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Mobility wheels not yet in motion as Kiwi firms lag behind...

Kiwis may be early adopters of new technology, but a new report suggests we're not getting out of the starting gates when it comes to fully realising the benefits of that new technology, at least where mobility is concerned.

A new survey by Unisys, which looked at how enterprises use mobility to drive successful outcomes, found that only 10% of New Zealand organisations placed themselves in the most mature mobility category of 'mobile trendsetter' – considerably less than the global figure of 21%.

Mobile trendsetters were defined as having a defined mobility strategy that drives the technology roadmap, tackles success metrics, has mobility-related policies in place and has integrated mobility into overall enterprise governance.

New Zealand organisations were twice as likely as the global average (22% vs 11%) to be on the bottom of the maturity scale in the 'mobile void' category – having no strategy, policies or governance.

Unisys says the survey shows New Zealand enterprises are 'less mature than their global counterparts in embracing mobility as a core part of their business and IT strategies, with the majority focused on using mobility for internal business processes rather than customer-facing procedures or revenue generation.

Steve Griffin, Unisys New Zealand country manager, says over the past four years that Unisys has been conducting market research into enterprise mobility, the discussion has matured from simply what types of devices to deploy and whether to support a BYO approach, to how to use mobile strategies and technology to develop new products and services, improve employee productivity, deliver better customer/citizen service and generate new revenue opportunities.

“New Zealand organisations were early adopters of mobile devices and were quick to start mobile-enabling some enterprise applications,” he says.

“However, our research and our discussions with many New Zealand enterprises have found that they have not yet moved beyond those early stages to embrace mobility as a core part of their business strategies.

“Only 37% of Kiwi organisations have implemented a mobility roadmap driven by business strategy compared to more than half (52%) of Mobile Trendsetters.

The survey, which included 51 business and IT decision makers in New Zealand among the 449 surveyed globally, shows New Zealand lagging in the mobile enabled category, defined as having a strategy and policy in place, though not enforced and having proactive governance, with 31% compared with the global figure of 40%.

Thirty-seven percent of New Zealand enterprises surveyed fell into the mobile aware category of having pockets of mobile initiatives and some policies in place, but no overall strategy or governance. Globally 28% were mobile aware.

Mobile benefits

The research found that more mature organisations were more likely to be focused on achieving gains beyond employee productivity by also focusing on external initiatives such as CRM, customer/citizen service and new revenue opportunities.

There were more likely to be using mobile solutions to redefine business processes by allowing mobile access to information; enhance existing products with mobile capabilities; create new customer channels and enhance customer interactions; lower customer acquisition costs; and create new products, services or revenue streams enabled or enhanced by mobile access.

The research also shows Mobile Trendsetters are more mature in when it comes to measuring business outcomes of their mobility programmes, with 65% saying they use a formal, technology-enabled process to measure ROI. Just 14% of New Zealand respondents reported doing the same.

Seventy-nine percent of Mobile Trendsetters said their organisation has been able to measure a ROI for mobility, from hard cost savings and revenue increases to softer benefits such as increased productivity and customer satisfaction, vs only 38% of Kiwi respondents.

Productivity increases such as speed to market, cost reduction, increased hourly output and more efficient processes, were reported by 84% of Mobile Trendsetters over the past year.

Seventy-five percent of the Trendsetters also say mobility created or enabled new sources of revenue for their organisations in 2013, compared to just 4% of New Zealand respondents.

“New Zealand organisations need to take the lead from the mature Mobile Trendsetters by using a mobile business strategy to drive their IT roadmap and measuring mobility ROI qualitatively and quantitatively,” Mr Griffin explained.