The Changing Paradigm of Enterprise Mobility in India

Demands from business significantly contribute to the evolution of technology. Huge automated assembly lines became a reality because of a tremendous growth in the demand of cars. Floppy drives have slowly metamorphosed into miniature multi gigabit data stores because there was a need to store a lot more data. Mobile networks speed and capacity are on a constant rise because there is a need for larger and faster data transfers.

Sometimes however, the normal circle of technological advancement based on the industrial demand reverses its flow. Demand is created because of technology. Technology drives changes in the way business is done. New avenues, so far not thought of, open up. There are several such examples in front of us – the most recent being the advent of smart phones. While several aspects of doing business has directly been influenced by the advent of smart phones, departments with the maximum field force (Typically field service and sales) have been impacted the most. While the impacts and challenges of mobility for enterprises have been widely discussed, this article focusses on the enterprises in India. India has a unique way of acclimatising to technological advancements.

Where are we?

Enterprise mobility is at the top of the agenda of most CIO’s. Most of the enterprises today realise that enterprise mobility is a necessity today and not a technology of future. As per the IDC’s analysis over 50% of enterprises today rate enterprise mobility as a high priority area. IDC further predicts that the enterprise mobility market by 2017 will be close to USD 1.8 B. Not enabling the field force with decisive data and information would eventually mean losing out to someone who has done so.

While India enterprises understand the urgent need to adopt enterprise mobility, India has still been among the slowest adopters of enterprise mobility among the major economies.

Challenges

India is amongst the most price sensitive markets. A mobility initiative does not entail trivial cost. From procuring hardware, cloud based infrastructure, adapting the enterprise backend systems (Some that are beyond saving might need to be replaced), upfront cost of mobile application development, systems integration, licensing etc. Unlike most On premise models most enterprises are used to deal with, enterprise mobility has an equally large fixed and recurring cost. While the hardware procurement, development of enterprise grade mobile apps, service cost for systems integration contribute towards the fixed cost. Hosting and licensing are major contributors to the overall recurring cost. Large upfront fixed cost is a major hurdle for SME’s with a small number of end users. The recurring cost is a major hurdle for large enterprises where the recurring cost is directly multiplied by the total number of users.

Enterprises mostly in pharmaceutical and financial domain that have largely been operating on the on premise model, are not very convinced about the cloud based mobility solutions. Reliability and accountability is also a major concern that is stopping from enterprises adopting mobility.

Components of enterprise mobility initiative

  1. The device: Enterprises in India typically encourage employees to use them on devices. Technically this is referred to as “BYOD” or bring your own device. The obvious cost that the companies save is often offset by the additional solutions they need to procure to support the BYOD – like VPN, MDM solutions etc
  2. The App or Suite of Apps: The Apps or a suite of apps is what allows the end user to get information and pass on the most later details back to the server. There are various different technologies like Native, Web and Hybrid that these apps are based on
  3. The Mobility middleware: A mobile app is not a web application running on mobile device. While it has been the choice of a few enterprises, it is definitely not a scalable model for enterprise mobility. To guarantee delivery of message, to ensure reliability and scalability of the solution a mobility middleware is a necessity. It is responsible for relaying messages, push notifications to and from the mobile device, with capability of storing and retrying them in the event of an error.
  4. The Connector: The connector is responsible for the communication of data from the mobile device to the enterprise system and vice versa. Naturally it can adjust to the logic and syntax of both the sides
  5. The Enterprise Systems: The CRM, ERP and EAM’s of an enterprise from various vendors that have been the business systems for a long time and have already adapted to the enterprises business process.

Silverline for Indian Enterprises

Jawahar Lal Nehru explains the vision of IITs as to provide scientists and technologists of the highest calibre who would engage in research, design and development to help building the nation towards self-reliance in her technological needs. As an IITian, I founded Integration Wizards in 2014 to bring the best in enterprise mobility to Indian enterprises.

Integration wizards has a suite of enterprise mobile applications built on its flagship mobility middleware – Silverline. It provides a unique solution for both large Indian enterprises and SMEs alike. With a prebuilt suite of business applications it, to a large extent, weeds out the upfront cost enterprises have to bear to adopt mobility. Its state of the art architecture guarantees security, scalability and seamlessness.

 About The Author

Kunal holds a degree in B.Tech from the prestigious institute IIT Bombay and loves fast bowling. Kunal believes the success of an enterprise solution is dependent on the inherent simplicity of the idea where an enterprise mobile app should be a natural extension of the back office enterprise systems. Before starting Integration Wizards, Kunal was the chief technology architect at Antenna Software responsible for the conceptualization and execution of customer enterprise mobility solutions.