Top 7 pitfalls to avoid when deploying a global mobility strategy

Mobility is driving incredible business innovations that are transforming industries and enabling employees to be productive anytime, anywhere.

Multinational companies that want to encourage innovation, drive growth and support customer responsiveness across borders are struggling to manage the complexity of deploying, supporting and managing devices worldwide. Here are the top seven pitfalls to avoid when deploying a global mobility strategy:

  1. Global mobile policy – An effective policy is the cornerstone of a successful global mobility deployment, and mishandling policy formulation around issues like data privacy, taxes, reimbursement and roaming can cause major turmoil. It’s important for companies to create a global framework rather than attempting to manage and enforce multiple policy documents. In the absence of global standards governing data privacy, tax and reimbursement and roaming, companies must develop their own to control BYOD usage, costs and support availability.
  1. Procurement – Purchasing the right devices might seem like the most straightforward aspect of global mobility deployment, but it’s actually fraught with risks. It’s important to think through factors such as platform choices, application types and associated compatibility issues. Buyers will likely be dealing with regional vendors and have to make payments in local currency. Buyers must determine whether or not to purchase extra devices for new hires and coordinate setup and deployment across regions, which may have various power adapter standards and customs processes. All of these are break points that must be addressed.
  1. Deployment logistics – Logistical considerations such as customs and power adapters that come into play at the procurement phase are amplified during deployment, particularly during a high-profile global rollout. To ensure user satisfaction, managers will need to define the deployment process and decide which steps are universal and what components should be localised. Local teams should be involved from the very beginning if there are processes that are best handled locally, including any necessary app and help menu customisations. Managers should also ensure the availability of replacements and parts across all regions.
  1. Security – Mobile Device Manager (MDM) software is the primary line of defense in the BYOD era and can provide excellent security. But when deploying MDM on a global scale, it’s critical to make sure the MDM solution allows the company to push and manage apps across multiple countries. Often, that requires multiple versions of the MDM system, and it’s also crucial to make sure the Apple ID or Google Play account associated with the system enables timely updates. Data roaming is another important consideration, so deployment managers should make sure they know how carrier traffic and data usage are affected to avoid expensive overages.
  1. Support – After deployment, users will require ongoing support. Typically, between 10 per cent and 12 per cent of users require support over the course of a month. Factors to consider include hours of support operation, which may need to accommodate multiple time zones, and support delivery in multiple languages. Support delivery platforms need to be defined, including whether to provide support via helpdesk, email, chat or another method. Support personnel will need a way to work with overseas carriers. Companies that plan ahead will find it easier to manage routine support requests and have more time to focus on unexpected issues.
  1. Break / fix / loss management – Sometimes managers get so caught up in preparing for the unique challenges of a global mobility deployment that they forget to address the obvious support issues up front: how to replace or fix a lost or damaged device. To fully prepare for this contingency, managers need to develop rules for handling losses and repairs. Considerations include determining likely break/fix/loss ratios and maintaining an inventory of preset devices with regional customisations to quickly replace lost or broken devices and support productivity.
  1. Updates / upgrades – In addition to ongoing support, global users will need a fast, efficient and effective way to receive the latest software updates, and managers must devise a process that enables updates and upgrades on a localised basis where applicable. Having a defined update and upgrade procedure in place ahead of time can eliminate the possibility that there will be a significant spike in user support issues when an update or upgrade occurs.

Mobile innovation is driving transformative change throughout the world, and businesses that can harness the possibilities of mobile can gain a major advantage over competitors by ensuring that their apps succeed and by consistently delivering an excellent user experience.

But before they can compete on the world stage, companies must find a way to effectively manage a global mobility deployment.

By avoiding these seven pitfalls, businesses that are transitioning from regional to worldwide operations can gain an edge and succeed on a larger scale.

Jim Kanir, CRO at Vox Mobile

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