The enterprise landscape is highly distributed. Business is not confined to one office or one geography and important business decisions are often being made on-the-go.
In this context, mobility ceases to remain a ‘nice to have’ element for organizations. It now becomes a ‘must have’, as executives need to collaborate, analyze, and lead teams from wherever they are in the world. However, an increasingly mobile workforce is just one challenge. The other one, is the rise in consumer expectations.
Companies are constantly challenged with getting quality products and services to their customers while ensuring internal processes remain in compliance with industry and government regulations. To do this, they have so far relied on manual or legacy IT systems that make compliance difficult to manage.
So, Is mobility needed for compliance? Yes. Is compliance the only reason to get B2E apps? No. But, real-time compliance management is important and confers compliance benefits to enterprises. First, let’s consider prevailing perceptions on compliance.
The Compliance Angle
Sadly, when calculating the ROI on investments in enterprise mobility apps most companies overlook the compliance angle. Risk vs. reward and cost vs. benefit are usually calculated in terms of employee productivity, error reduction, agility, time and cost savings. The oversight is unfortunate, because compliance benefits that accrue from mobility are substantial and will strengthen the case for enterprise mobility investments.
Surely, modernizing legacy applications like Oracle EBS has practical and long-term consequences for internal and external compliance management. We outline a few of them here:
1) Prevent Use of 3rd Party Apps
Apps can simplify and aid the performance of a variety of tasks. And that is the reason employees (…despite warnings) bypass enterprise security policies to use 3rd party apps.
By limiting exposure of company processes and data to unauthorized apps, compliance is made stronger. For companies in industries subject to strict government regulation on data privacy and data safety, B2E apps are an urgent necessity. And for enterprises in general, introducing owned apps can keep proprietary information that lends competitive advantage(s) safe.
2) Access Control
Stronger compliance also requires that access to information about company or its clients is strictly controlled. Implementing role-based information access protocols via mobile apps benefits employees as they are not bombarded with unwanted information. Also, by ensuring that employees have access only to information needed to perform their tasks, internal data leaks are avoided.
Apps also allow mobile access controls to be modified in real-time from anywhere. If an employee reports loss of his device, the app allows the manager/admin to remote wipe the user’s profile immediately to prevent unauthorized access.
Take for instance the financial service industry, companies have vast amounts of sensitive data flowing through their network. Information security is a paramount concern for enterprises in this industry. Prevention of data exposure to unauthorized individuals requires stringent access control and features that enable emergency actions in case of device loss.
3) Increased Accuracy & Accessibility
Compliance requirements govern several key business processes for enterprises. Enabling compliance tracking and enforcement is therefore a key component of workflow design.
24/7 data and process accessibility allows employees to verify compliance or report non-compliance in real-time from anywhere. By enabling access from mobile devices, enterprises can increase reporting accuracy. Real-time access reduces/eliminates late-entry errors and double-entry errors. Besides data errors, delays and last-second decisions are other important drivers of non-compliance. Mobility applications lower operational drag and impart agility to organizational processes, thereby reducing/eliminating circumstances that lead to non-compliance.
Clearly, accurate data that’s accessible in real-time from the field forms the backbone of a faster, more compliant decision-making system.
4) More Efficient Project Management
Lack of mobile workflow access hinders management visibility into project activities in the field or at remote locations. In such a scenario, non-conformance to internal or regulatory policies/rules is always uncovered as an after fact.
To strengthen compliance, companies need real-time compliance management. Compliance risks need to be reported early and corrective action needs to be initiated immediately. All of this is easier to accomplish via mobile-enabled workflows. Using mobile apps, field executives can report problems/issues (product defects etc.,) as they occur in real-time and management can initiate remedial action on flagged issues immediately.
5) Achieving cost savings
Mobility apps reduce risk and improve performance by enabling real-time access, tracking and response by employees. Compliance with company policies and regulatory policies achieved via mobile apps reduces audit burden for enterprises. By strengthening compliance, improving employee productivity, and lowering transaction, and audit costs mobility apps demonstrate a high ROI.
Surely, businesses planning a digital transformation, must begin with modernization of legacy business applications. Doing so will not only fetch compliance benefits but has other positive externalities in the form of increased efficiency, employee satisfaction, and business competitiveness
The compliance argument presents a strong case for investment in enterprise mobility apps. And, if looked at from the utility and usability perspective, mobility apps are a must have for modern enterprises. Employees (…not just millennials) expect and will be grateful for B2E apps that help them complete their work quickly.
Want to check if the benefits talked about are real? Download one of our (Smart AP Invoice Approval, Smart Expense Approval) Oracle EBS approval apps to experience how mobile apps transform the way your organization works.