Technology, Cloud

Time is ripe for Chief Mobility Officer

Blog-post by,

Just last week I blogged on the rise of the virtual office  and the importance of apps to enable the workforce to have the same productivity tools while on-the-go that they’d have access to from the desktop.  I hadn’t planned to write on mobility again so soon, but, having just read Matt Hamblen’s article at Computerworld, “Chief mobile officer:  A job title now timely?”  it seems equally timely to continue the discussion. 

In his article Matt quotes a Forrester analyst, Ted Schadler, who said "Mobile is one of those things that bites you from behind if you aren't paying attention."  He went on to reference the Forrester report:

The idea of a company having a chief mobility officer (CMO) isn't a new one. But as enterprises scramble these days to establish mobile strategies, having a CMO could be a key to success, according to a new Forrester Research report. …. One of the Forrester report's authors, analyst Ted Schadler, said “One of the reasons why a corporation would want to create an office of the chief mobility officer is to improve coordination of mobile initiatives. Without [such an office], firms will waste too much time and money…..”

Having all corporate mobile coordination done by a single chief mobility officer may still be a little far-fetched.  However, the idea has been around for a few years now and as the economy improves (hopefully), and as the proliferation of smart mobile devices expands, the role of mobile for IT will only increase.  Whether an organization has a Chief Mobility Officer or not, IT needs to fill the role with vision, strategy, and sound execution to meet the demands of their users while maintaining a secure environment.

As I mentioned at the beginning, to maximize productivity, the mobile workforce requires the tools to perform ALL the tasks while on-the-go that they can do within the traditional office space.  This includes the ability to print from their mobile device.  As a mobile-printing evangelist, I’m trying to spread the word about HP’s secure solutions for mobile printing.  I reported last week about a recent survey on Enterprise Mobility done by Government Technology that revealed that only 18% of agencies identified having a strategy to address employees’ mobile printing needs and 57% of respondents either didn’t know that printing from a smartphone was possible, or thought that it was impossible.  

It’s not only possible, it’s actually quite easy.  Does your organization have a strategy for supporting mobile devices?   Does it address secure printing solutions?  If not, there are two solutions you should be aware of:   

  • HP ePRINT ENTERPRISE FOR SMALL OR LARGE ORGANIZATIONS  The HP ePrint Enterprise solution enhances workforce productivity by giving employees the power to print directly from their mobile devices. Equipped with enterprise-level security features, HP ePrint Enterprise is a scalable, centrally manageable solution that makes it easy to send documents to printers in your enterprise network.  
  • HP ePRINT PUBLIC PRINT LOCATIONS FOR PRINTING OUTSIDE THE ENTERPRISE  For employees who travel or work remotely, the app is available for free download.  With the app, mobile device users can quickly search for and print to Public Print Locations, such as print-and-copy retail stores, hotels, airport lounges and more.  


To develop a mobile printing strategy, use the ‘Lead Your Organization with a Mobile Printing Strategy’ planning template to guide you in developing a strategy to meet the specific needs of your organization.

To ensure that your organization always has access and visibility to the latest innovations in printing and imaging solutions consider HP Managed Print Services (MPS)

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Pearl Zhu 90 Points | Mon, 02/20/2012 - 18:23

Hi, Cara, enjoy the posting, no matter what happens in the future, modern CIO may also need have some traits of such "M&M" officers as mobile officer or marketing officer, I would say, social, mobile, cloud many need be orchestrated together to weave the modern agile IT architecture, and MPS-Mobile Printing Strategy you articulated here is a good example to present such an agility. thanks. 

Paul Calento 255 Points | Mon, 02/20/2012 - 16:42

Not sure that mobility warrants a C-level job title, but the discussion underscores the role that mobility plays on application modernization and cloud computing. While many organziations are deploying mobile devices as a primary computing solution the applications and resource availability (say access to printing regardless of location) have lagged the availability of those solutions. What's required may be a simple best practices framework (possibly incorporating elements of the HP Instant-On approach) that organizations can utilize as part of their cloud computing transition/build-out.

--Paul Calento

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

John Dodge 1535 Points | Fri, 02/24/2012 - 16:36

Paul, like with anything else, it's a matter of emphasis. Think about companies with large huge and farflung sales forces ...or truck fleets (UPS, Fedex). The title does not matter so much as direct access to decision makers. The CMobO is for companies that have a vision for what they want out of mobile technology...or which want a vision. I like the idea.    

Paul Calento 255 Points | Mon, 02/27/2012 - 14:05

Understand where you're coming from, but in the organizations you described (mobility-enabled) logistics are their core competency. We're entering into a new era for business where organizational heirarchies are being stripped away. Just look at today's most successful companies. Many of them have obsurdly simple business models. Less is more. Give me a CIO to drive mobility initiatives any day.

--Paul Calento

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

Martin Davis 131 Points | Tue, 02/28/2012 - 16:41

I agree that enabling the employees to work anywhere and providing custom mobile devices for specialist activities is a key opportunity, however, I agree with Paul, the real issue here is driving the right business strategy enabled by technology.

You need a chief mobility officer about as much as you need a chief mainframe officer or a chief facebook officer. A good CIO will be working with the business leaders to identify the opportunities and providing help and guidance on how to best take advantage of them. Which then comes down to Implementing Technology for the right reasons. To add emphasis you may create positions lower in the organisation to work with the business and to provide expert knowledge, but not at the c-level.

John Dodge 1535 Points | Tue, 02/28/2012 - 18:34

Well, you definitely do not need a chief mainframe officer...or a chief Facebook officer. We must be pushing fifty different C job titles now.

But I think mobility is a far bigger topic and driver of corporate strategy than the mainframe or Facebook. Yes, the CIO can probably cover mobility in many enterprises, but someone dedicated to mobility will make it happen that much faster and more broadly. Couldn't a chief mobility officer be born driving the right business strategy?    

John Dodge 1535 Points | Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:32

Just read a prediction that there will be 44 billion mobile app downloads in next five years...