The rapid advancements in mobile communications technology over the last decade have resulted in more opportunities and more challenges for businesses. The launch of the first iPhone in 2007 transformed how consumers interact with brands and paved the way for new business models. New apps, devices and broadband networks and constant updates present IT managers with a never ending task of choosing what to use now and what next.
Because of the mobile revolution, the role of IT has expanded into the customer experience and digital transformation initiatives. To better manage the IT estate, CIOs are turning to “X-as-a-Service” strategies in order to move forward with more strategic work. While many opportunities exist for productivity and innovation and customer connectedness, an inordinate amount of attention and focus is required to manage the tactics.
The cloud birthed the “as-a-Service” moniker to reflect new business and technology models for a variety of things, including software (SaaS) and infrastructure (IaaS). M for mobility is the next addition to the family — Mobility as a Services (MaaS).
There are similarities of the models and they all attempt to create the same results and ROI. As IT is asked to take on a greater strategic role within the enterprise, management of the different assets within the IT estate can and should be offloaded to trusted providers.
A vendor that offers MaaS can relieve the burden from the IT department to provide users greater service and support. Here’s how:
- Carriers are continually promoting plans to attract customers to switch providers. These can offer substantial cost savings, but at the risk of stretching procurement staff to monitor, track, and negotiate.
- Almost quarterly, new devices with new features are coming to market. Looking at device recycling data, it is possible to predict adoption behavior. Businesses are turning in higher value devices, meaning that the desk drawer of older devices has been depleted and more devices “off the hip” are being recycled. Users want the latest and greatest. MaaS makes this a logistical reality, not a nightmare. Additionally, the MaaS model allows for upgrades ahead of the subsidy lock in time.
- Leave bulk buying to the service provider. One of the biggest advantages to MaaS is the provider’s buying power. Carriers and device manufacturers are partnering with MaaS providers to offer businesses more value from discounted plans and devices. This is also a boon for MaaS providers to build service bundles that layer on MMS to add a substantial ROI to the service proposition.
- Users and lines of business are constantly adopting new uses for mobility often without adequate engagement from IT and vendor management. Once in place this creates a significant burden on staff to align the services to the new demand profile. IT can shift its attention to be more proactive and more consultative to the business by offloading the day to day management to a MAAS provider. Further having dedicated resources minding the store minimizes impacts when users or business units make changes without IT involvement by providing focused attention.
Just as MaaS is a strategic business model for providers, MaaS is also strategic for device manufacturers and carriers. Google is leveraging MaaS as a channel to sell the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P directly to the enterprise. Google’s enterprise strategy gives MaaS providers the ability to offer these devices at an attractive value, but is also an impactful channel strategy.
For CIOs, MaaS is a means to simplify and control the ever-expanding mobile estate so that IT can work on more strategic customer experience and digital transformation initiatives. Today, this is called Mobility as a Service, but those involved may soon come to call it “Winning as a Service.”
Garrett Long is senior vice president of Strategic Consulting for Mobile at Enterprise IT consulting company Tangoe.
Filed Under: Infrastructure