Building Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) into Business Strategy
Businesses have enough to worry about — budgeting, employee training and retention, sales goals, competition … the list goes on and on. Trying to take on the complexities and costs of full-scale enterprise mobility programs in-house can be a huge headache. Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) programs are designed specifically to ease those pains and solve common business challenges when it comes to rolling out business tools for the workforce.
Perhaps more importantly, MaaS can be a major factor in the business strategy toolkit in regard to client experience, brand reputation, the efficiency of labor, and cost savings. When determining whether to invest in MaaS, it’s helpful to consider the overall business mobile application strategy toolkit that comes with it.
Rolling out enterprise mobility management programs in-house takes significant up-front investment. The cost of the devices themselves is just the beginning — device configuration (particularly if there’s a customized integration or software that’s needed for business operations), employee onboarding and training, and security measures all need to be factored into the initial budget.
With mobility-as-a-service, companies pay a flat monthly fee based on the hardware, software, and services selected, and budgeting is much more predictable. It’s essentially a program where companies do not need to assume the individual costs of supporting and securing mobile devices.
MaaS programs can be launched by a business unit leader as an annual budgeting expense, rather than factored into capital budgeting. Depending on the services selected, a department head could roll-out a program more “under-the-radar” without having to prepare cost justification and await approval on a large capital spend request.
Efficiency of Labor
IT teams are typically wearing a dozen different hats as it is. Depending on the IT-personnel-to-employee ratio, implementing a mobile device program for the workforce can be a huge labor burden for the IT team that puts all other projects on hold. Projects like these can be a major distraction from the larger organizational cloud and security strategy that the team needs to focus on. It takes significant labor hours to research appropriate devices, customize the software and applications needed for business operations, train employees on usage and security, monitor device maintenance, and act as help-desk support for users.
MaaS providers take all of that off the in-house team’s shoulders. A team of highly trained experts specializing in enterprise mobility management collaboratively work with and augment organization stakeholders to handle the R&D and recommend the best equipment based on the company’s requirements; procure, deploy, and configure the devices; handle support tickets on an ongoing basis; and take care of all device maintenance. This frees up internal roles to work on revenue-generating and strategic projects.
Competing priorities and interests among IT and procurement efforts can muddy-up a mobile strategy. With MaaS, all of that is clarified and simplified, keeping the mobile strategy aligned and transparent.
Brand Reputation and Customer Experience
Tech equipment is notorious for short lifespans. Whether evolving technology makes software and operating systems incompatible, devices are cracked or dropped in water, or a technological advancement proves to be a more effective or efficient prospect, at some point the devices that have been rolled out to employees will need to be replaced. Having outdated, busted or slow-moving customer-facing devices gives brands a bad look.
With MaaS, companies can stay ahead of the game with built-in refreshes for new devices. This helps keep the customer experience fresh and keeps the retailer at the forefront of trends and new technologies. If devices need to be repaired, a temporary replacement can be deployed while the original device is serviced and returned with fast turnaround time, significantly reducing downtime. The MaaS provider can recommend and perform preemptive maintenance to reduce the need for replacements.
Align Expenses with Projected ROI
As with almost all large-scale business programs, ROI is one of the primary success metrics. It can be difficult to attain a positive ROI metric with a capital investment such as enterprise-level equipment purchases — at least not for some time. But by then, the equipment has already depreciated, required time-consuming upgrades, or potentially undergone replacement entirely.
Because MaaS doesn’t require a capital investment, it’s less expensive up front, and ROI can be realized much sooner on a monetary level. As another example, mobile POS devices increase receivables by collecting money right at the point of transaction, and payback can be measured in months, speeding up the process. Using MaaS, several ROI accelerators can be identified and recommended by the service provider as part of a suite of solutions.
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