I know it’s more typical to see “how to succeed” articles, but sometimes knowing “how to fail” is just as important. This is the case with mobile BI. It’s a relatively new phenomenon – accessing business intelligence apps on mobile devices like tablet PCs and smartphones – but I’ve seen enough companies fail at deploying it that I’ve developed a set of guidelines to guarantee failure, if that’s what you’re into.
So if you’d like to see your mobile BI deployment fail, read on! If you’d like to succeed and have your executives thanking you for enabling them to interact with company performance data anytime, anywhere, do the opposite of what I’ve seen so many companies do…
1) Skip ROI / Just do it.
The CFO is your company’s ATM, right? You need to purchase 100 iPads so that your cool, new mobile BI deployment can be standardized on one device (that your CEO likes), so your CFO is obviously going to cut you a check for $60,000. Obviously not. If you really want to have a standard device for accessing mobile BI apps, be prepared to answer questions about the business benefits your company will see from buying 100 iPads or how long it’ll be until the money spent is recovered through cost avoidance or cost reduction. Confused yet? Check out this recording of our webinar, Calculating ROI for Business Intelligence Projects, for step-by-step instructions you can follow to calculate the ROI of your mobile BI project.
2) Ignore existing Infrastructure.
It’s ok if you’re not sure what infrastructure your organization already has in place, right? At some point, you overheard the IT manager mention a Blackberry server but iPads are the latest and greatest so you’d rather go with iPads anyway. Good luck pitching that argument! The truth is, hardware cost is a hugely important factors for getting this project moving. If your company has already deployed Blackberry devices, go with a mobile BI solution that works for Blackberry. In the future, you may upgrade to iPads, so consider a solution that’s based on web apps – meaning the applications are device-independent and can be rolled out on another platform in the future with little effort.