Himanshu Shah, Chief Technology Officer, Adarsh Credit, talks about why organizations should look at the bigger picture and devise long-term mobility strategy
Is mobility picking up across enterprises today?
Mobility is rapidly becoming enterprise-ready. I think in future every CXO has to put mobility at the first. Trends show that in the current digital world 'If you don't have a mobile strategy, you don't have a future strategy.' For enterprises, it is time to acknowledge and integrate the mobility practice to the mutual benefit of corporations, employees and customers. As the mobility market enters the performance era, it will also trigger consequent trends in related areas. We have already seen shift of BYOD to CYOD and MDM to MEM/MAM & so on.
What are some of the top challenges to embrace mobility?
I see mobility as a “seismic financial shift” that will come with many challenges. If managed well, mobility will provide an invaluable competitive edge. Mobility benefits usually accrue over a period of time and can be difficult to quantify. Therefore the biggest challenge for mobility adoption is securing buy-in from the business. Even if the business is willing to invest in a mobility solution, the larger organization usually lacks the expertise to lay out a comprehensive mobility solution roadmap that includes the proposed features, technology, implementation plan, etc. With right and actionable mobile strategy, bank for instance, can provide their customers and employees innovative solutions that boost adoption and engagement while reducing cost and creating new revenue opportunities.
How do you at Adarsh Credit exploit mobility to bring in the unbanked segment of the country?
Financial inclusion is the first and foremost goal of Adarsh Credit. Adarsh Credit is the largest credit co-operative society inIndiaserving the bottom of the pyramid and we provide doorstep services. We have about 100,000 advisors and they go from door to door to provide financial services. We strengthen these remote areas this way. The Society was formed with a vision of helping the unbanked and that their growth has been due in large part to their willingness to go where other banks were not willing to go.Mobileis clearly the best way for the advisors to service the customers as it enables reaching all the rural poor as well. All the advisors anyway have mobiles juts like customers. Mobility helped our customers getting real time information and this also increased transparency. It helped increasing our advisor productivity by providing them direct connectivity of our transaction banking platform on their mobile phones. This new efficiency has allowed our advisors to devote more time to his existing customers and help grow personal relationships with the people. Everything goes back to having right mobility strategy based on your business needs.
What are the enablers of mobility for financial services?
Mobility implies more efficiency, effectiveness, accuracy, quality, etc of business processes, and resources. Mobility empowers customers to get anytime, anywhere service. Mobility in financial services help engage with customers and service them efficiently by creating an interactive environment. Access to real-time information allows for faster and more informed decision-making. For example, wealth management consultants, financial advisors, insurance agents, mortgage lenders and other financial services representatives can pull up real-time information about customer accounts, portfolios, transaction history and more when meeting with clients out of the office. Anytime, anywhere access to information enables executives to review and approve financial transactions on the road, improving efficiency, productivity, and response time. Mobile devices give financial organizations the option to go paperless, improving operational efficiencies and cutting costs associated with printing and mailing documents to customers and other financial institutions, as well as eliminating lengthy response times.
Mobile device management now shifts to mobile enterprise management? How should the strategy change now?
Improving business process efficiency and increasing productivity are the primary goals of many mobile enablement initiatives. To achieve these goals, organizations should establish policies, processes and protocols that define how mobile devices can securely participate in the corporate environment. The world of work has become very personal and it is up to IT to keep it professional. That does not have to mean locking down the organization’s computing environment with burdensome processes, implementing overly restrictive policies or banning all mobile devices. Enterprise CIOs must include MDM as one of their top IT priorities, and move away from the view of controlling mobility to a more flexible approach that supports a variety of mobile devices found in organizations. By taking these steps, organizations can meet end users’ needs while protecting corporate information.
Is mobility a customer retention tool for banks? Or this goes beyond that?
I don’t think so. It’s seen just as a customer retention tool. With so many factors in favor of mobilization of financial services well beyond banking, banks are on the threshold of the next stage of banking. Their first goal: to serve the niche segment of customers willing to conduct a majority if not all of their financial business over the mobile, with only a rare visit to any other channel. However, in order to get there, the banks need a unified secure and scalable enterprise-wide platform capable of supporting the whole gamut of financial services including but not limited to retail and corporate banking, payments and commerce, wealth management, CRM, microfinance and value-added services, such as ticketing and air time top up. With the emerging trend of banking at the customer’s door step, banks can conveniently avail the facility of mobility-based financial services to distribute financial products and deliver financial services at the doorstep of the customer.
Is security a reason for many to not deploy mobility?
I don’t see any reason not to deploy mobility in current stage as it’s not a case of catering for the ‘device of the moment’, but rather adapting to better fulfill their business objectives such as driving down costs, improving customer service, and increasing revenues. While it’s clear that security concerns won’t stop the spread of mobile devices in the business world (they are far too valuable when it comes to improving efficiency and productivity); constant concerns about data theft and privacy will continue to push businesses towards seeking top-notch managed mobility services in the future. Managed mobility facilitates security and governance of mobile devices in an organized, centralized way, a fact that lead vendors in the market are capitalizing on so in nutshell there are multiple solutions available to overcome this.
What's your advice for IT managers to best exploit mobility for their business?
Mobilizing the enterprise is of great importance to businesses. It’s potentially one of the key initiatives for businesses to modernize and innovate in the near future. Most organizations will have no choice but to develop multiple mobile policies and architectures, including customer and employee-facing strategies. It’s time for organizations to look at the bigger picture and think about their long-term mobility strategy. If businesses don’t adapt, then they risk being left behind. The adoption of mobility in most organizations has been a step-by-step process, with each part of the business driving specific solutions to meet their particular need. Organizations are now starting to realize that an enterprise-wide approach is needed if they are to maximize their return on investment.