Last week, we detailed the largest problem most companies were concerned about within their mobile strategy — namely, the lack of one. 45 percent of all companies surveyed by the Enterprise Mobility Exchange identified “building a coordinated mobile strategy” as their number one concern when it comes to mobility. The next largest concern was building a mobile app — which many companies incorrectly assume is a “comprehensive mobile strategy” — and that didn’t even register 15 percent. So, by a ratio of three to one, determining and executing a coordinated mobile strategy is what keeps CIOs, CTOs, CMOs, COOs and CEOs awake at night when it comes to mobility.

If you’re like the companies surveyed, you’re struggling to put together a coherent mobile strategy because you can’t keep pace with the staggering speed of advancement in mobile. It’d be great if we could give you one piece of advice of exactly where to begin but unfortunately, there are far too many variables at play to determine what YOUR first step should be. For some of you, you’ve already developed an app or two; for others, you haven’t even thought about your first move in mobile, much less started development. For different industries and different types of companies, this first move can vary immensely. However, for those of you that are closer to the beginning of your mobile journey, we can give you some direction that should be beneficial. For those of you that are a little farther along, stay tuned next week where we’ll get to some later steps in the process.

The first thing you must do to build a coordinated mobile strategy starts with the age-old question — insource or outsource. By that we mean are you going to hire a director of mobility and supply him or her with a staff to put together a strategy, develop it, execute it and implement it? It may be possible that you already have someone on staff you want to tackle this, but we generally advise against this. Mobile is simply too important to your bottom line and to your future growth to simply give it to someone on staff in addition to their daily duties — you have to make a serious commitment or you are simply leaving money on the table.

If you make the decision to go out-of-house, are you looking to partner with a mobility strategist to develop your roadmap with you? Or, are you more interested in working with an integrated mobility solutions partner that can not only help you lay out a strategy, but can also develop those strategies end-to-end?

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Regardless of whether you start in house, go with a mobile strategist or a mobile solutions partner, a great first step is to perform a mobility audit. Your mobile expert, whether they’re in-house or out, should evaluate exactly where you are in the mobile development lifecycle. They should look into your corporate goals, your customers, your operations, your sales process — everything — to determine what business units could benefit from a mobile solution and how you’d go about starting those processes.

Once you’ve performed this audit, including any existing mobile solutions, then you can start laying out a coordinated road map. Only when you fully understand your existing strengths and weaknesses can you truly build a comprehensive strategy for the future that has a real chance of succeeding. Blindly plowing ahead before knowing where you actually stand can prove disastrous at worst and leave money on the table at best.

Regardless of whether you hire inhouse or partner with a mobility expert, performing a detailed mobile audit can help you take the first step to overcoming the number one problem most companies worry about in mobility — building a coordinated mobile strategy.

Next week, we’ll talk about step two in this process, so stay tuned!