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By Chris De Herrera 
Copyright 1998-2007
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Enterprise Mobility Assessment
By Chris De Herrera, Copyright 2007
 Version 1.01  Revised 10/14/2007

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Introduction

One of the things that the enterprise should do is assess their direction and support for technology. I created the Enterprise Mobility Assessment to help companies measure the level of effort and commitment to mobility.  The assessment is general for all types of mobility from PDAs and Ultra-Mobile PCs to Notebook PCs.

Background

Over the past few years I have noticed more and more support for companies to allow their employees to work outside the company. Along with the shift in the location where employees work, there has been a shift in terms of the hours that employees work. More and more employees are working flexible hours and longer hours. Mobile technology is one of the tool that companies use to support these trends.

The Future

In the future I expect that companies will allow more and more time and location flexibility for their employees. Along with the flexibility, they will expect that employees will be available anytime and anywhere. This is where mobile technology really shines. It allows employees to be able to address critical issues for companies without heading into the office or any other location that looks like an office. With this trend, there is a trade-off for the employees where they have to fit their lives around the demands of work.

One of the outstanding questions employees and employers have is when does work stop? When you are at home itís clear that is a boundary companies have crossed. Even being on vacation does not guarantee that you will be left alone since some companies may still contact you if you continue to be available via the internet or cell phone. In the future a line where employees are unavailable needs to be created in order to allow them to rest. Right now itís almost like employees are always available and when they arenít people get upset even though it is their personal time.

Assessing Mobility

Please start by assessing your companyís Information Technology based on the Enterprise Mobility Assessment spreadsheet. During the assessment, refer back to the descriptions of each optimization above to understand the details of each level.

After the Assessment

After you have completed the assessment you can use the descriptions to plan the specific area you want to optimize further. Ideally these steps should be part of the strategic plan for the company focusing on supporting enterprise mobility. Step by step your company will become more optimized for mobility.

Feedback

I am very interested in hearing from you. Please let me know your thoughts on how effective the Enterprise Mobility Assessment is for your company. You can write to me at chris at pocketpctalk.com

Levels of Optimization

Each area has multiple levels of measurement starting from Pre-Mobile, Mobile Capable, Mobilized and Mobile Optimized. In the enterprise, as they progress in implementing mobility they implement more and more detailed optimizations to support it.

Pre-Mobile is the state of most enterprises prior to implementing any optimizations for mobility. This area identifies base common areas that are implemented in Information Technology that all enterprises have today. At this point there are no optimizations of the infrastructure to support mobility.

Mobile Capable is the next highest state where mobile users are able to take advantage of minimal optimizations. This is a step above Pre-Mobile in that there are functions that work with mobility.

Mobilized is the mid-level of optimization. Generally users of mobility notice additional functionality and capabilities. However the environment is not fully optimized for mobility.

Mobile Optimized is the highest level of readiness for mobility. Each function in the enterprise and infrastructure are setup to allow for mobility. Users are able to take advantage of the increased capabilities and have a venue to ask for additional features.

Within each of these areas there are specific steps that the enterprise can take to support mobility. Generally each step builds on the prior one to enhance the features and functionality provided to users and customers. The lower steps are usually options enabled in applications while higher steps require specialized software or hardware to be purchased.

Steps to Assess your Enterprise's Mobile Effectiveness

  1. Review the levels of mobile optimization above

  2. Download the Enterprise Mobile Assessment Spreadsheet - Requires Excel

  3. Review the Areas of Mobile Optimization for guidelines for a summary of each area.

  4. Fill out the Enterprise Mobile Assessment based on your companies level of mobile effectiveness.

  5. Review the Summary, Graphs and Action Plan tabs for results.  The results are formatted for printing.

  6. Provide feedback about the assessment to chris at pocketpctalk.com

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