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Investigation into current and future requirements and influences of mobile business applications within Enterprise Mobility

©2013 Masterarbeit 104 Seiten


The thesis at hand is about current and future requirements and influences of
business apps within Enterprise Mobility. The main objective is to provide
recommendations for Trigon Consulting, a German IT consultancy, who needs a
strategy to approach mobility market best. The recommendations include a service
portfolio as well as an approach based on results of the investigation.
The investigation has been conducted via interviews and focused on current and
potential business apps user of different industries, job levels and company sizes.
The questions contained topics from four dimensions: economic, technical, process
and social. These perspectives structure the whole thesis so to say not only the
investigation, but also literature review and analysis.
Based on the conclusion of the investigation the recommendation suggests a
service portfolio with three building blocks: Readiness Check, Transition
Management and Advanced Mobility.
The Readiness Check is based on the conclusion that companies need the right
mobile strategy which supports the overall business goals and creates real business
value. In addition most of the companies are not familiar with mobility and need
therefore help to introduce a sufficient and reliable mobility environment within
limited investment effort. For these reasons the Readiness Check is a consecutive
offering with three services. The Enterprise Mobility Strategy service helps
companies aligning their mobility strategy to the overall business strategy. The Use
Case service is important to find, evaluate and prioritise appropriate scenarios for
the usage of business apps. Along the Transition Approach service Trigon should be
able to give advice how a company will be transformed into a mobilised enterprise.
After the analysis part, the Transition Management proposal should help
organisations in their transformation process with various services. It was found out
in the investigation that many companies have been started recently or plan to start
the transformation phase, so based on their needs dedicated services of Transition
Management offering would be beneficial for them. A pilot project should give enterprise the opportunity to gain experience and build knowledge within the new
topic. Further business app development and its integration are key services to
build efficient and user friendly mobile solutions, which utilise business processes
and leverage user productivity. [...]



Executive Summary


List of Tables

1 Introduction
1.1 Background and Context
1.2 Research Problem.
1.3 Relevance and Scope of Management Challenge
1.4 Definition of Terms
1.5 Approach and Structure of Management Challenge

2 Review of Current Thinking
2.1 Enterprise Mobility
2.1.1 The Emerge of Enterprise Mobility
2.1.2 The Enterprise Mobility Ecosystem.
2.1.3 Challenges Introducing Enterprise Mobility in Companies
2.1.4 The Drivers of Enterprise Mobility
2.2 Dimensions of Enterprise Mobility
2.2.1 Economic Dimension
2.2.2 Technical Dimension
2.2.3 Process Dimension
2.2.4 Social Dimension
2.3 Mobility Drives Enterprises
2.3.1 Enterprise Mobile Strategy
2.3.2 Transition to a Mobilised Enterprise
2.4 Conclusion and Link to Research Project

3 Investigation
3.1 Investigation Objectives
3.2 Investigation Design
3.2.1 Research Strategy
3.2.2 Research Design
3.2.3 Research Methodology and Technique
3.2.4 Data Collection Approach
3.2.5 Data Analysis Approach
3.3 Limitations
3.4 Ethics

4 Findings and Analysis
4.1 Processing Interviews
4.2 Data Classification
4.3 Detailed Analysis and Discussion of Findings
4.3.1 Economic Dimension Economic Findings Economic Analysis
4.3.2 Technical Dimension Technical Findings Technical Analysis
4.3.3 Process Dimension Process Findings Process Analysis
4.3.4 Social Dimension Social Findings Social Analysis
4.3.5 Further Findings of Research

5 Conclusions and Recommendations
5.1 Conclusions
5.1.1 Requirements
5.1.2 Influences
5.1.3 Future Trends
5.2 Recommendations
5.2.1 Service Portfolio Readiness Check Transition Management Advanced Mobility
5.2.2 Approach and Next Steps
5.3 Opportunities for Future Investigations

6 Reflection
6.1 Evaluation of Findings
6.2 The Experience of the Research Process
6.3 Achievement of Personal Objectives

7 Reference List

8 Appendices
8.1 Interview Questions
8.2 List of codes
8.3 Sample of Data Analysis
8.4 Sample of Raw Data
8.5 Six Themes Characterising EM Challenges
8.6 The Forrester Wave: Enterprise Mobility Services
8.7 Word count

List of Tables

Table 1: Business app influence on current and future work

Table 2: Feasible processes, industry specifics and acceleration by industries

1 Introduction

The following introduction chapter provides an overview of the background and context to this management challenge and demonstrates why the following investigation is important for a small SAP consulting company named Trigon Consulting. Furthermore underlying research problem and scope are outlined and specific terms of the topic are explained. The final section of introduction presents the approach and structure of the management challenge.

