The use of mobile technology has grown rapidly over the span of last 10 years. The evolution of the internet and technological development has turned mobile devices into a sacrosanct part of our life. Considering the increasing penetration of mobile technology in human life, businesses are increasingly adopting mobile devices to fulfill customer demands and preferences. The adoption of mobile technologies such as iPad, Apple iPhone, Google Android, RIM Blackberry, and Windows 7 Mobile not only help organizations in running their business smoothly, but also help in keeping in touch with employees beyond the official hour. However, just like any technology, the implementation of mobile technology too has some pros and cons, not to mention the cost involved in implementing the technology and maintaining it. This paper will discuss the success and failure of implementing mobile devices within organizations and the cost involved in implementing this technology.
The use of mobile devices has a lot of advantages. The integration of mobile devices including tablets, laptops and smartphones with a variety of software and applications facilitate workers to collaborate and communicate with customers, staff members and vendors. The implementation of mobile devices adds to the productivity and profitability of an organization. Through the implementation of mobile devices, it is possible to market a product to a widespread customer base. Potential customers can be reached out through various mobile marketing technologies such as texts, mobile apps, mobile websites, and so on (Mattioli and Bustillo 2012). The advertisements can also be tailored to reach a more specific customer segment. Recently, the North Face, one of the largest apparel business giants in the world, launched a mobile technology named GEO-Fencing to attract more customers to the stores. This technology enables the North Face to tailor text messages according to customer's location and target specific customers. Since the implementation of this technology, the number of visitors to the North Face stores has increased substantially, with 65% customers reporting to make a purchase as a result of mobile marketing (Mattioli and Bustillo 2012). The reason for the North Face to succeed with its use of mobile technology is that it has customized the advertisements based on the physical locations of its customers. Tracking of the physical region of the customers helps the North Face to target specific customers with certain types of promotions.
However, just as the rightful use of mobile technology can lead to the success of a business, in a similar way, if the use of mobile devices is not managed properly, it can lead to a failure. One of the main issues with the mobile technology is its varied type of applications. Previously, organizations managed only a few applications for the software and hardware. With the advent of mobile technology, not only the types of hardware have increased drastically, but also the number of applications and software required to support that hardware has gone up exponentially (Winkle 2013). Making the matter worse is the frequent changes in the software applications due to which the maintenance of mobile technology software has become difficult for the IT department. For instance, when Avema Critical Wireless implemented mobile technology for its user base, it had to expand the IT maintenance support team by almost 50% (Winkle 2013). It certainly improved the user experience, but the overall maintenance of the new mobile processes softwares and servers are creating more problems for the IT team. Another major issue with the mobile technology is the breach of privacy and security. Due to the constant development and upgrading of mobile softwares, it becomes difficult for the IT team to continuously come up with new security layers, which makes the personal and official data vulnerable to hackers (Winkle 2013).
Cost of Implementing Mobile Devices in Organizations
Most of the mobile softwares are free. Therefore, it may seem that the cost of implementing mobile devices in organizations is minimal. However, in reality, the implementation of mobile technology incurs different types of cost elements for the organizations. Firstly, the implementation of any kind of mobile device requires new servers and data warehouses apart from the existing infrastructures, which involves the cost of procurement and the continuous maintenance and upkeep cost (Winkle 2013). Apart from the hardware, enterprise software also requires a regular license cost for each mobile application. For instance, if an organization wants to install and use Skype for business in the mobile devices, then the organization needs to pay a license fee $5 per user per month. This may seem small, but given the number of mobile applications, this small amount can quickly escalate to a large amount (Winkle 2013). Therefore, until and unless, the management is sure of the successful outcome, it should not venture into the implementation of mobile devices.
Mobile technology has completely changed the way of communication not only in the personal space but also in official matters. By implementing mobile technology, managers can get real time updates on transactions, employees can access emails and work related information from anywhere, and can reach out to a widespread customer base. However, the use of mobile devices, if not managed, properly can lead to problems such as the breach of privacy and security and higher maintenance cost. There is no denial of the fact that organizations need mobile devices, but they also do cost benefit analysis before going ahead with the implementation of the same.
Mattioli, Dana and Bustillo, Miguel."Can Texting Save Stores?". The Wall Street Journal. 8 May 2012. Web. 20 July 2015 <http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303978104577362403804858504>
Winkle, William Van. “A Guide to Selecting a Mobile Device Management Solution”. Tom’s IT Pro.2013. Web. 20 July 2015 < http://www.tomsitpro.com/articles/mobile_device_management-mdm-blackberry-ios-android,2-455.html>