Australian enterprise is investing heavily into mobile technology and security, but poor integration threatens to undo the benefits, according to a new global research report.
A Defining Year: State of Mobility 2021 found that half of Australian enterprises invested in mobile technology or mobile security in the last year, with 71% indicating a positive ROI. However, 63% of respondents admitted that by implementing only partial integration — or none at all — with other business systems, business is being held back.
The report, released by SOTI, suggests that 2021 was the year of mobility revolution, as businesses were forced to change in the face of lockdowns and other restrictions. According to SOTI, the GSMA predicts that mobile operators will invest US$900 billion between 2020 and 2025 worldwide in upgrading services to meet ballooning demand for mobile connections and technology.
The research sought to understand the impact of mobile tech over the last year, as well as how organisations can position themselves at the forefront of the post-pandemic mobile revolution. The survey interviewed 1400 business leaders from eight countries, including Australia.
Mobile technology investment in 2021: seizing opportunity or just surviving?
More than three-quarters (79%) of Australian enterprise leaders agree their organisation’s C-Suite realises the importance of mobile tech much more now than before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, indicating that it’s climbed up the boardroom agenda.
But, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. Two-thirds (66%) said that their organisation’s portfolio of mobile devices has grown but managing the increased number of devices is proving difficult, indicating these Australian businesses might not have the right device management technology in place — or they have nothing at all. In fact, many existing tools don’t adequately help organisations troubleshoot device issues or help to manage the devices. This leads to increased downtime, a loss in productivity and likely a loss in revenue as well.
Meanwhile, half (50%) say that their organisation is not using mobile technology to help it adjust well to the challenges of the post-pandemic marketplace. The challenge for these Australian companies is to fully integrate mobile technology into their core workflows to capitalise on the technology’s potential to provide flexibility and intelligence across the whole enterprise.
The scope of this challenge is revealed in the answers given about aspirations and goals for the near future. In fact, 77% of Australian enterprise leaders agree that their company needs better business intelligence to navigate future unforeseen issues. Three-quarters (75%) also think they need better tools to diagnose issues before they become a problem, and almost half (42%) would like to improve their ability to monitor data analytics.
Planning for a post-pandemic marketplace
The pandemic, lockdown and subsequent changes in consumer behaviour have accelerated the digital transformation of business by up to six years. Businesses are faced with the prospect of a post-pandemic marketplace that is more fluid, more digital, more dynamic and marked by a rise in consumer demands.
The mobility revolution has scaled rapidly across all areas of business as they train for, adapt to, roll out and manage enterprise mobility. To prevent growing pains and ensure maximum uptime and productivity, as well as the best user experience, enterprises need to integrate and manage multiple form factors, operating systems and legacy systems. This is echoed in the findings with Australian enterprise leaders saying their companies need the following post-pandemic:
- Better business intelligence to help navigate future unforeseen issues — 77%
- Better tools to diagnose issues before they become a problem — 75%
- Improved security and user authentication across all mobile devices — 73%
- Ways to better manage their expanded portfolio of mobile devices — 66%
- Better data analytics, troubleshooting and issue resolution — 62%
Looking towards the future
In the immediate future, the recent pace of change looks like it will continue. Over the next 12 months, almost three-quarters (73%) of Australian organisations are considering increasing their expenditure on mobile devices, systems and/or security, while more than half (51%) of Australian organisations are considering increasing their expenditure on technology for better device and system integration and/or replacing legacy systems.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses in Australia and beyond to become more reliant than ever before on mobile and internet-connected technologies, to support a new way of working and operating,” said Michael Dyson, VP of Sales, APAC at SOTI.
“Many businesses had to invest in and roll out these technologies very quickly, while others that had already made investments in these technologies found themselves also having to scale up to meet the demands placed on them by fully remote operations. The challenge for many businesses was that the speed of transformation meant that these mobile technologies were often not integrated properly.
“Looking ahead, there is no doubt that the use of mobile technology will continue to serve as a lifeline for keeping operations moving in a post-pandemic world, so businesses will need to focus on improving integration to get the most out of their investments,” Dyson continued. “Properly integrated technology will also prove crucial in helping organisations meet the changing demands of consumers, who have also become more digitally dependent during the pandemic.”
A Defining Year: State of Mobility 2021 Report can be downloaded here.