In my previous post on this topic, I evaluated some of the necessary components for a successful mobile BI deployment. As with any project, planning is the most important step, so let’s continue today with 3 more items to add to your mobile BI strategy checklist.
4. Platform strategy
When working out your platform strategy, you need to consider the kinds of devices you’ll deploy your mobile business intelligence on and then what decisions will be affected by those devices. Ideally, your organization would have a standard mobile device rolled out to users, enabling centralized hardware, software, and data security. But this is the real world and that train has left the station. “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) is a trend for a reason. Before the term was coined, business users were using their own mobile devices to keep in touch with work while away from their desks, and they don’t want to carry separate work and personal mobile devices. CIOs and CSOs (corporate security officers) are beginning to tentatively accept employees using their personal devices, if only for the cost savings to the organization (going back to the ROI discussion from Part I of this article). One of the implications of this platform strategy is, of course, security concerns, which I’ll address in my next article.
5. Software strategy
This is an area that will be affected by your choice of mobile platforms. If you’re lucky enough to have a standard mobile platform at your company, then native mobile BI apps will be an option for you. These are applications specifically designed to operate on a particular device, like an iPhone or iPad. They take advantage of the native gestures of the device, like pinching and zooming. However, if you might possibly switch device standards or have one set of mobile BI users on iPhones and another on iPads, consider Web apps, which are device-independent applications that can be rolled out on another platform in the future with little effort. They run through Web browsers on smartphones and tablets, eliminating the need to create separate apps for different devices.
At every turn, we’re confronted with the reality that mobile BI is making its mark among modern organizations. Studies are confirming this, with TDWI‘s December research report revealing that 70% of participants see mobile analytics as an important part of their company’s BI strategy. Howard Dresner’s Mobile Business Intelligence Market Study found a similar number – 68% see mobile BI as either “critical” or “very important” to their business. And from my own experience with customers and prospects at arcplan, it seems as though everybody is jumping on the mobile BI bandwagon. Before diving head-first into your own mobile BI deployment, lay out a smart strategy that will ensure the project’s success.
Let’s consider the most basic (and important) factors of any organization’s mobile BI strategy: where the money’s coming from, who the project is aimed at, and what kind of BI applications are appropriate for mobile devices.
1. Return on investment
As with any other business project, your mobile BI strategy must have a discernible return on investment in order to get off the ground. In another article, we explored the 5 types of return on investment and the importance of categorizing a business project into one of these buckets. Revenue enhancement is one of the easiest forms of ROI to prove for a mobile BI project. Here’s an example: one of our customers is a company that tracks the effectiveness of pharmaceutical sales reps on arcplan-powered dashboards. The data has revealed that the average sales call for these reps is only about 3 minutes long, so every second counts. One company instituted a pilot program to switch reps from laptops to tablets, which start up significantly faster, to see if this would have a positive effect on sales. It worked – the switch increased the productivity of the reps in their meetings (allowing them to pull up research studies and email them to physicians quicker). This responsiveness on the part of the devices (and therefore the reps) has led to an average sales call duration increase of over 30%. Consequently, these reps have been able to increase the number of sales for the pharmaceutical company they represent. This pilot program proved revenue enhancement ROI and stakeholders gladly signed off on the larger project (tablets for everyone!) as a valuable investment.
In this webinar, we discuss:
- 5 ways to fail at mobile BI
- 6 elements your mobile BI strategy must cover
- A comparison of various deployment options, including Web apps vs. native apps and extranet vs. VPN
- Real-world security considerations and how to mitigate them
We ended with a demo of arcplan Mobile, our free mobile BI solution. Thanks to everyone who attended, and for those who didn’t, leave us a comment if you’d like to discuss anything you see in the recording.
Join arcplan on Wednesday, May 30th @ 2pm Eastern for our free webinar on Developing Your Mobile BI Strategy, presented by our SVP Dwight deVera. This webinar walks decision makers and IT teams through everything they need to consider before deployment.
Mobile BI is still new in the business intelligence world, but the hype is starting to wear off as more success stories come to light. It’s now part of every conversation we have with our customers and potential customers. Mobile BI rollouts are getting more and more aggressive according to Howard Dresner’s Mobile BI Market Study (October 2011). With 68% of respondents saying mobile BI is either “critical” or “very important” to their business, it’s time to lay out some practical advice for deploying it this year.
- 5 surefire ways to fail at mobile BI
- 6 elements your mobile BI strategy needs to cover
- A comparison of Web vs. native apps
- Real-world security considerations and how to mitigate them
We’ll also host a live Q&A at the end of the webinar.
You’ll come away from this presentation with everything you need to build your organization’s mobile BI strategy. Join us on May 30th to learn how to get your mobile BI deployment off the ground the right way the first time.
Hope to see you there.