Study finds mobility projects seriously stymied by three key short comings

Australian executives love the promise of mobility — it’s just that their companies are bloody awful at it. How else are we to interpret a new report from Accenture that finds Australian organisations are struggling to implement mobility effectively, even though it is highly prioritised by executives in those same organisations?

Called “The Australian crawl to mobility,” the report is part of a wider global study. It found that, overwhelmingly, local executives consider mobility to be a top five priority — and they are focused on its growth potential rather that its cost-cutting impact.

But while companies are committing a significant chunk of their tech budgets to mobility, the study’s authors assert that the money isn’t actually going to the projects cited by executives as important. “Many organisations continue to struggle to make significant progress in their mobility initiatives and generate a better return on their investment,” says the report, which identified three key shortcomings of the local approach:

  • A decreasing number of Australian organisations reported having a formal, enterprise-wide mobility strategy, opting to develop business-unit-specific strategies that may not further the mission of the broader organisation. The problem with this ‘bottom-up’ approach is that it makes it difficult for mobility proponents within a company to get a seat at the leadership table and get senior leaders’ support for key mobility initiatives.
  • They are struggling to develop formal metrics for evaluating the effectiveness of mobility. Australian companies are half as likely as those in markets like the UK and China to have developed formal success metrics. Accenture says this suggests that the locals are still experimenting with mobility, with little clear vision for what they expect mobility will enable them to do differently and better in the future.
  • There is a lack of alignment between spending and priorities. The mobility priorities cited as important to the business by the largest percentage of Australian executives were also among the least-frequently named targets for budget allocation.

Australian companies continue to struggle to make progress in their mobility initiatives. Less than half of the executives polled described their overall adoption and deployment of mobile technologies as effective, and only 16 per cent said their company has generated a 100 per cent or greater return on their investment in mobile capabilities thus far.

There is some good news in the study.

Despite myriad problems to date, Australian executives’ enthusiasm for digital technologies broadly — and mobility specifically — continues to grow, and is generally outpaced only by that of Chinese executives in the study.

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(Image source: Accenture)

In fact, Australian respondents overwhelmingly view their investment in digital technologies as a strategic investment that can help them engage with customers and grow their business. And they plan to invest an average of one third of their IT budget in mobility — but just not in the projects they regard as most important.

Accenture says Australian executives should take a leaf out successful implementation overseas by “… taking a more ambitious strategy and cross-company approach to mobility that is backed by the active involvement of the companies’ senior leadership.

The report suggests companies need to make a significant monetary commitment to developing mobile capabilities, and employ superior methodologies for developing and deploying mobile apps.

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