Mobile technology has taken a quantum leap forward during the last few years. Today, businesses, government agencies, educational institutions and even consumers have access to enormous volumes of data, information and knowledge at the tap of a screen—almost anywhere, at any time.
Yet, increasingly, mobile technology intersects with other digital tools and systems, including connected machines and the internet of things (IoT), geolocation data, social streams, and speech and visual processing systems. “We are witnessing an incredible evolution of the technology,” says Sei-Myung Chang, managing director at Accenture Digital.
For CIOs, it’s the best of times and the worst of times. On one hand, mobile frameworks—and their role in the digital enterprise—create enormous opportunities, as well as the ability to disrupt a business or an entire industry. On the other hand, navigating mobility is increasingly challenging.
“The line where mobility begins and ends is increasingly blurry,” Chang points out. “There’s not only a need to address mobile hardware and apps. It’s all about building a connected framework that drives human interaction and the business.”
How can CIOs best navigate this space and maximize mobility and digital transformation? What should business and IT leaders be focused on as mobile advances further? There are no simple answers but, amid all the changes, one thing is certain: The need to develop a clear mobile strategy and manage the framework of technology associated with it is greater than ever.
The convergence of various digital technologies is forcing organizations to adapt. Only a year or two ago, the focus was primarily on user interface issues such as “mobile first” or “mobile only.”
Today, there’s a growing realization that mobility and mobility management now extend to just about every other technology within the enterprise—and beyond. This, of course, spirals into apps, workflows, cloud frameworks, data repositories and more. Within this framework, “Mobility becomes the central point of access and the management tool for embedded intelligence,” Chang explains.
Tackling the Mobility Challenge
One organization tackling the challenge is Medical Center Health Systems (MCH), the largest provider of trauma care and other services in West Texas. The facility, which spans 17 counties and treats approximately 100,000 patients annually, has embarked on an ambitious upgrade of mobile technology over the past year.
In the past, doctors, nurses and technicians could text and handle basic mobile functions. Now, the facility is now rolling out secure messaging, the ability to view and exchange files—including radiological images—computerized physician order entry (CPOE), device tracking and additional capabilities.
Moreover, the staff and health care practitioners will be able to access data and files on smartphones, tablets and other handheld devices. “We want doctors, nurses and technicians to be able to pull up data wherever they are, without having to find another device,” states Gary Barnes, senior vice president and CIO.
As a result, MCH spent nine months developing a more advanced mobile strategy using a cross-functional team. It revamped upward of 1,500 workflows and embedded best practices into a new mobile infrastructure that’s built on Aruba technology. The network supports about 2,300 employees and incorporates as many as 6,000 users every day.