Mobile Messaging in the Era of Enterprise Consumerization: How SMS Puts the ‘S’ in Success

By Steve French, Global VP of Product Management & Marketing, OpenMarket for MEF

Consumerization. SaaS. Cloud. BYOD. Mobility. Just five years ago these words would not have described the focus of IT and security professionals. Yet today, CIOs are reckoning with all of these forces, joining executives from across the organization to redefine and innovate business processes, operations, and communication with customers and employees. As enterprise consumerization has progressed, CIOs are prioritizing mobile technologies to drive business success. How is this impacting IT?

Steve French, Global Vice President of Product Management & Marketing at MEF Member OpenMarket, discusses how CIOs can leverage SMS in the age of consumerization in the enterprise.

An IBM study of more than 1,500 CIOs revealed that the role of IT is being radically redefined.

Whereas once CIOs focused mainly on designing and managing their core internal infrastructure, they have now joined with leaders across the organization to focus on business analytics, employee collaboration, customer engagement, and mobile solutions.

With more than three billion mobile users and six billion mobile devices worldwide, mobile has the potential to deliver business value in a variety of ways. While games, social media and over-the-top (OTT) messaging are wildly popular with consumers, C-suite executives are still struggling to realize the ROI of such initiatives. This is forcing many CIOs to carefully evaluate their priorities when it comes to implementing their mobile strategy.

For example, many executives are looking at a well-known and industry-proven mobile technology to make an immediate impact: SMS. In fact, a recent Forrester study reported that 86% of surveyed enterprises plan to use SMS in 2014. With its ubiquity, ease of use and global reach, SMS is an established communications channel for quickly and cost-effectively supporting a diverse range of internal and external business needs that can benefit the entire organization. These include use cases for customer service, human resources, IT/security, operations and logistics, and sales and marketing.

CIOs and IT executives should consider these 7 insights when strategizing how to implement effective mobile technologies company-wide:

  1. Enterprise Consumerization: The movement of consumer-oriented technologies into the workplace, including mobile devices, cloud services and social media, is forcing IT to rethink how the organization procures solutions and services. Not all consumer-led technologies and services translate into an enterprise ROI, though.
  2. What Mobile Means for IT: The role of IT is rapidly being reshaped. Leaders are recognizing that mobile is delivering business value in a variety of ways across the organization.
  3. Why IT Needs to Act Now: CIOs must be involved in key decisions and understand the business use cases that managers want to mobilize, the data those use cases require, and the back-office integrations that need to happen.
  4. Security is Top of Mind: As the CIO or security officer, your recommendations about policies, best practices, and security requirements for third-party SaaS providers are crucial to your company’s mobile success and ability to minimize risk.
  5. Think Strategic – The Challenge with Siloed Solutions: Because mobile procurement and solution architecture tend to happen in silos, it’s common for enterprises to end up with a patchwork of mobile solutions. Using a single mobile messaging partner provides the service agility and architectural flexibility required to scale for future needs.
  6. Operational Acumen: Executives and managers outside of IT often forget to consider scalability, reliability, system integrations and industry rules and regulations. It is IT’s role to ensure consistent standards and compliance across the organization, providing business continuity, lower costs and operational efficiencies.
  7. Criteria for Selecting a Mobile Partner: CIOs leveraging third-party providers need established partners who can empower a variety of use cases across the organization. Also, domain expertise, customer support and long-term viability are important factors in choosing a successful mobile partner.

The movement of consumer-oriented technologies into the workplace, including mobile devices, cloud services and social media, is a force IT cannot ignore. Professionals responsible for mission-critical operations in their organizations need to seriously consider solutions that provide reach, reliability and return on investment. SMS is a well-established mobile technology that is delivering on these requirements today.

You can download the OpenMarket white paper How CIOs Can Guide the Enterprise to Mobile Success for more insights into how CIOs can leverage SMS to achieve greater business flexibility, competitive differentiation, and increased engagement and collaboration.