Operational Intelligence as an overall concept has been explored in detail by Gartner in its market guide on the topic, and more specifically in relation to Enterprise Mobility, by CCS Insight in 2018. As we run down the final handful of months towards the next decade, it’s helpful to develop this framework further and create meaningful advice to mobility leaders in adopting the principles of OI.

The following simple model, pulled from an exclusive operational intelligence white paper, is designed to be a manageable way to approach OI for enterprise mobility for those wishing to explore the concept more deeply.

Operational Intelligence White Paper: OI for Enterprise Mobility Model | NetMotion Software

The What?

Getting the what requires visibility.

All Operational Intelligence strategies rely on one thing: data. But there are unique challenges to obtaining data in mobility. EMM provides a basic foundation in terms of gathering the necessary data upon which to improve operations but fails to provide visibility into the most important area of mobile working – the actual work. Unlike desktops, mobile devices are close to worthless in offline mode, and essentially all productivity done on them takes place online. EMM solutions offer zero visibility into the online activity of work-assigned devices. This problem is exasperated further by the prevalence of BYOD.

Mobility leaders wishing to take advantage of the benefits of OI must first begin by making an honest assessment into the accuracy and extent of their data sources. They must be confident in their ability to gain access to the data that matters and have systems in place that allow them to know what’s happening in their mobile estates. Gathering this what is the first step in any OI strategy, and for mobility in particular, requires much more visibility that EMM alone can provide.

Example
An exhaustive list of all the reasons that users are failing to connect when working remotely.

Mobility leaders are encouraged to adopt EMM as a minimum, but also evaluate and adopt solutions that can offer real-time visibility into the online activity of work-assigned mobile devices.

The So What?

Getting the so what requires analytics.

Gathering the data is the most important step to begin with, but what happens once you gain access to it? Data alone provides little to no value. In order for OI to deliver meaningful results, mobility leaders must invest in the tools and processes that allow them to make sense of it. For example, a report that lists every potential productivity loss taking place on mobile, or a list of every single permission that each app downloaded is requesting, can quickly lead to data fatigue. Massive exports of datasets analyzed in Excel or similar also all too often find themselves consigned to unread email attachments or gathering dust at the bottom of to-do lists.

Instead, mobility teams should implement technologies that have usable interfaces and analytical functions that can make sense of this data. Surfacing the most pertinent insights is partly a responsibility of the vendor, but likewise the organization itself must take some accountability for ensuring that visibility into data becomes translated into actionable insights. Developing processes such as hiring dedicated analytics headcount or devoting resource, hardware or even just headspace into the analysis of data is critical in ensuring the success of any OI program.

Example
The top three reasons why remote workers are encountering productivity issues.

Mobility leaders should ensure they have the means to analyze and make sense of this data in order to overcome data fatigue. They are recommended to create processes that dissect and translate vast data resources into relevant, digestible insights that have genuine business impact.

The Now What?

Getting the now what requires control.

Reaching the now what is the final stage in actualizing an effective Operational Intelligence strategy for mobile. Organizations at this level of maturity have demonstrated that they have the ability not only to gather the data that matters, but also that they have the means to make sense of it. For true OI effectiveness, they must now implement an actionable outcome. Often, insights will lead mobility leaders to an obvious solution. For example, the so what might reveal that a particular problem regularly manifests on devices running an outdated version of iOS. Without the means to take action, this intelligence is of limited value. In this instance, an EMM should be able to enforce an OS update for the impacted devices: a response that instantly addresses a key productivity concern and thus an obvious ROI for Operational Intelligence.

Controls may be a technical implementation, such as the ability to enforce a usage policy, a process implementation, such as recalling devices for reconfiguration, or a human implementation, such as educating employees about the best practice in working on public WiFi hotspots.

Example
Implementing a device policy that prioritizes 4G over WiFi in known problematic locations.

Mobility leaders need to have the necessary controls in place to take action as a result of insight. These may be hard (technology) or soft (process), but should be diverse enough to take advantage of the various opportunities afforded by the so what?

Download the Operational Intelligence White Paper

This exclusive operational intelligence white paper is only available from NetMotion and is provided free of charge to IT professionals who specialize in mobile deployments. Get your copy today.

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