Untethered Value Chain Slow to Take Off

Few companies taking advantage of wireless possibilities, Delphi finds

Boston  August 22, 2001  Wireless technology is presenting challenges that organizations aren't yet prepared to work through, according to the results of a survey by consulting firm Delphi Group.

Delphi found few companies are currently providing wireless portal access to employees in their organization, and half of the organizations that are not providing wireless portal access don't know when they will.

While wireless devices are making inroads in the marketplace, "few organizations have tapped into the enormous potential enterprise wireless holds to make anytime, anywhere computing possible," said Thomas M. Koulopoulos, Delphi Group president.

"There is a large gap between the number of businesspeople carrying cell phones and PDAs and the number using them to connect to important corporate information and individuals," said Larry Hawes, a Delphi Group senior analyst.

Untethered computing devices and wireless middleware have the potential to connect mobile professionals with volatile, time-sensitive information and critical business applications. In addition, enterprise wireless solutions can keep those on the go in touch with other members of the organization's value chain, including suppliers, distributors, resellers and customers.

"The productivity and opportunity capitalization benefits of deploying wireless technologies are substantial, but have not been recognized by most organizations," Hawes said.

Despite the fact that a full 50 percent of those responding to the Delphi Group survey said they could find no business case for enterprise wireless, nearly 40 percent said they are seriously looking at ways to make enterprise wireless work for their organizations within the next two years.

"There are organizations today, from banks to trucking companies, who are proving that enterprise wireless can create competitive advantage by extending value chains across the barriers of time and geography," said Hawes. "These early adopters need to share their stories with those that are seeking to understand where and why they should use wireless technology and how to justify the investment."