Mobile devices are nothing new to the CIO community, but making the enterprise truly mobile and delivering benefits to end users, clients and customers is still a challenge for organisations and their CIOs.
At a recent CIO UK event three business technology leaders and the Senior Director, UK Enterprise Sales for BlackBerry discussed how CIOs can deliver benefits to their organisation through the adoption of mobile technology. The CIOs had presentations from three different perspectives, Myron Hryck, CIO of utilities company Severn Trent Water has enabled a wide range of mobile services to his organisation and is already seeing benefits, Joanne Smith, CIO at the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust is at the very early stages of a radical transformation of the hospital and sees mobility as a key to her plans. While Alex Rammal, Business Relationship Director for luxury car maker Jaguar Land Rover is already using mobile Apps to improve productivity at his growing organisation.
Severn Trent Water CIO Myron Hrycyk touted mobility as a "critical and a central factor to transforming an organisation".
“Eight per cent of our employees don't have fixed-line phones anymore, when previously they all did. Aside from the legal department, HR and some PAs, everyone from the chief executive down is using a mobile,” Hryck said of the removal of fixed line telecommunications in almost all areas of the Midlands company.
"Our people wanted to work in a mobile way; they were already well ahead of what we thought we should give them.
"The mobility programme has decreased our opex rates, and also made working for us more attractive so our retention rates have gone up," Hryck said.
Smith at the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation described a vision of an NHS trust that was going to be a low paper usage and planned to use mobile devices to increase collaboration across the organisation and also with the patients it serves.
Mobility is seen as a smarter way of working at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), the UK based car manufacturer with factories across the Midlands and Northern England as well as numerous office locations. The IT team has developed applications for staff to book hot desks, meeting rooms and car parking spaces, all of which increases the utilisation of these resources within the organisation and therefore productivity.
Services that allow the staff to find each other and know what workers look like are also being introduced. A set of plans are also in development to allow factory floor managers and workers to log documents or report issues via mobile devices from the factory floor instead of having to leave it.
Following the presentations a wide ranging debate enabled BlackBerry to answer questions frankly and demonstrate that despite the challenges of the BYOD market, the organisation is a major player in the mobile software market and a key applications provider for the enterprise.
CIOs discussed challenges surrounding connectivity as well as the ethical issues surrounding the increasing knowledge that organisations have of their staff as a result of increased mobile usage.
To summarise the event and the conversation had, mobility is and will remain a key strategy for CIOs in the coming years. There are business and ethical challenges and the network providers are expected by the CIO community to do more to address service quality.
BlackBerry potentially has a strong opportunity as a provider to CIOs and organisations are looking for partners that will enable greater mobility to improve processes within organisations.