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Enterprise Mobility: Unwiring ROI Complexity in a Wireless World
A Simplified Mathematical Model for Making Quick ROI Computations

The convergence of wireless communication technologies and the miniaturization of electronics have together created a great technological opportunity for enterprises to extend their boundaries out of their office buildings.

On one hand the media is rife with scenarios suggesting how providing mobile employees with real time connectivity to enterprise applications, outside the workplace could save businesses thousands of dollars.

On the other hand, there is exploding diversity of ever-morphing handheld devices and peripherals and costs associated with security, devices, training, support, extending applications on to mobile devices, networks and recurring costs of air-time connectivity.

CIOs, technical managers or solution architects need to quickly work-out ball park ROI estimates in different scenarios and present go, no-go or investigate-further recommendations to decision-making bodies.

In this paper we present a simplified mathematical model which we have found useful in making quick ROI computations in the Enterprise Mobility Space.

Computing Returns due to increased productivity...
A study by Ipsos Reid1 gives the median value of time reclaimed from downtime to productive time per connected mobile employee per day as 47 minutes. Radicati predicts that the number of mobile professionals will go up from 17% to 89% world wide over the next 4 years. It also predicts that the time gained per day will go up from 60 to 95 minutes over the next 4 years. 3iGillotResearch created benchmark estimates based on case studies. They indicate about 5-6 hours saved a week for handheld and PIM applications.

... And due to reduced Cross-Functional Latency
A salesperson can book orders on location. This data will show up in the managers' reports as well as give the order fulfillment team a heads-up leading to potential savings in overtime. Timely approvals from traveling managers eliminate time-lost in waiting. A mobile employee connected to the enterprise over a wireless network will save time of employees across all the functions that his or her workflow impacts.

Box 1 arrives at the mathematical model for computing productivity gains and diagram 1 illustrates the same.

See Box 1a

DIAGRAM 1: ILLUSTRATION OF MODEL FOR COMPUTING PRODUCTIVITY GAINS

Representing Returns due to increased Business Resilience
A field engineer updating the system with details of say, an unexpected oil pipe leak along with photographs taken with his camera phone, can summon help in time save his organization thousands of dollars. Business Resilience is the ability to react immediately to problems. Customers can move from distress to frustration to anger very quickly in grave situations. Retaining customers and customer goodwill in the face of raised customer expectations and aggressive competition requires timely resolution of customer issues. This is even more so with large powerful customers.

Soda bottlers effectively minimize out-of-stock situations with their mobility solution strategies, thus retaining retailers and customers. Timeliness or immediacy can be associated with a gain in dollars.

Box 2 arrives at the mathematical model for representing immediacy gains and diagram 2 illustrates the same.

DIAGRAM 2: ILLUSTRATION OF MODEL FOR REPRESENTING IMMEDIACY GAINS

Investments in Enterprise Mobility Solutions.
Desktop enterprise applications and the telephone have brought the enterprise to an employee's desk. Enterprise mobility solutions have brought the enterprise to the employee location.

But there are Risks ....
Small devices are easily lost or stolen. Going mobile with your enterprise, may take it right into the hands of a competitor or malicious hacker. Strong security systems have to be built into the system to prevent unauthorized access to devices, information and access to crucial systems. Key data must always be kept behind the firewall of a company.

... Constraints ...
Devices can keep a traveling employee connected to the enterprise but there are definite limitations to connectivity such as network coverage, speed, traffic and handover. Handheld devices are light and easy to carry with plenty of interesting peripherals but they are seriously short on memory, have small display screens, have tiny buttons for data entry, slow clock speeds and limited battery capacity.

About Satya Sarada Kandula
Satya Sarada Kandula is a Senior Project Manager with the Enterprise Mobility Solutions Group (Systems Integration) at Infosys Technologies Ltd. This paper was validated by Rajesh Gupta, a Business Manager with the Enterprise Mobility Solutions Group (Systems Integration) at Infosys.

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