If it’s not, then it should. Let me explain why. Every company wants at least their executives to have work email access on-the-go. They may not have it already but if they don’t they are certainly craving for it. We live in a business world that is globally managed 24/7/365. A good and timely decision right now can save millions. Smart business requires companies to take a similar approach with other groups such as the sales force to what they do with their executives. Sales force team members could make that extra sale a day just by having access to the information needed whenever and wherever they need it.
Most companies don’t really have specific mobile needs as long as their people have mobile email access. That is why most companies out there have email capable devices that can be configured to their corporate email system. Some companies even have a mix of Treos with Palm OS, Blackberries, Windows Mobile Standard, Windows Mobile Professional, etc. This can turn out to be a mess to manage, deploy and maintain. Turning the seemingly simple idea of providing email access into a self-defeating process.
Why would an IT department choose to have multiple OS’s to manage, configure and deploy? Analyzing the economics of mobile devices in general we will end up getting to the conclusion that regardless of the platform of choice: Palm OS, Blackberry OS, or Windows Mobile; having a single platform would definitely increase the IT department’s productivity and provide better support to their internal clients. The cost would be greatly reduced as well because their server-side-software would have to be purchased for a single platform as opposed to multiple platforms. A single platform would make so much more sense for a company. Additionally, we could also conclude that having a single platform would help develop any mobile applications in the future if they were ever needed. Multiple platforms would force a single application to be developed in multiple languages increasing time to project completion and adding unnecessary deployment complications. Not to mention the madness of maintaining not one, but multiple executable versions, bug fixes and costs.
Hopefully you will agree with me on these issues, if your company already has Visual Studio know-how or at least one of the VS programming languages know-how, it would certainly make sense to take advantage of it. And while it may be true that you may not need any mobile applications in the immediate future, in the longer term there might be a need for such applications. If that happens to be the case, you should not tie yourself down by having the wrong platform. If you find yourself having to implement a solution with multiple hardware platforms and mobile OS’s, you would have to have multiple development groups with very different skill sets in order to achieve the same/similar goal than on your desktop corporate applications. You would most definitely be better off leveraging the know-how your teams already have for the desktop and using it all to power a Windows Mobile development team that can do desktop and mobile development tasks interchangeably and in the same language.
If you are looking at potential for growth and you have a large warehouse, traveling sales team members, distribution and delivery and even administrative employees; then this should be the best way at looking into potential ways to increase returns by optimizing the current business process.
…Is Your Company Thinking About Mobile Solutions Now?