1.1 Background and Context

“Mobility will be a Trillion Dollar Business by 2014" (Jones, 2010). Since Apple started selling its smartphone called iPhone in 2007 the mobile device market has grown tremendously. Along with this hype in the private sector also enterprises recognise the advantages of using mobile devices for business processes. This trend is still an opportunity especially for consultancies like Trigon Consulting to enhance their portfolio and stay competitive through early innovation adaption.

Trigon Consulting is a small German company, which is focused on SAP consulting. SAP is a global organisation, which develops enterprise software for all kinds of enterprises. Consultancies like Trigon Consulting help companies to introduce, maintain or manage SAP software functionality and related business processes. Trigon Consulting was founded in 1998 by four senior consultants as a limited partnership and grew up to 23 consultants in 2013 with a revenue of around 5 million Euro. The author of this paper is an employee of this company.

In 2012 Trigon Consulting decided to invest in Mobile Solutions, because of three facts: the tremendous growth of mobile device market, the impact of mobility on business processes and SAP’s decision to push mobile solutions. Two years before SAP identified mobility as one of the main drivers for future market growth for business software and is therefore going to leverage its enterprise solutions to mobile devices (Edelmann, 2010). SAP started to align its product portfolio in mobile solutions to show technology leadership in the business software market with success. In 2012 a press release from SAP announced that mobile solutions contribute 220 Million EUR to the revenue of SAP.

As a result, Trigon Consulting has recognised the opportunity to be part of the mobility hype. The idea is to help companies to introduce mobilised processes. Furthermore Trigon wants to support the IT departments of companies to be able to manage the new mobility challenges for example device, application and security management. To achieve competitive advantage Trigon will need its capabilities and experience of a SAP business process consultancy together with a high interest in innovative technologies. But what is the best way to archive this aim for a small consultancy with low investment budget?

1.2 Research Problem

According to an internal value proposition analysis, shown in Figure 1, the strategic intention for Trigon has to be mobility consulting and solutions with SAP. However, the analysis exposed also that the challenge for Trigon is to find out what is behind the strategic intention or in other words what is the content, the scope and the differentiated value offering?

Based on this information it should be possible to solve the comprehensive management problem: What is the best strategy to build up mobility consulting and solutions?

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Figure 1: Value proposition for management challenge

For this purpose the research should explore the strategic intention in detail. The first intention is a mobility consulting, which aims to advise within the wider mobile environments on so called Enterprise Mobility (in the following abbreviated with EM). Secondly information is required about the needs of mobility solutions named as business apps.

The research question is therefore: What are the requirements, influences and trends introducing business apps as part of Enterprise Mobility in organisations?

The results of the investigation should give insights into the needs and impact of mobility in companies to derive a valuable service portfolio for Trigon. In addition the research should expose future trends in mobility to show possible future scenarios.

The overall topic EM can be considered from different perspectives. Verclas & Linnhoff-Popien for example divided mobility into three levels: user, technology and market (Verclas & Linnhoff-Popien, 2012). They wanted to point out the past and future development of mobile apps. But due to the fact that Trigon’s focus is more on business process consulting and solutions it is more feasible to get details about the enterprise itself. Therefore this paper structures the subject into four dimensions as shown in Figure 2: economic, technical, process and social. The social and economic perspectives are important when it comes to getting the opinion from the key stakeholders whereas technical and process are necessary to gain insight into functional and technical aspects of mobility.

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Figure 2: Structure of paper

So this research aims to find out requirements and influences of mobility, structured in four perspectives, within a current and future time frame.

1.3 Relevance and Scope of Management Challenge

Trigon Consulting decided to invest in mobility consulting business, which requires strenuous effort building up capability and competency within a new area of technology. This business investment means high initial costs for Trigon, which is a high risk for a small consultancy. Therefore it is crucial to setup the right growth strategy based on reliable evidence.

Furthermore the paper on hand should also support the author’s personal objectives. As an employee of Trigon the author is directly affected with the build-up of the new business unit and part of the decision process how the enterprise will be structured in future. In addition the author seeks to gain knowledge about the topic Enterprise Mobility and its relationships to user. For further business activities it could be also valuable to get in touch with potential customers and their requirements for business apps usage.

Beside Trigon as a sponsor and the author also the management challenge supervisor and Henley Business School are stakeholder for this management challenge. Their objectives are to ensure a high quality investigation based on a profound literature review and aligned with knowledge gained so far in the MBA programme.

