Mobility has transformed business. Customers now bank while waiting in supermarket checkout lines and order groceries as they sit in the bank drive-through line. Retailers send discount offers to shoppers’ phones while they’re still in the store, and insurance companies let customers file claims and upload damage photos via smartphone apps. 

Mobility also dramatically impacts business performance by improving employee productivity and streamlining collaboration between employees, contractors and other partners.

Businesses that ignore this mobile transformation do so at their own peril — there’s simply no way to stay competitive without leveraging pervasive mobility to optimize customer engagement and business workflows.

That said, mobile business transformation does entail some risk, including:

  • Security risk: Because mobility extends a company’s technology footprint beyond the four walls of the data center, it significantly increases the business’s threat surface. Mobile transformation thus requires diligent attention to data-related risks ranging from lost or stolen devices to malicious hacking.
  • Operational risk: If a company’s mobile environment isn’t purpose-built for manageability, it will be excessively expensive to operate. It will also be vulnerable to outages and sluggish performance that undermine its value to the business.
  • Reputational or brand risk: When it comes to a mobile app, customers judge everything from the application’s availability, accuracy and performance to the intuitiveness of its interface and the quality of its tech support. Companies that drop the ball in any of these areas can alienate users even as they attempt to deliver better customer experiences.
  • Project risk: Mobility projects involve orchestration of many moving parts, including carrier services and new and existing applications and infrastructure. Such projects must therefore be carefully managed to ensure they deliver the right functionality on time, without going over budget.
  • Risk of obsolescence: Mobile technologies and the ecosystem as a whole are evolving rapidly. Companies must ensure their investments in mobile transformation leave room to increase capacity, support new technologies and adapt to business change in the long term.

None of these risks are insuperable. But, collectively, they underscore the importance of a disciplined, big-picture approach to mobile transformation that encompasses everything from project management best practices to close collaboration with legal and regulatory compliance teams.

CDW’s extensive experience navigating mobility-related risks is indispensable to any company embarking on a major mobile initiative — whether it involves a customer-facing app or an internal bring-your-own-device program. We have the advantage of being able to see the forest and the trees. And we have the industry’s most extensive network of mobile technology vendor partners to back us up.

Ultimately, the biggest risk to any business is to remain on the sidelines while competitors seize the mobile market opportunity. No companies should let the risks associated with mobile transformation stop them, but they should get the guidance they need to take the risk out of that transformation.

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