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Time is now for a more holistic approach to mobility initiatives in Asia: Vic Mankotia

Zafar Anjum | Dec. 2, 2013
The opportunity to proactively develop, deliver, manage and support innovative mobile apps and securely manage multiple platforms and devices is too big to ignore, says Vic Mankotia, vice president, Solution Strategy, APJ, CA Technologies

Vic Mankotia

Vic Mankotia, vice president, Solution Strategy, APJ, CA Technologies

The opportunity to proactively develop, deliver, manage and support innovative mobile apps and securely manage multiple platforms and devices is too big to ignore, says Vic Mankotia, vice president, Solution Strategy, APJ, CA Technologies in this interview with CIO Asia. The interview was conducted on the back of a new study by CA Technologies tiled TechInsights Report.

 What are main messages from this study for Asia's IT leaders?
The findings show that IT execs, while still grappling with the challenges of BYOD and managing the mobility deluge within the enterprise, are increasingly realizing that they need to address their customers’ mobility needs as these are escalating at a rapid pace.  Companies of all sizes around Asia are moving to enterprise-wide mobility strategies that focus on meeting external customer needs, and are generating tangible business results in the form of faster time-to-market, improved customer satisfaction, and lower costs. 

The time is now for IT to assume a leadership role in driving a more holistic approach to mobility initiatives. The opportunity to proactively develop, deliver, manage and support innovative mobile apps and securely manage multiple platforms and devices is too big to ignore. IT leaders can make the latest mobility push work for them by anticipating the apps customers want before they know they want them. IT can take control and work proactively with the business to understand their needs and deliver apps that solve real business problems, wow customers and generate revenue.

Did you find anything striking about the Singapore IT scene (in terms of BYOD or apps)?
Figures in Singapore mirrored those for APJ closely for BYOD and apps. However, it’s clear that Singapore companies want to invest in mobility. The report cites the proportion of the IT budget spent on mobility by other lines of business (LOBs) outside of IT will increase by 160 percent over the next three years. This compares with an average increase of 60 percent for the Asia-Pacific region, and a 33 percent increase in China. The proportion of the Singapore IT budget spent on mobility initiatives will also rise by 67 percent over the equivalent period, compared to a regional average increase of 50 percent and of 33 percent in China.

Can you talk about some significant takeaways from this study for countries like Japan and China?
There are significant takeaways for all countries.
•    Enterprise mobility has arrived – 68 percent in APJ either have an enterprise mobility strategy in place or will within the year, but one in three still believe they should be doing more with mobility – in Singapore, it is 41 percent, whereas 29 percent of Japan organizations feel the same, and 27 percent of China organizations.
•    It’s about the apps – 61 percent in APJ selected mobile apps for customers or employees as their #1 priority (versus 38 percent for internal BYOD) (Note that numbers may not add up to 100 because of rounding)
•    It is also about the customer – a key driver of mobility initiatives (48 percent) is increased demand from customers using mobile devices; others include improving the customer experience (34 percent) and customer support (26 percent)
•    Spending on Mobility as a percentage of IT budgets will grow 50 percent in the next three years – from 14 to 21 percent; spending on Mobility outside the IT department (e.g. in marketing) will grow 60 percent from 10 to 16 percent
•    Security and privacy concerns remain the #1 mobility challenge
•    Between 79-88 percent have seen or expect to see a wide range of benefits from their mobility initiatives – 88 percent say they have seen an increase in customer satisfaction whereas 86 percent have experienced more customers using our software/services as well as an increase in employee productivity.
•    For those already experiencing benefits, they report quantifiable improvements of between 18-24 percent

Doubts about the security and privacy of enterprise mobility initiatives are higher among Chinese organizations than in any other country in Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ). The study reveals that 49 percent of Chinese firms are concerned about security/privacy and believe it needs to be addressed urgently, compared with an average of 30 percent across the region and 28 percent in the U.S.

Two-thirds of Chinese organizations are deploying an enterprise mobility strategy to increase the security of mobile access to data and applications, the highest percentage in the region. Despite these concerns about security and privacy, Chinese organizations are advancing faster than every country apart from the U.S. in their adoption of a mobility strategy. Some 95 percent of Chinese respondents either have a strategy already or plan to do so within 12 months. This compares with 85 percent in India, 49 percent in Japan and 60 percent in Singapore.

In terms of quantifiable benefits, Japanese organizations saw 41 percent more customers using their software and services as a result of supporting mobility. This is the largest improvement seen across APJ for any of the benefits studied. In contrast, Chinese companies saw 14 percent more customers, and Singapore 16% more customers as a result of implementing a mobility strategy.

Japan is also in the lead in APJ when it comes to improvements in time-to-market for delivering new apps and services, reporting that apps and services are now delivered 39 percent more quickly. China and Singapore respondents reported improvements of 14 percent each for this benefit.

Anything else you wish to highlight in connection to the survey?
The key observation is the fact that IT execs around the globe are thinking about Enterprise Mobility as a strategic and an inevitable enabler to their long term business success. Up until a year ago, IT was simply trying to grapple with the issue of “trying” to secure a tsunami of mobility platforms (smartphones and more so with tablets) unleashed by the device manufacturers.

Today while the majority of companies (and IT vendors) address the tactical IT needs of mobile device (MDM) and application management (MAM), the more strategic issue is to notice the sharp rise of mobile application development (for 3rd party apps as well as custom enterprise apps). Helping customers through the mobile application lifecycle, starting from helping them with development, to testing, to efficient release management, deployment, provisioning and secure management are just a few high level vectors that need to be considered to embrace a true Mobile Era. What makes this challenge even more interesting is the fact that mobile applications are being developed at a furious pace (I call it ‘at the speed of Mobility’!), in multiple forms (native, web and hybrid), and have to be optimized for multiple platforms (iOS, numerous versions of Android, Windows Phone 8, etc).

Conclusively, the changing face of Mobility is more about being strategic and thinking end-to-end within an enterprise. The business opportunities with Mobility are clearly endless and are available to those who can comprehend this mosaic of complexity and execute with strategic intent.

CA Technologies is in a unique position to address the gaps in holistic enterprise-wide mobility management. The report emphasizes the important investments we are making in mobility and other advanced technologies. It’s clear the existing systems for managing mobility have not been meeting the needs of IT.


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