mobile

You Say You Want a (Tech) Revolution?
You Say You Want a (Tech) Revolution? Raju G

You Say You Want a (Tech) Revolution?

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it’s evolution
Well, you know
Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right
All right, all right

John Lennon and Paul McCartney couldn’t have had a clue about the societal or technological changes that would take place in the 44 years since they penned their anthem to change.

It can still be hard to tell if what we’re witnessing is a revolution – or simply a natural evolution – especially if you read the marketing hype around new technology products. Of course, it may be that we can’t recognize a revolution until after the fact.  Or maybe marketers desperate to differentiate their product or service are overusing the word.

In the world of enterprise software, here are just a few of the technologies that were once called revolutionary that have since become stepping-stones in the evolution of IT.

  • The World Wide Web
  • Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)
  • Virtualization
  • SaaS, IaaS, PaaS
  • Cloud computing
  • Mobile computing
  • Social media
  • The “app store” model for purchasing software
  • …and the list goes on and on

Any one of them, by itself, is a sign of evolution.  But when you take them all together and look at the huge impact they’re having on enterprise software, it’s starting to look as if all of these changes together really are bringing about a revolution.

So how do you make sure that everything is going to “be all right” as you navigate through the significant changes in the way you plan, develop, deploy, manage, and pay for enterprise software? By getting rid of old patterns of thinking even faster than you are updating outdated and inflexible technology.

We’re all sick and tired of legacy systems that slow down our organizations and gobble up our budget.  But the truth is that in many organizations, it’s old ideas and old procedures and processes – not old technology – that are really holding us back.

One of those old ideas is the traditional approach to enterprise software license management. No one likes it when an audit turns up over-used applications that require a true-up payment.  IDC says that 24% of large enterprises have paid a true-up of more than $1 million following a software license audit.

A most unwelcome revolution is underway in the way companies look at their IT budget.  Peter Sondergaard, a senior vice president at Gartner, told the 2012 Gartner Symposium/ITxpo audience that “Every budget is an IT budget.”  CIOs are increasingly being hit with transfers of unplanned and unapproved costs incurred by other departments.

It starts, Sondergaard says, when the marketing department spends on software to help them manage social media, the sales department signs up for cloud-based CRM, and individuals with credit cards sign up for Dropbox accounts and submit their expense reports.  “It isn’t new, but it is accelerating,” Sondergaard says. “By 2018, many companies will spend 90% of their technology budget outside of IT.”

Of course, these departmental expenses don’t just create cost issues, but also support, security, back-up, compliance, and discovery issues as well.

So how do you make sure that these unwelcome revolutions don’t derail your enterprise software plans? Get help from the experienced enterprise software management pros at InfoVision.  We’re getting more and more calls from clients who need experienced strategic resource teams who can help them review their potential risk from software licensing non-compliance, and we’ve developed a methodology that can help you identify and manage departmental spending and software assets. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you.

The Pros and Cons of “Bring Your Own Device” Policies
The Pros and Cons of “Bring Your Own Device” Policies Raju G

The Pros and Cons of “Bring Your Own Device” Policies

Just a few years ago, mobile devices were the tools of business professionals. The PDA and smartphone giants were Palm and RIM, and these devices were largely restricted to business use. Today, however, smartphones are quickly becoming the mobile communication choice for personal use, with close to half of U.S. adults owning one. This widespread adoption means that more options are available, and devices are upgraded faster than before, with consumers often more able to keep up with the latest mobile technology than companies are. Because of this, many companies and employees alike began to realize the advantages of adopting a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy. Proponents of policies that support BYOD cite the numerous tangible and intangible potential benefits, including:

Potential Cost Savings. Allowing employees to use their own mobile devices has the potential to result in significant savings. In addition to no longer having to pay the cost of supplying – as well as upgrading and replacing – the devices themselves, companies also lose the cost of any outside support and warranties, as well as the monthly service fees associated with the devices. Although many companies offer reimbursements for employees’ out-of-pocket monthly fees, they are often significantly less than what the company would pay.

Preference. Many mobile device users have a clear-cut preference for a specific OS or manufacturer, and are more comfortable using their preferred device. Reports have suggested that the ability to use their mobile device and their preferred platform increases overall employee satisfaction, as well as creates a more positive relationship with IT staff. In turn, many companies who support BYOD policies report a higher mobile platform adoption rate among employees.