The evaluation of the research should provide general answers about strategies and vision of companies and employees in regards of the usage of mobile applications for internal company processes. Particularly it is interesting how employees imagine utilizing business apps for their daily work. The research does not focus on current clients of Trigon and also not on IT departments, because the results should provide a general overview of market potential.

This applies also to business processes within companies, which is also an important part of the research. The investigation should bring out ideas and creative insights about industry specific requirements for app development and potential consulting opportunities.

Furthermore the investigation also covers also technology aspects, but only on application level. They are focused on usability and functionality of business apps on a high level, because the sample group is not expected to be specialists for business apps. Out of scope of the management challenge are therefore technical aspects like devices and operating platforms for mobility.

As stated clearly in section 1.2 the research problem considers the “what” of the value proposition. So all topics regarding how to build up a business unit or which employee capabilities are needed are not in the scope of this management challenge. Furthermore the strategic intention is focused on influences and requirements of business apps in EM and does not cover the whole apps market.

1.4 Definition of Terms

For the management challenge it is necessary to define specific terms of mobility to clarify their meanings for the research.

Enterprise Mobility: There are multiple terms of the buzzword ‘Enterprise Mobility’, because it is difficult to narrow down the content. According to Rouse in 2011 EM is a trend toward a shift in work habits, because more and more employees are working not at their desks but using mobile devices and cloud services to perform business tasks. Together with the mobility of corporate data, EM can improve employee productivity, but it also creates security risks. In recent years EM management products, such as data loss prevention technologies, help IT departments address these risks. In addition a strong use of policies for employees can also contribute to a successful EM.

Cloud Computing: The National Institute of Standards and Technology of the US department of commerce defined 2011 cloud computing as a general term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the Internet. These services can be rapidly provisioned and released with a minimum management effort or service provider interaction. For this assignment it is important to know that cloud computing can be used within Enterprise Mobility to use mobile services in business processes.

Business Apps: Business apps are applications for mobile devices, which are used for business purposes. Business apps can be developed for different stakeholders for example customer, supplier or employees. The following paper is focused on business apps for employees.

Mobile Devices: The market of mobile devices is diversified not only through the producer but also through the type of device e.g. smartphones, tablets, hand scanners or special customized mobile tools. For this paper smartphones and tablets are matter of interest, which are loosely defined as phones that can run third party applications and access Internet directly.

1.5 Approach and Structure of Management Challenge

The general approach of this management challenge is derived from the research problem stated in section 1.2. The four dimensions economic, technical, process and social form the structure of this paper. This structured approach tries to balance most important elements and issues of mobility with different requirements and influences.

The introduction part introduces the topic mobility and clarifies Trigon’s interest to invest in this new technology trend. Furthermore it defines the research problem and the related scope of the management challenge.

The second chapter is the review of current thinking. General key concepts are defined and discussed with an evaluation and critical review of findings. A conclusion summarizes the gaps in existing knowledge and provides the basis for the investigation.

Chapter 3, investigation, defines the variables for the research. It clearly explains how the research took place and the underlying reason and aim.

In the fourth chapter the findings of the investigation are summarized and analysed also in the familiar structure: economic, technical, process and social.

In text passage number five the results of the analysis part are concluded and related to the theory and research objectives. In addition recommendations are given according to underlying management problem.

The final chapter provides the authors reflection of the whole management challenge and personal objectives.

2 Review of Current Thinking

This chapter provides a deeper theoretical understanding and discusses key concepts of the topic EM. Figure 3 displays the structure of current thinking review, which is a constitutive approach. The first section EM introduces the topic and gives an overview about elements, frameworks and drivers of EM. Text passage Dimensions of Mobility narrows down the review to four different dimensions of EM. In relation to that the next section Mobility drives Enterprises highlights the practitioner’s side of the EM topic. The final conclusion part summarizes the current thinking review with linkages to the research problem.

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Figure 3: Structure of literature review

2.1 Enterprise Mobility

The following part introduces the key topic EM (term is defined in section 1.4) as a basis for following current thinking, starting with an explanation how the topic EM appeared in recent years. The next section provides an overview of EM landscape to be able to classify sub topics around EM. Furthermore key EM frameworks are analysed and discussed to understand deeper relationships and dependencies within EM topic. The final section highlights key drivers of EM in order to have an imagination about possible future trends.

2.1.1 The Emerge of Enterprise Mobility

Mobility has always been a fundamental part of business stated Mosca in her blog in 2011. For years mobility in companies took place over mobile phones, multimedia desk phones, internet communication, portable computers et cetera. The underlying concept is still called EM. But in 2007 the company Apple Inc. entered the mobile phone market with an innovative smartphone called iPhone and totally changed the market situation and in addition also EM.

