Mobile frameworks—and their role in digital business—create huge opportunities and the ability to disrupt an industry. But navigating mobility is challenging.
"The network required seamless integration and strong security," Barnes says. Consequently, the IT team, along with consultants and vendors, carefully mapped out all the physical locations to ensure that the wireless network would work effectively.
"We have multistory buildings and complicated structural issues that lead to bleed through on wireless from floor to floor," he explains. "We had to make sure that the devices and systems wouldn't drop off or deliver inconsistent results." After a proof of concept and tweaking, the new system went live at the start of 2017.
MCH introduced three network segments: one for guests, another for medical devices and a third for critical apps. It is now rolling out tiered wireless service that allows patients and visitors who want to watch films and video on their devices to purchase premium service.
The health care facility is also rolling out an array of digital improvements for medical systems. For example, it has developed mobile X-ray units that transmit the data immediately, so that a patient's results are available by the time he or she re-enters a room and sees the doctor. MCH is now looking into tagging patients with RFID in order to track their location dynamically.
"Mobility is the wave of the future," Barnes points out. "It's at the core of a successful organization."
Embedding Mobility Into a Digital Strategy
How can CIOs best approach the changing face of mobility? What is the best way to fuel mobility in the workplace? A broad, multidisciplinary focus is a starting point, according to Tony Fross, Capgemini Consulting's vice president of digital strategy.
A mobility initiative must be embedded deeply in an overall digital strategy and IT framework. It must also focus on how IT can manage mobile technologies in a broad way. "CIOs must identify their strongest business partners, the areas of the business where they need to get truly deep, and whether they are helping to make the business digital or moving into more of a service role," Fross advises.
Ultimately, "Mobile cannot be done in a vacuum," he adds. "Companies that run off and develop a mobile app without taking a look at their native web strategy and other digital intersection points are going to end up in trouble."
This, Fross explains, means tying in speech and visual processing, geolocation data, IoT data, mobile payments, social streams, artificial intelligence (AI), analytics and more to create an entire loop or ecosystem. It also means adapting IT, governance and security to fit the specific requirements of an organization and its mobile strategy.
The goal, he says, is to introduce context to business and make smarter, better decisions based on mobility and digital transformation. It's also to create frictionless interactions with partners, employees and customers. For example, one of the things that makes Uber so disruptive is the fact that a user pushes a button on a smartphone and virtually everything else happens after that with near zero interaction.
In the end, Accenture Digital's Chang says that it's important to focus on innovation and to use mobile technology to deliver value to the business and its customers. "It's not about the technology," he says. "It's about stakeholder alignment, faster decision making and creating value for users."