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Top Five Mobility Lessons Learned In 2012 For CIOs

December 31, 2012

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Introduction to my article published in Forbes – December 30, 2012. Read the full article here

Written by Mark Scott, CEO of Northern Pixels, a mobile app business consulting firm.

1. Embrace BYOD and BYOA innovation

Enterprise CIOs everywhere continue to promote companywide mobile solutions to simplify and streamline processes. However, these projects frequently experience long delays, budget overruns, and reduced features and functionality compared to the initial scope. Often, this results in employees losing confidence, and in many cases, taking control of their own professional destiny.

Passionate employees are bringing their own devices and apps to work to be more productive. There are valuable lessons to be learned from the BYOD (bring your own device) and BYOA (bring your own app) phenomena. Even managers of workgroups under the IT radar are mobilizing teams with non-sanctioned apps. These ground-up, almost black ops solutions, have quickly become crucial work tools that are transforming enterprise processes.

While old-school CIOs stamp out these employee-driven innovations to protect their own top-down mobility strategy, the savvy ones are beginning to realize that there are valuable lessons to be learned from these creative employee solutions. Frequently, these solutions are more effective, less costly, and most importantly, are already being deployed and successfully adopted.

2. It’s not custom app versus packaged app – it’s both

The utopian (and costly) idea that the enterprise should custom build all of its mobile apps, has now been acknowledged as outdated. Custom building solutions is undeniably here to stay; but for very select and unique business requirements. CIOs now realize that a growing number of packaged but customizable business apps can meet multiple requirements of an enterprise, and for a fraction of the cost.

Moreover, deploying a packaged solution can be done swiftly and with minimal risk, as it has already been market tested by other enterprises. This provides the CIO a more powerful credibility platform to deliver wider mobile enterprise solutions.

3. RIM and the Mayans were both wrong – migrating to iOS and Android didn’t result in the end of the world

Once upon a time, the shift by the enterprise from Blackberry to iOS and Android, was considered by many IT apocalyptic doomsayers as reckless, suggesting the invariable result to be compromised security of corporate data.

Fast forward to 2013 and the world is still here. Consequently, any CIO still  preaching to executive committees and board members that there is no safe alternative to BlackBerry for enterprise, is likely to experience a shorter tenure than the already limited 4.5 year CIO average.

4. Tablets – Moses was right; we must all respect them

Tablets are progressively being used in more and more business functions across the enterprise. Employees in the sales and customer care roles are experiencing the strongest growth for tablet use. Tablets are also being rapidly deployed with field services employees when larger screens are required for inspections and reports. IDC reported 27.8M global tablet unit shipments in Q3 of 2012, up almost 50% over Q3 2011. Samsung showed sizable 325% global growth of tablet sales in Q3 2012 over the same period last year, with 5.1M units shipped.

In November, Gartner stated; “Tablets will be the key accelerator to mobility. Gartner estimates that in 2012 purchases of tablets by businesses will reach 13 million units and will more than triple by 2016, to reach 53 million units.”

5. Big data is getting even bigger – with mobilized employees

Read the full article here

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