Enterprise mobility fears keeping CIOs awake at night

The topic of mobility and mobile is everywhere these days, not just in our homes but in our offices and boardrooms too. Some great statistics, recently released by [x]cube labs, suggest that as many as 73% of the global enterprise workforce are mobile workers. This may sound a little high even fantastical but they split the workers into groupings of users which included “wannabes” or those who are not actually mobile but want the technology that goes with being mobile. 

Naturally reading statistics like this means many CEOs are demanding their enterprises become mobile and IT are looking for ways to fulfill that request. However, I believe the rush to “become” mobile could be doing more harm than good as the normally reserved IT departments are forced to act without the right amount if time to investigate the best solution for the Enterprise choosing instead the best solution “right now”.

The trend is been driven by those in the know suggesting enterprises and ISVs alike choose just one platform for their applications or just one device type for their workforce. To me this all seems like settling for something inferior simply because of the fear of the unknown. Here I wanted to outline the main fears I see expressed everyday but those charged with creating a mobile strategy and how they can be overcome without settling for second best.

Security

There have been many comprehensive articles on the numerous security fears keeping most CIOs and IT managers awake at night all based around the subject of mobility. They range from fear of users losing devices to Malware and everything in between, I myself have written quite a bit on the subject especially when it comes to particular weaknesses within a certain operating system. 

For me it’s all about being forearmed and forewarned rather than being frightened off. Yes mobility can open your organisation up to a whole new set of attacks where users are not so well educated but there are tools on the market like MDMs and MEAP’s like the one Magic Software which offer built in security, these combined with user education should be the linchpin of any mobile strategy and can easily overcome most of the security fears out there.

Too much choice

One of the most common fears we hear is that the pace of change and speed at which the mobile market moves means that enterprises can never be sure which is the right choice for them when it comes to device type or platform. It is not unheard off for IT departments to spend weeks testing and months building applications for their users only for the operating system, device or worse brand to become obsolete before their solution sees the light of day. Faced with the overwhelming change on a day to day basis many CIOs simply do not know where to begin and are concerned with hanging their neck on the line for one solution over another. 

This is a fear I can totally empathise with, it seems that on almost a daily basis there is a new mobile contender or operating system level announced. How can IT departments possibly keep up? The answer comes in the form of  a solution like Magic’s which keeps pace with change for you, ensuring any application written within the solution, or MEAP Mobiel Enterprise Application Platform, can run natively on any mobile device now or future. Quite simply put allowing enterprises and ISVs to out perform and out run the future.

Lack of in-house skills

This is a big fear for companies and employees alike many fear that those in house are not skilled in mobile development but also do not want to lose the years of skills and business knowledge those employees have whilst employees fear being pushed aside for “the next big thing”. This culture of fear means many mobile projects are shelved or meet disproportionate resistance in house. Again these reactions are completely natural especially if people believe the only way to mobilise is to learn new skills and program in a chosen language. 

The truth is that Mobile Platforms allow code to be developed once and to run on any device, yes staff will need to learn a new skill but it is in no way as intensive as learning a new language and is designed to make the most of those years of business process and understanding they have built up over the years.

Here I have just really touched the tip of a very large iceberg but these seem to me to be the main demons keeping CIOs awake at night when it comes to mobility. What I really want to stress is that jumping into mobility head long and making rash decisions in one direction or another can be just as dangerous as procrastinating and putting mobility off for weeks and months on end. Essentially those charged with creating a strategy need to choose a solution which allows for freedom of choice, flexibility and takes into account that none of us know what the future will hold.

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