With all the buzz around cloud computing, social media and mobility, it may be tough to see the forest for the trees when one hears the word "Enterprise Mobility." If you type in the term on Wikipedia, you are taken to Enterprise Mobility Management. To me, EMM is really about how an enterprise manages personal mobile devices – it's not about enterprise mobility. Enterprise mobility is much broader, about giving the company itself (not just individuals within the company) the tools and technologies to do business anyplace, anytime, anywhere.
In other words, Enterprise Mobility is about making the company more flexible and more responsive – able to move locations physically, move between target markets demographically, and move between business opportunities strategically – in a manner much simpler than before. In this light, the concept of Enterprise Mobility is not something that narrowly encompasses traditional "mobility technologies" for individuals such as wireless phones, it also includes wireline IP networks, managed services, cloud computing, and social media. All of these things play a role in enabling the anyplace, anytime, anywhere aspirations of a company.
The modern technologies that help a company move – to change strategies, to move resources between markets, to fine tune its geographies – all play a part in what we call Enterprise Mobility. IP networks fit this definition because they allow a rapid convergence of network topologies (convergence as defined in the data routing world, literally the speed with which network devices learn about other devices and routes available through those devices). More than any other routing technology, IP allows for rapid discovery and rapid convergence, which makes it key to Enterprise Mobility.
Managed services make enterprises more mobile by allowing companies to quickly add or subtract IT support resources in small increments, perfectly in sync with the underlying business need. Without managed services, one needs to hire, train, and deploy mostly full-time employees to address network and IT management needs. This in-house approach becomes all the more complicated if one has to reduce headcount due to a business decline.
Cloud computing does much the same thing with hard IT resources such as servers and data centers. As opposed to building out a dedicated infrastructure for one specific customer, cloud computing allows one to add or subtract capacity by the seat, megabyte, or CPU cycle, as opposed to one server or one data center at a time. This frees up capital budgets and, along with the concept of virtualization, allows a company to be more responsive by rolling out applications faster, with fewer bumps along the way.
Finally, the marketing rationale for using social media in the enterprise space is that it can enable more-relevant messages to a narrowly-targeted market in far less time than traditional marketing communications. For example, a social campaign can now be developed in the morning and rolled out in the afternoon, important given how quickly news travels. Bad news can be neutralized and new opportunities can be exploited, all with the click of a mouse. Compare this to yesterday's marketing model, with very long cycles of market research, focus groups, and test markets. Today's consumer has shut down traditional channels of messaging and the only way to reach an increasing number of customers is through social media channels. This compels companies to become more aware of their target audience’s very short windows of reachability.
As such, Enterprise Mobility certainly includes the wireless devices in the hands of individual employees, addressing how employees access the clouds and social applications that their companies increasingly will run on. But the full picture of Enterprise Mobility can only be understood when we zoom out to see the whole picture. That picture is inclusive of some technologies that many people might not previously have considered part of mobility.