"It's not what's in your head that matters, but rather what's in your pocket."

Cognizant's Kevin Benedict had just completed his presentation about Enterprise Mobility in Kista, Sweden in front of more than 100 decision makers within the telecommunication industry when The Cognizant caught up with him to conduct an interview.

Let's start by asking why so many heavyweights are interested in this subject.

"Because it's absolutely vital. And development is also moving at an amazing speed. Now that everyone has a mobile phone in their pocket and are constantly connected, we expect everything to be available at all times. Everything is data-driven, and people are now used to knowing exactly what's happening, where they are and what things look like. It's like stepping out of a cloud of fog and into a world of facts and clarity. Everything becomes clear and precise. And we are quickly getting used to acting upon accurate and current information."

So what are the challenges?

"Companies who wish to remain relevant for these kinds of modern and mobile device-equipped consumers need to build their services in a new way, on new platforms and with new tools. They also need to look at data in a slightly different way. Solutions must deliver the correct data at the correct time to the correct person in a correct fashion. And achieving that is no easy feat."

Are there any solutions out there that are this modern already?

"Yes, but not in very many fields. There are sales apps that do all of this, giving the correct data at the correct time, etcetera. And there are travel planning tools that use real-time data for delays and such. Some new and successful digitally based companies have come a long way — Uber, for example, who know who you are, where you are, where you want to go and when you want to get there. That's pretty smart. But most traditional companies have a long way to go until they reach Enterprise Mobility."

Why does it take so long for traditional companies to reach Enterprise Mobility?

"It's partially due to the fact that their organisations aren't built to handle real-time information. When you can see your store's stock information in real-time you can take immediate action when you're low on a certain product. However, there aren't many companies that can act that quickly. And since they can't reach these goals, they won't benefit from seeing their stock information in real time."

Do the 100 people you just spoke to understand that Enterprise Mobility is important?

"Yes. We surveyed 80 top managers in large companies and asked them how important mobile solutions and mobile customer experiences are for their future business. All of them replied that it was important. 30% of them even considered these solutions to be critical."

Is it possible to divide Enterprise Mobility into different components?

"Yes, and the best overview comes from seeing it from the user's perspective, since they are what will form how business is conducted in the future. There are five different areas of functionality that drive the evolution, namely the consumer's ability to use their mobile devices to:

  • Socialise
  • Discover things (find prices)
  • Shop
  • Pay
  • Engage (share positive or negative information and give recommendations)

We need to handle all of these. It's far from easy!"

So what needs to be done?

"The mobile phone has paved the way for the digital transformation process, big time. So first of all you can't afford to only use one single platform, unless it can be changed and developed. Everything that isn't cloud based has to go, and open architectures are the only way forward. Evolution nowadays is so rapid that mobile platforms are outdated after about three years. The other thing is quick development. ERP systems are outdated before the ink on the contract has dried, at least if you compare them with how quickly an Enterprise Mobility system needs to be able to change."