The complexity of managing an increasing number of mobile applications and services on an international scale is driving a growing demand among multinational corporations for managed mobility services. This is good news for telcos that have good relationships with MNCs, as they should be well positioned for this opportunity.
A major problem that multinationals face in bringing mobility under control is the decentralized and uncoordinated development of mobility within the organization. Unlike other aspects of IT and communications, mobility has tended to infiltrate organizations from the bottom up.
While we see some advances in the creation of global frameworks, the procurement and operational aspects of mobility are still typically national. About half of MNCs in Asia-Pacific already have some type of framework agreement whereby they can separate national contracts with a common set of terms and tariff structures. This is significant progress when compared to a couple of years ago, but over 70% of MNCs in Asia-Pacific still have national contracts.
As a result, national providers of mobility services in major markets such as India and China remain highly important, even if decision-makers have assigned central responsibility for their mobile strategy on a super-regional or global basis. IT managers should push these national providers to develop a more centralized approach, or they should seek alternative providers that can help them integrate services on a global or regional level, and bring spending and usage under control.
Complexity drives managed mobility services
Given the difficulties MNCs have in coping with the various aspects of mobility, it is no surprise that interest in managed mobility services is growing. Such services help MNCs handle relationships with mobile service providers, manage the device fleet, roll out and manage secure data applications, analyze invoices, and allocate costs back to departments and users.
Services providers are recognizing these customer demands, and a growing number offer elements of managed mobility such as contract, expense, and device management.
In addition, there is increasing pressure on enterprises to allow employees to use their own devices. The proportion of businesses with a policy of allowing only company-provided devices is expected to fall to under 50% within two years. This trend adds a further level of complexity, and CIOs must evaluate providers to ensure that it is reflected in their device management capabilities and partnerships.