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Tropical storm Debby and the Heat's victory parade aside, I was fortunate to spend a couple of days at IQPC's 2012 Enterprise Mobility Exchange in Miami on June 25 and 26 (full disclosure: I sit on their Advisory Council). The event is designed primarily as a high impact networking forum and attracts largely C-level and VP-level decision makers from Enterprise 1000 firms. Some very interesting topics were included as part of the conference agenda and resulted in a lot of thought provoking discussions. Some of the more interesting included:
1. Enterprise Mobility Strategy: It is NOT about the technology. It is still surprisingly clear that enterprise mobility is new for many organizations. While the use of smartphones and access to corporate communications such as email may be prevalent, it is at the absence of any true mobility strategy. Building block solutions such as device management, security and application design and management services is where much of the conversation is focused, and rightly so. How, when it comes to a mobility strategy, the focus for many organizations is not where it should be. Too many organizations are consumed by a mobile technology strategy as opposed to a mobile business or enterprise strategy. While there are some important technology decisions that need to be made, organization's are typically consumed by these topics and lose sight of the true benefits of mobile solutions. The pace of mobile technology change is so rapid making keeping up with developments almost a futile effort.
2. Who is in charge? Another common mistake among enterprise organizations is to layer mobility responsibilities onto an existing staff member. This frequently falls into the lap of a network administrator. That is not to say that there are not many sharp and massively capable network administrators, more often than not this approach becomes a recipe for disaster. Fact of the matter is that most IT departments today fall short in their mobile technology acumen. According to a recent survey we fielded 52% of respondents rated their mobile service and support capabilities as considerably or somewhat weaker than their overall IT support services. This represent a major learning curve the market still needs to overcome. While much like wireless networking became networking, enterprise mobility will evolve into something more mature and common place. However, it is not there today and needs to be staffed and supported accordingly.
3. Mobile Enterprise Strategies: Plan Short Term...Act Short Term. This not only seems counter-intuitive...it actually is. However, when it comes to mobility the idea of a five year - or even a three year - plan is futile. (The only reason I bring this up is because several conversations I had started with "my CIO wants me to design a five year plan..."). This needs to be an on-going constantly evolving endeavor this is not shackled by a plan devised several years back. Any CIO looking to develop a 'five year mobile strategy' should start by looking for a new job.
There clearly remains much work to be done as enterprise mobility solutions become more mainstream. The fact that the Enterprise Mobility Exchange's audience focus has shifted from 'iPad mania' to the practical application of technology in six months is evidence of progress being made.