Author: Kevin Moulton
While I was in Chicago a couple of weeks ago to speak at the
Oracle Innovation Forum at Soldier’s Field, I spoke to a woman who works for a
company that uses Oracle EBS. For some reason, the EBS administrators at her
company will not give her direct access to the application. Rather, they give
her a monthly extract of EBS data in a spreadsheet. She complained to me about
how difficult it is for her to glean anything useful out of the data with this
I don’t doubt
it. I’m disappointed to hear that the data is supplied to her in this way, but
I am not surprised. I hear this story too often, where the consumers of the
data are not allowed direct access to what they need.
When I hear a story like this, it makes me think of the dark
ages, when books were rare and had to be copied by hand. The information in
these books was considered dangerous. Knowledge was the right of the
privileged. Few knew how to read, and what would they read if they could?
Around 1450, when Gutenberg built his printing press,
information became readily available. The world began to learn how to read,
because there was something worth reading. By the end of the century, there
were printing presses in all of the major cities of Europe. Ideas were shared.
New markets were created. The world came out of the dark and into the
Renaissance. The printing press was the ultimate disruptive technology.
I think of mobility in the same way. While nearly everyone
is carrying a smartphone, and tablet sales are expected to outpace laptop sales
by 2016, I still see many organizations where applications and data are locked
down in the data center. Access is
granted to the privileged few, often in a suboptimal format, and only when the
user is in the office on a PC.
Too many organizations create restrictive usage policies’ in
the name of security or simply ease of administration, in an attempt to prevent
mobile access to email and data, and to prevent the use of third party
cloud-based tools. The problem is, your employees are just trying to get their
jobs done, and many view these policies as hampering their ability to do it.
They are carrying around a mobile device or two, and it is simply too easy for
them to forward their corporate email to Gmail or Yahoo, and store the data in
Dropbox, Box, or Google Drive so they can access it when they are out of the
office. They see IT as an obstacle to be overcome. Rather than preventing
employees from using technology, wouldn’t it be better to work with them, and make
the applications and data they need available to them anytime and anywhere?
Wouldn’t making applications and data more available lead to positive returns
for your organization?
Certainly, the Aberdeen Group believes so. Just take a look
at their report Mobile
BI: Delivering Actionable Intelligence, where they found that organizations
that deployed mobile BI solutions exceeded the sales growth of 80% of all other
respondents. They go on to say, “widely
disseminating knowledge throughout the organization has become a hallmark of
top performing organizations.” In a similar report, Mobile BI:
Actionable Intelligence for the Agile Enterprise, Aberdeen points out that “BI usage among
organizations with mobile BI has doubled compared to those companies that have
not mobilized their BI. By extending the reach and usage of their existing BI
infrastructure to mobile devices, organizations respond more rapidly to market
changes and customer needs. This accelerates time-to-information for critical
business decisions, while improving customer satisfaction and retention.” Clearly,
getting your data out of the data center and onto the mobile devices of your
customer-facing staff will lead to huge benefits.
Isn’t it time to come
out of the dark ages? Unleash your mobile workforce. Make your data and
applications available to employees carrying smartphones and tablets anytime
and anywhere. You will be amazed at the increase in productivity, efficiency,
and sales. Are you ready for your company to experience its own renaissance?
To learn more register for Oracle’s
Mobile Strategy Update about how Oracle can help you simplify enterprise
About the Writer:
Kevin Moulton has been
in the IT industry for more than 25 years, and with Oracle for 7 years.
Kevin is responsible for facilitating technology discussions on social
and mobile technologies. He is also a Distinguished Toastmaster. Follow
Kevin on Twitter at twitter.com/kevin_moulton, where he sometimes tweets
about technology, but might also tweet about running, beer, food,
baseball, football, good books, or whatever else grabs his attention.
Kevin will be a regular contributor to this blog so stay tuned for more
posts from him.