2012 was a pretty big year, in terms of mobile and enterprise mobility. Look at just a few of the milestones that spring to mind in a quick mental review of the year’s biggest mobile headlines:Continue reading "Mobile Milestones: A look Back at 2012"
In my blog last week about the “Royal Family” of enterprise mobile app imperatives, I pointed out that in my opinion, “context is king.” Let me give you a simple example of where a little context could go a long way.
Recently, I was heading to an appointment and volunteered to look up the directions to make sure the driver was heading the right way. With my trusty iPhone 5, I opened the Maps application and input the address we were heading to, which soon revealed itself on the map. I then had to click on the destination, click on the “directions to here” choice, then choose from a list to select directions from my current location to the destination. What’s missing in this scenario is any concept of the context. I’m moving at high velocity toward the location I just entered, so why so many clicks to get the directions from my current location to be displayed on the screen? Why do I have to be so explicit about what I want when an app could pretty easily discern my intentions and just display the information I wanted?Continue reading "Mobilizing Big Data"
Mobile application development is a “touchy” thing – both literally and figuratively. I mean it literally, in the sense that users generally let their fingers do the walking across your mobile app’s interface, which has some very interesting implications for your GUI (graphical user interface), and figuratively, in the sense that there are a lot of ways to go very wrong in the mobile development process.
I’ve had some limited experience in trying to design mobile apps, and a great deal of experience in using them. Very few apps that I download – and they must number in the thousands by now—pass the acid test of becoming permanent fixtures of my mobile experience. Most are “one and done” affairs, where I end up regretting the time I spent trying them out in the first place.
So here are four things that make a mobile app really stand out, from my perspective:Continue reading "Shape Up Your Mobile Apps: 4 Steps to Upping Your Enterprise App-titude"
An old friend of mine tweeted that in the recent presidential elections, the biggest winner was Big Data. The implication is that the race for president – and probably many other lesser races, as well – went to the candidate that used technology most effectively. As ever, money was a huge issue, but perhaps for the first time on a national scale in the United States, tech trumped it.
In my opinion, Big Data wasn’t the only winning technology. Mobility was also very evident in the race. Both presidential candidates released mobile apps for supporters to track them in the polls, and each attempted to harness mobility to allow users to lend a hand to their respective campaigns. It was probably not a coincidence that, according to Pew Research results, traditionally disenfranchised youth and minorities – the voting blocks that came out most strongly in support of the incumbent — are more likely to have a smartphone, and to know how to use it.Continue reading "Politics & Mobility: Lessons from the 2012 Elections"
A friend of mine was responsible for creating the BYOD pilot program for a Fortune 10, $50B healthcare company. In the process he learned several important and surprising lessons, which he has kindly passed along in blog form.
One lesson he learned is that the biggest cost in developing a large corporate BYOD policy rollout may not be directly related to technology or devices at all. In many cases, it’s the tab for lawyers and HR staffers to review proposed policies, and to develop the lengthy contracts employees ultimately need to sign to use their personal devices on the corporate network.Continue reading "Is Your Organization Ready for the BYOD Tax?"
Mobile Device Management is no picnic. Just ask anybody who’s doing it – or trying to.
On the surface of things, MDM doesn’t seem so tough. All you have to do is read the website of any major MDM vendor, and they’ll explain that they have the whole problem handled. Just buy their solution, and “problem solved.” But you don’t have look very hard to start finding chinks in the armor.
Gartner’s 2012 Magic Quadrant for Mobile Device Management Software Report is prefaced with the assertion that “MDM features have commoditized with little differentiation,” indicating that most offer the same strengths – and weaknesses. Perhaps the biggest limitation on MDM as a category is that the ability to actual manage devices is highly dependent on the mobile operating system each device is running – and all mobile OSes are not created equal in terms of their ability to be managed.Continue reading "Why Mobile Device Management (MDM) Is So Much Harder Than It Looks"
Windows 8 is finally out. The question for enterprise is, should we care? While I don’t see any enterprise professionals doing cartwheels over it, the early returns do look somewhat promising – at least for portable devices.
I myself laid eyes on a bevy of news Windows 8 devices at a hardware vendor’s coming out party a few weeks ago, and I liked what I saw. However, there was a distinct consumer flavor to these offerings (as one might expect from the company that pioneered personal electronics back in the 1970s).
But some more robust Windows 8 devices are also on tap, and I have to think they could have some serious allure in the corporate sector. To date, while many enterprise organizations have come to tolerate the tablet, I think the number of large enterprise companies that actively embraced – or God forbid, actually pushed tablets out to users proactively – you could count on your digits, without removing your shoes. I believe that most tablets in the enterprise initially came in the back door, or in many cases, through the boardroom door as executives showed up to work with their shiny new devices and demanded that IT hook them up to the corporate network.Continue reading "Windows 8: Tablets Even an Enterprise Can Love?"
I get to talk to a lot of CIOs in my line, and I always enjoy getting their perspective on technology and change. I’m frequently awed by their intelligence and the sheer scope of their knowledge and experience. I’ve often been surprised by their backgrounds, as well. I can think of top CIOs who came out of college with degrees in Philosophy, Chemistry, even Zoology. None of them thought they’d end up running IT for a major agency or corporation. (Guess which one ran an entire State’s IT? See the answer below.*)
So it’s particularly interesting to talk to them now, as the world they grew up and carved out a career in begins to disintegrate around them. Some people are even questioning if there will be such a thing as a CIO role 10 years from now. The question isn’t that far-fetched: “Self service” IT is a reality now, with a complete range of custom IT resources readily available to any department or individual who decides to “go rogue,” while bring-your-own device (BYOD) is spreading through organizations like wildfire – regardless of IT’s official policy on the practice, one way or the other.Continue reading "CIO Confessional: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love BYOD"
In my conversations with CIOs and IT leaders during the past 18 months, most consider it a given that they must have a mobile strategy for their organizations. These strategies range from allowing employees to access the corporate network with their personal devices (a practice widely known as Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD for short), to pursuing a full scale switchover to a tablet-based infrastructure for users. Most companies find themselves somewhere in the middle.
The one fly in the mobility ointment for the majority of IT leaders is the issue of data security. Simply put, mobility breaks the time-tested perimeter security model that most organizations are still desperately clinging to. The fact is, the perimeter model is already broken. Mobility just brings this issue out into the light.Continue reading "Don’t Let Mobility Immobilize You: Coming to Grips with Mobile Security for the Enterprise"