Top 10 tips to achieve Enterprise Mobility in Asia
By Shiva Venkatraman | HP Singapore
I observe that Asia has a younger, mobile savvy, impatient population that is price sensitive, has buying power, is more open to sharing information online and less concerned about privacy. These youngsters are now part of the workforce for enterprises in Asia. So, if I were a CxO, how would I achieve Enterprise Mobility in Asia? Here are some thoughts:
- Cater for market diversity: For any enterprise which has operations in multiple countries in Asia needs to understand diversity in Asia spans languages, character sets, sports and leisure, family values as well as tradition. So, any enterprise mobility initiative should consider such diversity in its strategy as a key input.
- Account for feature phones and smart phones: Some markets like Philippines and India have less smartphone penetration compared to markets like Singapore, Australia, Japan or Korea. Also each country has its own preference for a particular brand of phone. While in Singapore, smartphones are the norm, in India these phones are affordable only to people in a higher income bracket. So any application developed for mobility would have to cater for the mix of feature phones and smartphones.
- Simplify the user interface: Given the diversity, simplifying the user interface is very critical. This might mean that I might have to sacrifice some features on the device in favour of simplicity. For example, a popular application in Singapore that I like called gothere.sg has a very simple user interface – 2 fields and a button that helps me with directions.
- Take up openness while balancing privacy: Asian telecom regulatory authorities are tightening privacy norms but customers love deals and like to be marketed to. I have observed that people are constantly on the lookout for bargains and are a little bit more open to sharing their mobile number. So as a Chief Marketing Officer, I can utilize this to my advantage for marketing applications balancing privacy and regulation.
- Leverage OTT Messaging platforms and Social: If I am not on Whatsapp or Viber or Facebook messenger, I am not “cool”. These OTT Messaging platforms are the in thing with mobile customers in Asia. So why not leverage them for Enterprise Mobility?
- Design for low bandwidth, unreliable networks: While mobile internet penetration in increasing in the cities, it is yet to be a reality in the suburban and rural areas. So catering to this requirement becomes critical while thinking of Enterprise Mobility, especially when testing the application for the network.
- Leverage the Cloud Model: The Cloud model becomes more relevant in Asia than any other geography. Business growth in Asia means more pressure on capital requirements and if I were a CFO, I would look increasingly looking to tighten costs and figure out faster time to value and hence the move from a CAPEX to an OPEX via the cloud becomes very relevant.
- Tighten enterprise data and end point security: As mentioned earlier, people are quite open in sharing information via social networks. As a CIO, I would have to pay more attention to where my enterprise data is ending up and how I can protect not only the device but the data that’s on it. So this seems obvious but the relevance of security to Enterprise Mobility becomes more critical in an Asian context.
- Improve employee morale: People everywhere love getting free devices, more so in Asia. A new mobile device is a point of conversation at home, with friends and the family. If I were a Chief People Officer in Asia, I would take note of this and figure out how I could potentially leverage this to improve employee morale in addition to providing them with mobile devices via BYOD/CYOD policies.
- Improve brand image and customer engagement: Asian customers are very impatient and want instant gratification at attractive price points. So as a CEO, I would think of utilizing Enterprise Mobility to ensure that my company can deliver “instant gratification” to customers. What this means is that I would engage customers better using mobile and tablet applications as well as improve my sales force productivity by giving them the right applications on the right devices to engage with such customers.
I hope I have painted a picture that resonates with you on how to achieve Enterprise Mobility in Asia. Do share your views and comments. I would love to hear them!