4 steps to becoming a mobile enterprise

Daniel Sholler Profile picture for user Daniel Sholler September 1, 2014
Success with mobile enterprise applications depends on making the right connections into the organization's information, processes,and context

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Enterprise mobile applications require an architecture that matches the deep functionality of enterprise applications to the expectations of mobile users. These users demand collaboration, context with full functionality, and flexible access to critical business processes.

Spanning this divide requires improving the enterprise architecture so it can provide access to business processes, social and collaborative capabilities, and secure and reliable mobile delivery.

These three attributes demand a new approach to core capabilities within the enterprise:

  1. Information — Create a common view of enterprise data.
  2. Process — Deliver a uniform view of enterprise processes across the portfolio, both on premise and in the cloud.
  3. Collaboration — Bring those processes and data together in a contextual collaboration medium to facilitate innovation and problem solving.

And of course, all of this must be delivered through an easy-to-consume, secure interface.

Step 1: Standardize the information

Information is the backbone of the enterprise. However, a mobile application cannot be tied to a particular subset of information.

You would be quite frustrated with your phone if it showed you only contact information, and was unable to link that to calendar or email information. Or if contact information were stored and presented differently by different apps.

The standardization and linkage of information is critical for the mobile experience, requiring the use of industry standard information formats. This simplifies implementations, and ensures the completeness and consistency of information across the portfolio of enterprise applications, wherever they reside. This information must be visible to mobile (or any) applications, and updated instantaneously as business events occur.

Step 2: Extend the processes

The new mobile world creates assumptions about how business processes can work. Mobile apps have access to a wealth of information about the user and his or her surroundings that must be integrated with the business processes.

In addition, users expect to be able to execute meaningful business processes in this context. That means the processes of a single application are not usually the ones that must be presented in a mobile context. Instead, the mobile user must be able to start with the current context (who am I, where am I, what I am doing?) and be given all the enterprise functions that make sense in that context, regardless of what application they come from.

This capability, in turn, requires integration and standardization of processes across the enterprise portfolio. The processes supported by enterprise apps are made visible to other enterprise apps, and mobile apps. This provides mobile apps with visibility into enterprise processes. As more businesses move to the cloud, this interactivity will become the norm.

Step 3: Build collaboration with social content and contextual services

With the confluence of mobile, web, and enterprise apps, linking business processes to the apps that drive process execution is front and center. Applications must share context with one another, and context must be actionable via social sharing or with business intelligence software.

To drive productivity, the user needs to participate in the process and collaborate specifically about that participation—and have that organized in a way that makes sense.

Collaboration services enable the unstructured communication between users, and the new content generated becomes part of the process and the body of information. Contextual collaboration between people and applications enables people to easily collaborate to speed enterprise processes, innovate new solutions, and solve complex problems. To make that collaboration relevant to your day-to-day work, it must be intimately linked with the business processes used within applications.

Step 4: Succeed with mobile

Make mobile a reality in your business today.

  • Start with the integration of foundational end-to-end processes. This uniform access to applications and data is the basis of the mobile enterprise experience.
  • Then, ensure the additional services for social content and context are available and can be incorporated. This gives you the interactivity expected from a mobile experience.
  • And last, enable access to all of this through an application programming interface (API) that creates the platform for engaging and useful mobile experiences.

At Infor, we see customers using our technologies and tools to advance their organizations and become a mobile enterprise.

The initial step of integration and standardization of processes across the enterprise portfolio is one where standards-based Infor ION technology plays a crucial role. ION offers standardized content and process frameworks designed to speed and simplify the task of integration.

Many customers take advantage of industry-specific solutions within Infor CloudSuite. These already include the appropriate middleware layer to provide easy-to-use integrations for enterprise processes — without having to deal with the complexity of multi-cloud integrations.

Contextual collaboration between people and applications comes with the Infor Ming.le social business platform, which connects social collaboration into the business processes within those applications.

To read more about enabling the mobile enterprise, download Infor’s white paper on The Mobile (R)evolution – Choosing the right road for mobile enablement.

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