CIO Leadership, Applications

The Key to Success in Mobility Is Strategy, Not Devices

Mobility king of the IT hill?

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Cloud computing and big data are hot topics among IT leaders these days, but according to a recent IDG Research poll, mobility is even hotter. In fact, 69 percent of participants in that study expect mobility to be a critical or high priority over the next 12 months, versus 53 percent for cloud computing and 48 percent for big data.

A white paper about the new survey credits anticipated benefits like improved internal communication and stronger customer service for making mobility king of the IT hill. More importantly, it also argues that companies with a comprehensive mobility strategy are far more likely to collect those benefits.

The paper uses Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), a privately-managed, government-funded research facility in Richland, Wash., to illustrate that principle. Rather than simply distribute smartphones and tablets, PNNL’s CIO took the time to prepare a detailed four-year mobility roadmap that comprehensively prioritized the lab’s biggest needs and opportunities. Step one in that master plan was empowering PNNL’s approximately 4,700 employees to connect with colleagues and data from any location on the lab’s 600 acre campus. Later, more targeted mobile solutions will streamline business processes and strengthen collaboration.

Significantly, PNNL’s mobility blueprint also inventories the many back end infrastructure upgrades its mobile ambitions will require. Paul Muller, a software vice president at HP who is quoted in the white paper, calls that an example every IT leader should follow. “You need to think beyond the device and consider all of the ways mobility affects your network, data center, and applications,” he says.

You can download both the results of the IDG Research study and a copy of the associated white paper elsewhere on this site.

View the ECF Mobility Strategies Knowledge Vault.

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John Dodge 1332 Points | Wed, 10/31/2012 - 13:41

Case in point: both my kids live in southern Manhattan, one on East 16th St. and the other just off West 3rd. They have not had power for two days and it is not expected back for several more for everything below 28th St. Without smart phones for texting, e-mail and voice, they'd be completely shut off from us and the outside world - just when they are the most desparate for information.

What does this have to do with enterprise mobility? Everything. My daughter just started a job with a company whose offices are right by the mouth of the presently flooded Holland Tunnel. Her mobile phone (she has a Blackberry and an iPhone) has allowed her to stay in touch with work where she obviously is trying to make a good first impression. She trekked up to a roommates office yesterday to charge her phones and first thing this morning after a cold shower, walked to a friend's in Brooklyn who has power. We guided her to the Brooklyn Bridge this morning in a couple of voice calls.

Therein lies power of mobility in all facets of life. Think about what the car did for mobility. Tablets, smart phones and mobile apps are doing the same thing for enterprise employees. Companies that do not embrace mobility will get left behind - just like the people in southern Manhattan who do not have a charged smart phone.       


Pearl Zhu 89 Points | Tue, 10/30/2012 - 16:52

Mobile strategy is business strategy, as it becomes mainstream platform to run business and consumer information, with clear business purposes to delight customer and engage employees, it's also no surprise to see risk/security management and MDM are still top challenges business need overcome for the journey. thanks. 

Paul Calento 256 Points | Tue, 10/30/2012 - 15:59

Enterprise IT has too many strategies: Application Modernization. Converged Infrastructure. Cloud. Enterprise Security. Big Data/Information Management. Time has come to tie these together.

Why it isn't happening, though, isn't due to a lack of trying, but a combination of different decision makers, complexity and old thinking.

Agree that you "need to think beyond the device" but thinking holistically easier said than done. Perhaps we need to start with five bullet points and go from there.

--Paul Calento

(note: I work on projects sponsored by and HP)