However, BYOD is not without potential drawbacks. The main concern, as supported by research from research firm Gartner, is the question of security. Some companies have indicated that their hesitancy to adopt BYOD policies mainly stem from what they perceive as the possibility of security breaches and data loss. Not only do they lose the granular control over the access and security restrictions on company-owned devices – including the ability to remotely wipe or lock a mobile device in the instance of loss or theft – but they also fear that a work device that is also heavily relied upon for personal use faces a higher potential of being lost or contracting malware.

In addition, the use of employee-owned devices for work purposes raises a number of questions regarding the company IT staff’s responsibilities regarding troubleshooting and support. Not only might there be questions as to whether the IT staff should be expected to make troubleshooting employee’s devices available as a resource, but it also raises the issue of requiring multi-platform support for company-specific apps or software.

It’s clear that allowing employees to bring their own devices to work presents numerous potential benefits, as well as significant possible drawbacks. Because of this, what’s right for one company may not be right for another. One company may feel that the benefits are overwhelming and the risks easily mitigated, while another may ultimately decide that the potential for security breaches and extra strain on IT outweigh the benefits. Others still may find a middle ground with a restricted policy, such as providing support for only specific platforms, or limiting BYOD to tablets and not smartphones.

However, regardless of a company’s stance on BYOD, it’s important to have a policy in place that clearly outlines their decision. By unambiguously stating what BYOD is allowed, if any, as well as security and support requirements on the part of both the company and the employees, they can create a clear-cut policy that supports the best interests of the company – whatever they may be.

5 Ways Mobile Apps Can Increase Customer Loyalty
5 Ways Mobile Apps Can Increase Customer Loyalty Raju G

As marketing and advertising moved into the digital age, websites became the central focus of most business’ promotional efforts. While a strong and effective web presence is still essential, advancing technology means that relying on a website may not be enough to reach your customers where they are. As technology shifts towards a widespread reliance on mobility, mobile apps are providing companies with the presence they need to reach customers on the go. In addition, mobile apps are also proving to be valuable tools that not only increase overall brand awareness, but can also increase current customer loyalty and retention. Below are five ways in which a mobile app can result in more loyal customers for your business.

1. Front-of-Mind Awareness

The idea behind billboard advertising is to repeatedly present your business’ information to potential customers as they go about their daily activities, creating familiarity and prompting brand name recall when they need your services. When a user downloads a mobile app, the icon is saved to their mobile device’s desktop. This means that every time they use their phone or tablet, there’s a good chance your business’ name and logo will be in front of their eyes as a small, colorful reminder. Given that this could be multiple times per day in a professional environment, your business now has the opportunity to remain – at least subconsciously – at the front of users’ minds.

2. Added Value

One of the central tenets of online marketing is to, instead of focusing on purely promotional material, provide content that delivers added value to users. This content may not directly promote your company or the products and services you offer, but shares interesting or useful features or information that reinforces a relationship with users. Whether the content is a collection of educational videos, an industry-related resource sheet, a convenient scheduling or organizational feature, or any other type of value-added feature, a mobile app can be an excellent delivery method for this type of loyalty-building, highly valued content.

3. One-Touch Access

Today’s busy society means that when people need information, they expect it quickly. While opening a website is a multi-step process at the mercy of wireless connection speeds, mobile apps provide users with one-touch access to the information they need about your company, right when they need it.  Better yet, this information is available to them on the go, no matter where they are – even offline. 

4. Feature Integration

The smartphones of today do more than allow users to make calls and check their email. From an increasing array of options, smartphones and other mobile devices offer a wealth of features that make them full-service productivity, entertainment, and communication hubs. With a mobile app, you can take advantage of these abilities by integrating native device features directly into your company’s app. Connect with the map or GPS features to give users quick driving directions to your nearest office location, let users easily schedule appointments and add them to their phone’s calendar, or give them the ability to send an email or SMS directly to a representative, all through integrating with their device’s built-in features.

5. Offering Perks

It’s no secret that consumers love to feel that they’re getting something extra. A mobile app can give you the ability to provide promotions perks directly to your users. Whether you present offers through push notifications or grant in-app access to current campaigns and deals, your app’s users get the benefit of convenient, easy-to-find, relevant deals, and you get the benefit of increased customer loyalty.

At InfoVision, we have the experience and expertise to develop a mobile app that’s custom-built to fit your company’s needs. To learn more about how we can provide the solutions you need to take advantage of the benefits of a mobile presence with an app, contact us today.

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