consider the portability aspects of the different devices.. By using this approach, you'll ensure that the mobile workforce always has the right information at the right time, contributing to optimum return on investment.
To help with planning and delivery, it’s helpful to distinguish four types of enterprise mobility:
- Mobile connectivity
- Mobile productivity
- Fieldforce automation
- Desktop replacement
1. Mobile Connectivity
This is the most basic aspect of enterprise mobility, allowing staff to access key services such as:
- Instant messaging
- Presence awareness
Once the basics are in place, the next task is to more seamlessly integrate these capabilities with device features, such as allowing enterprise contacts to be added to the local address book, or mixing personal and business contacts.
2. Mobile Productivity
This is the primary focus of discussions about enterprise mobility, exploring how knowledge workers can be given better work tools on mobile devices.
This can mean many things:
- Mobile intranet functionality
- Remote access to collaboration and document management tools
- Mobile views of enterprise applications
- Organization news and updates delivered to mobile devices
3. Fieldforce Automation
Mobile has been used in field environments for many years. Often delivered to tough tablets or ‘ruggedised’ mobiles, this provides frontline and field workers with key tools to support their day-to-day work.
These solutions are very different from the mobile productivity tools currently being explored for knowledge workers. They are often single purpose applications that provide forms and applications with off-line synchronisation that eliminates the need for always-on mobile connectivity.
Fieldforce automation is often where the greatest business benefits are seen.
4. Desktop Replacement
The final category has been captured by tablets such as the iPad, where staff (often executives) use these lightweight devices as replacements for desktops or laptops.
In contrast to the other categories, these devices provide simplified versions of desktop tools, alongside larger-screen versions of mobile functionality.
That's because Mobile Broadband technology offers more consistent remote access than Wi-Fi technology. Instead of requiring users to be in range of a wireless computer network, the technology can be used from almost anywhere a person can use a cell phone. Plus, it can combine with Bluetooth technology to let workers use hands-free speakerphones, for example, or synchronize data wirelessly.
Notebook PCs, which come in both standard and ultra lightweight versions, have large, wide-screen displays and can display high-end, dedicated graphics. Battery life on some notebooks PCs is quite long, and can enable workers to stay connected up to 15 hours without plugging in with optional additional batteries.
Tablet PCs feature touchscreens and the ability to take notes by hand directly onto the screen.
Mobile printers come with both color and black and white printing capabilities.
Handheld computers now include advanced security features and GPS (global positioning system) options.
Smartphones, some of which can be used in multiple countries, let your workforce can stay connected worldwide.
Consider the following types of consumer mobile devices that can be used for work:
Smartphone: Smartphones combine both mobile phone and handheld computers into a single device. Smartphones let you store information (e.g., e-mail) and install programs, along with using a mobile phone in one device. For example, a Smartphone could be a mobile phone with some PDA functions integrated into the device or vise versa.