Sass stated in his Forbes article on the occation of iPhone’s forth birthday that although Apple’s smartphone was not the first on market, it had been the catalyst of an tremendous growth of smartphone market and created a new app economy with its app store (Sass, 2011). Apple’s product changed the category and consumer behaviour radically bringing three important technologies together: phone, internet communication and multi media. Tezel analyzed further, that an additional important success factor was simplicity of the usability concept together with security provisioning (Tezel, 2011).

But there are preconditional developments, which made Apple’s success possible. Sathyan states that there are three main technical advantages which enabled mobile technology: developments in web standards, wireless networking and innovations in mobile device platforms (Sathyan, et al., 2013). All three technologies enable smartphones to tap the full potential of mobility e.g. to have globally and time independent access to information.

With Apple as market leader also other competitors improved their products in a similar way and participated from the explosive smartphone market growth. Gartner published that sales of mobile phones declined 1.7 percent in 2012 but smartphones sales increased 38 percent (Gartner, 2013).

So mobile phones developed from being a call device to a mobile tool with a multiplicity of applications and with a broad distribution also in the business area. As shown in Figure 4, Gartner published its top 10 strategic technology trends in 2013. EM is affected by all of the current technology trends, e.g. mobile device battles to improve device capabilities, hybrid IT & cloud computing to have data accessible as well as enterprise app stores to leverage mobility advantages within the company.

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Figure 4: Top 10 strategic technology trends for 2013 (Gartner, 2013)

Seybold anticipated this development with the argument that service providers realize that the highest value revenue comes from corporations so they refocus from the consumers towards the business market (Seybold, 2008). The upcoming innovations push EM to be an important opportunity within an organisation to improve office productivity. But growth of EM is only possible within a performing ecosystem, which will be analysed in the next section.

2.1.2 The Enterprise Mobility Ecosystem

The emerging importance of EM in companies changes the EM ecosystem tremendously. Unhelkar analysed the interaction between mobile technology, business and society within the wider ecosystem (Unhelkar, 2009). Figure 5 shows that the influence of mobility’s changing not only the way business operates but also the way we live. So there is a reverse effect of mobile technology innovations to needs of society, which has to be considered within EM in an enterprise.

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Figure 5: Influence of enterprise mobility (Unhelkar, 2009)

McDowell considered the historical view and described the emerging role of ecosystem members, who invested very early in mobile ecosystem (McDowell, 2008). Examples are carriers, who started partnerships with software vendors, offering incentives and trained their sales teams to actively pursue the mobile opportunity. Furthermore device manufactures, network operators, system integrators, IT providers and value-added resellers followed and enabled mobile communication. All roles shifted in the last years towards changed revenue models, new business models, but also new risks and opportunities.

McDowell stated further that due to the changing ecosystem two paradigms are emerging for EM: first the need for virtuality to offer flexible, easy-to-use solutions independent by the device. Second emerging solutions that support multiple technologies, standards and applications will be an increasingly important part of the mix.

These paradigms are reflecting the influence of society, which is consistent to Unhelkar’s theory. But McDowell goes one step further. She predicts that the changing roles of ecosystem members together with the paradigms will lead to a point of fruition, where companies are willingly ready to purchase solutions as a strategic investment, and where solutions are as solid but also as flexible and easy to integrate in heterogeneous systems.

Hurley, et al. asked from a provider perspective: what is the heart of a healthy mobile ecosystem (Hurley, et al., 2011)? The answer is that providers have to cooperate within a partner network to assure scalability, flexibility, reliability and adherence to industry standards to deliver significant value to customers. As an enterprise it is therefore important to know the internal ecosystem to be able to develop mobile goals with an efficient use of the mobile ecosystem.

2.1.3 Challenges Introducing Enterprise Mobility in Companies

Coming from the external environment it is important for a company to think about the internal process to implement EM. Unhelkar defined for this purpose a Mobile Enterprise Transistion Framework (hereinafter abbrivated as MET). In Figure 6 MET pictures the transition of a company from a paper-based or electronic state to location- and time-independent enterprise. The strategic change is influenced by many internal and external factors, for example culture, technology, kind of business, end users.

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Figure 6: Mobile Enterprise Transition framework (Unhelkar, 2008)

Unhelkar suggests to follow the MET framework for a successful transformation towards a mobile enterprise with the aim to reduce risks and costs. According to MET it is important to define transition goals for the company. These goals should be mapped to MET to find out the right scope, critical decision factors and implementation strategy for the mobile transition. Unhelkar proposes further to set up the mobility transition as a project with five stages: diagnosis, planning, action, evaluation and enhancement. These phases of the MET approach provide a way to transform the company into a mobile enterprise in a structured manner.

