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The True Value of Business Mobility

December 12th, 2011 by Bryan Whitmarsh, Senior Product Manager | Tags:

There’s not much doubt these days about the value of business mobility. Mobilized operations are more efficient and mobility makes workers more productive. The rate at which mobility is captivating the hearts and minds of today’s knowledge workers is itself testament to the value of this technology in the work place.

But how valuable is it really? What does it do for the company’s bottom line?

Fonality, a business communications company, recently commissioned a study to determine the value of providing employees with “the same business communications experience inside and outside the office.” Fonality conducted its study on small businesses (companies with 10 to 250 employees). The results were based on surveying workers, who depend on access to critical business applications, about how much time they spent trying to get that information in the field. Fonality reports that it found providing workers with the same business communications experience inside and outside the office saved companies $10,000 per mobile employee per year, just on increased productivity from being able to have more real time access to business critical applications.

Although this is a pretty significant number, it does not take into consideration the multiplier effect of accelerated business operations. Whenever a business process pauses to wait on an input or a decision from somebody in the chain of operations, that delays the ultimate objective of the business process. Here are a couple of examples:

  • Someone needs to book a business trip. They need to get a travel approval from their supervisor before they can book. The supervisor is also traveling and is unable to respond to the travel approval request in a timely manner. When the approval finally comes through, this worker has missed the window for booking a low fare and pays for a higher priced ticket. Over time this scenario repeats itself over and over. For larger organizations it isn’t uncommon for them to have over 1 million such request that need processing per year. If the higher booking rate was estimated at a conservative average of $200 per booking, that adds up to 200 million in spending per year that could be saved if just this one, simple business process was mobilized.
  • Similar scenario as above, but instead of a travel approval, it’s a contract review for new business, or an opportunity to respond quickly to a customer request that would convert to new business. A delay can result on a missed sale.

So mobility not only produces cost savings through measurable increases in personal productivity, every time someone is more productive, that increased productivity has a multiplier affect that accelerates downstream business processes. This results in further savings or greater revenue opportunities. Looking at it in this way, investments in a solid mobility strategy are a real bargain!

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