Sports teams – from youth to the pros – are comprised of many individuals with various skill sets and talents. Yet when you hear championship teams and elite caliber athletes talk about success, their stories always boil down to a single commonality: the importance of the team. As Michael Jordan once famously said, “talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.”
Today’s enterprise shares a lot of similarities with sports teams in that each organization employs many individuals with various skill sets and talents. Furthermore, it is the companies that can unite individuals of dispersed business groups into collaborative, high-functioning teams that are likely to exceed their goals more often than not.
Currently, enterprise mobility is perhaps the best example of a corporate priority that has not yet reached championship caliber performance. That’s because business units, operations teams, and IT departments have mostly failed to operate as a team; more frequently butting heads than shaking hands. An example of IT-LOB dysfunction can be seen in the results of a recent study of 1,000 U.S. business employees, of which, 58 percent have abandoned their corporate mobile apps they should have been using for work-related tasks and 64 percent that have downloaded apps of their choice from public app stores to use at work, putting corporate security at risk.
As enterprises continue to think through their expansive digital transformation strategies, the need for purposeful mobility permeates every division within every organization. Much like with sports, the individuals that make up business groups and IT must begin to embrace the benefits of team in order to consistently work together to create lasting value. Here are three reasons why:
Mobility is Not Just a Competitive Advantage, It Is a Necessity
What do you do if everyone in your organization is on board for implementing mobility, but no one can agree on how to do it or what to mobilize first? The business users have multiple demands for the workflows and capabilities they need, but they also do not want to be hindered by device type or a poor user experience.
The management team just wants the mobile apps to be secure, perform well and have insights into adoption and usage. IT is expected to incorporate all their needs and do so quickly, while strapped on resources and budget.
With so many different requests and needs, barriers are being built between departments. Business units have become dissatisfied with IT’s inability to quickly meet their needs and as a result, turn to their own solutions to improve workforce mobility. However, these “shadow apps” are usually not approved by the organization and are not always secure, putting corporate data at risk. When data is lost or there is a breach, IT is left to clean up the mess, further delaying the likelihood of business requests being met and mobile apps being deployed.
In order to eliminate these barriers, taking a bimodal approach, or the practice of managing two separate but coherent styles of work, is an effective way to bring IT and Lines of Business together. By working together to optimize for a digital workspace, both IT and LOB have equal power to solve problems and drive significant business change.
Success is Impossible Without Collaboration & Delineation
Business leaders know best the key tasks and workflows that must be mobilized. They also expect a consumer-like user experience and performance; something that IT may not know or be equipped to implement. A culture of collaboration makes it commonplace for open dialogue between IT and LOB to occur. To create this collaborative environment, consider eliminating the barriers of communication and generating ideas in an open forum, encouraging the sharing of compelling thoughts and discussing how new technology can help solve problems.
Equally as important as collaboration, is delineation. Like any good sports team, players have specific roles that they are held accountable to each and every game. The need to separate pieces of the mobility development puzzle is no different. Forrester Research, in a recent report titled, “Build Mobile Experiences That Drive Engagement,” suggests that by separating the development of front-end user experiences from back-end service and data enablement, IT & LOB can thrive without being tactically dependent on each other.
Collaboration and delineation is proven to help streamline processes among the various groups, resulting in reduced friction, improved efficiency and greater collaboration among soiled departments.
The Right Tools for the Team
A great team needs the right equipment to spur victory. In NASCAR, winning is often dependent on the tires that the team selected; in lacrosse, players and teams choose their sticks with precise detail and group-think top of mind.
In mobility, there is no one size fits all tool to solve the inherent challenges of mobile development. However, teams that adopt an agile DevOps methodology as well as choosing the right solutions to solve problems can lead to improved operational processes and enhanced collaboration between IT and the business.
Neither IT nor business units can build or deploy successful mobile apps on their own. A good mobility strategy brings both parties together to collaborate and ensures they are aligned around a common set of goals. Business leaders know how things can be done quicker, better, and more cost-effective using mobile devices. Technology leaders are then able to determine the essential technologies and services required to mobilize these activities across the organization. By working together and creating the perfect team, enterprises can win the mobility championship for years to come.
This blog post originally appeared in App Developer Magazine.