While Unhelkar advocates for a holistic approach Maan highlights more the social networking and collaboration perspective towards a mobility adoption strategy (Maan, 2012). He states that mobility gather, process, compute and visualize social information within loosely integrated social components in a company. For this reason he recommends to decision makers an optimization of their IT investments to understand socialising and develop mobility strategies in the context of their overall business ecosystem.

In relation to that Maan lists the following key challenges which an organisation faces through EM adoption: real time access to critical information, customer expectations to problem resolution, adoption of internationally applicable mobility solutions, re-use existing web-oriented infrastructure, scalability and flexibility of mobile solutions, standardisation, technically fragmented mobile platforms. Maan concluded based on these points that it is crucial for an EM transition how serious the challenges are handled and how strong the willingness is to change organisational and process structure.

More holistically Sorensen, et al. identified six themes characterising EM challenges asking oppositional questions (Sorensen, et al., 2008): Interaction: mediate or situate? Management: control or discretion? Collaboration: individual or collective? Technology: ubiquitous or opaque? Organisation: cultivate or transform? Services: encounters or relationships? These key challenges are the result of eleven fieldstudies of mobile information technology in use. Sorensen, et al., outline the themes with characteristics and examples, attached in appendix 8.5, to carve out relevant decisions when introducing EM into an organisation. Their results should sensitise managers to be able to consider carefully each aspect within the company related environment. Additionally all themes should be subjected to ongoing experiementation with the aim to continuously find the most benefit from technology to organisation.

As a summary all three sources argue for a serious approach facing key issues within an EM transition phase. Further there is no silver bullet with a clear answer to upcomming questions. But they all trying to approach the transition challenges with an own framework or challenge list reducing complexity in order to find the right approach.

2.1.4 The Drivers of Enterprise Mobility

Coming from challenges along an EM transition another important influence factor to consider are the drivers of EM. Screening recent blogs and articles in different areas it is a current opinion that EM will grow tremendously in the next years. Hunt, for example, stated that EM market has reached a maturity level where companies have to engage with the topic and as a result demand mobility capabilities (Hunt, 2012).

There are different perspectives to identify drivers of EM. From a business view for example EM opens new opportunities for companies as mentioned by Infosys (Infosys, 2013). They identified three drivers: digital customer, emerging markets and new commerce. The digital customer stands for context aware web solutions, which deepen customers engagements and influence their shopping behaviour. Emerging markets have most backlog demand and are able to catch up fast using mobile solutions. New commerce should integrate social media and location-based services within EM to engage customers. According to Infosys all three have strong influence on company revenue and should therefore be considered.

Further Drinkwater forecasts that the demand of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) will have strong impact on EM (Drinkwater, 2013). Most employees own already a mobile device and increasingly enquire to use it for their work. This trend for BYOD will lead to higher efforts in managing EM and higher complexity of the IT landscape in general, which is going to consume an important part of EM budget. Small agreed with Drinkwater and additionally mentioned that IT departments will play a key role in meeting professional mobility on a personal level (Small, 2013).

Another important driver of EM is the development of cloud solutions. Kerley explained that cloud and EM form an integrated part and have to work together in order to reach maximum efficiency (Kerley, 2012). The ability to access company data everytime and everywhere is also a demand of mobile solutions. He further points out that the combination of cloud solutions with EM will drive innovation in mobility. Forrester supported these arguments and added that an EM strategy cannot be installed without cloud capabilities (Forrester Research, 2011).

Differently Poonen came to the conclusion that, according to the results of an online survey by IDG Research Services, three drivers are accelerating the demand for EM: executive demand, the increasingly mobile workforce, and customer’s demand for real-time informa­tion and action (Poonen, 2012). The online survey asked what is driving EM investment. The identified drivers reflect the trend to increase mobility of the employees and as a matter of fact accent the need accessing information independently of the current location. Additionally Poonen mentioned that these drivers are extending the boundaries of computing not only in terms of where computing is done, but also what computing can do. Similarly to Kerley he forecasts that in combination with the rise of cloud computing those boundaries will be formed by new applications, flexibility and efficiency.

In conclusion there are a lot of drivers from different directions, which have influence to EM. Combining the technological innovations brings potential to deploy new efficient work styles and processes within companies. The new technical possibilities create a strong business demand trying to get most value out of it outside as well as inside the company.



ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Paperback)
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Institution / Hochschule
Henley Business School University of Reading
2013 (November)
investigation enterprise mobility

Titel: Investigation into current and future requirements and influences of mobile business applications within Enterprise Mobility