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Companies are rushing to set up their Mobile Centers of Excellence. Many say they already have one in place. Some do. But a lot think they have a Mobile CoE, when all they really have is a handful of mobile specialists. Until you’ve got a true Mobile CoE, your mobile initiatives will be more fragmented, more costly, and less effective. How do you know if your CoE isn’t excellent yet? Look for these these six telltale signs….

1. You call it a CoE, just because you’ve got half a dozen people focused on nothing but mobile.
Yes, any Mobile Center of Excellence starts with the right people. But a true CoE also has a clearly stated vision and strategy for mobile, plus standardized processes, technologies, and frameworks.

Also, look at the people on your mobile team. If they’re all technologists, then you haven’t built the right team yet. It should include every mobile stakeholder from both the business and technology sides of your organization.

2. You’ve still got mobile apps living in silos all over your company.
Different executives and departments have their own pet projects. The right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. There’s no company-wide mobile strategy. It’s a common scenario. But it means your apps will see shorter shelf life, lower user adoption, lots of duplicated efforts, and higher-than-necessary consumption of development resources.

3. You have to go through five different approvers just to get one mobile app launched.
Sound familiar? If you’re chasing all over the organization to get buy-in for your new app, then your Mobile Center of Excellence is broken. With a healthy Mobile CoE, you have one point of contact and a standard approvals process. Also, it’s easier to make the business case for your new app when you can show how it fits into your company’s broader mobile strategy.

4. You can’t get the resources you need for your mobile project.
When your app fits into the company’s larger enterprise mobile strategy, it’s easier to get the funding and support you need. But you can’t fit into a strategy that doesn’t exist. That’s not all. If your Mobile CoE is doing its job well, then your new project may cost less than you think. That’s because your developers can draw on existing resources, components, and frameworks from the CoE for a faster, easier development cycle.

5. Your developers build every new app from scratch.
Never pay a developer to reinvent the wheel. Your Mobile CoE should be building a library of common, reusable components that can be used across multiple apps. Think of discrete components like signature capture, barcode scanning, and photo capture – all these can be incorporated into an enterprise architecture across a whole portfolio of mobile apps.

6. There is no enterprise mobile architecture. 
A lot of organizations today have two or more divisions designing different apps that are trying to solve the same problem. They have radically different designs and architectures, so they’re not getting the reuse they need.

You really have to move mobility from a silo effort to an enterprise effort. That means agreed upon principles, designs, and patterns that you will use for all your applications. The key here is standardizing – and for that, you need to create a true Mobile Center of Excellence.

By Randall McCroskey June 17, 2014
Tags: EnterpriseIndependent Software VendorIndustriesMobileQuality Assurance