From Mobile Business Intelligence to Synchronized Execution: So you can take it with you after all!

Posted on January 31, 2012


“Gartner expects that 33 percent of BI functionality will be consumed via mobile devices by 2013.”

from the June 29th, 2011 article “Business Intelligence and Mobile Devices Will Change Supply Chain Management” by Herman Mehling

One of the first things that comes to mind when I hear the term mobile Business Intelligence or “BI” are GPS systems.

The parallel, at least to me, seems logical in that a GPS system helps you to arrive at your targeted destination by letting you know where you are now and which routes are best to take to get you to where you want to go.

Therefore, the key to mobile BI and to mobile computing in general, is to first and foremost know where you want to go.

It seems a simple proposition, especially since one of the greatest challenges business’ faced  in the past was linked to a lack of accessibility to critical information on a timely basis.  Following our GPS analogy, accessing and applying critical insights was a time consuming process that was tantamount to having to physically open up a map and chart the route along each leg of a trip, as opposed to plugging in a destination and letting the system do the work by telling you within a matter of seconds, the best route to take and then prompting you when to make the appropriate turns along the way.  And let’s not forget the speed by which you can now incorporate alternative routes resulting from unexpected roadblocks.

Mobile BI: Successfully navigating the unexpected

The possibilities relative to an organization’s supply chain are endless in that you can leverage this real-time access to meaningful intelligence for everything from “what if” manufacturing modelling to SLA advanced delivery verification and supplier score-carding.

Of course the collaborative benefits that are achieved through a readily synchronized sharing of critical data is also significant in that it facilitates the removal of the silos that have in the past segmented key business processes into a series of myopically executed functions at a departmental level.  Or to put it another way, with everyone reading from the same playbook at the same time, all stakeholders now have a clearer and more unified understanding of their roles within a specified process.

This is true intelligence in that it both engages and empowers employees to work together to achieve a collective outcome that benefits the organization as a whole.  This is also the starting point or foundation for a sound mobile computing strategy overall.

Beyond BI, and in an effort to examine the tremendous possibilities that mobile computing brings to the global enterprise I will be welcoming to the PI Window on Business on February 9th and February 15th, representatives from SAP to talk about that company’s mobile strategy for their clients.

During the February 9th segment, I will be joined by J.P. Finnell and Vishy Gopalakrishnan, as we discuss the impetus behind the traditional ERP player’s move to the mobile computing world and, how SAP is planning to address the current day paucity of applications for what one industry pundit referred to as “meaningful business applications and specialized mobile applications for specific industries.”

On the February 15th broadcast we will zero in on mobile supply chain applications including what is available now and what is planned for the not too distant future.