This means that CIOs need to look holistically at their IT infrastructures rather than just at point solutions: which existing business applications will operate on mobile as well as desktop? Will employees who regularly travel be able to have secure access to the documents and tools they need while on the move? The benefits of a mobility strategy that embraces all these facets and more will far outweigh the costs, as opportunities outnumber the challenges.
For example, IT executives can already map the link between social networking and collaboration tools through mobility - that is, finding the right person or information quickly either through social communication tools for the enterprise or shared data repositories in the cloud. When asked to rank their top three mobile features, 45 percent of respondents cited knowledge sharing and 40 percent cited collaboration as just two of these opportunities.
6. Every organisation has its own unique needs and issues, but what would you say are the success factors behind a mobility project?
Here are four tips for CIOs:
a) Create and Implement a Mobile Strategy: This strategy should address key questions around the business case for mobile, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) versus corporate devices, mobile device management systems, network connectivity, mobile security, workplace and collaboration, mobile application development standards, legal and personnel policy, and operations and support requirements. All these factors should combine to drive specific device platform decisions and directions.
b) Make Consumerisation Your Friend: There is nothing wrong in developing enterprise mobile applications that are simple, intuitive, easy-to-use, and in demand by employees. There is a reason why tablets are so popular. Harness the enthusiasm that employees have for mobile devices, and the free training that they are getting on their own time, to create applications that can make them more productive at their jobs.
c) Shift from Applications to Apps: It is time to rethink how users are going to be accessing information. The days of a multi-screen application with a multitude of drop-down menus are over. It is not just a question of simplicity; it is a question of both screen real-estate and performance. Tablet screens may not be big enough to accommodate a multitude of drop-down menus and electronic forms. Focus on widgets: simple, clean, minimally purposed actions based on what users need while mobile.
d) Establish Process and Organisational Governance: Extend the rules about security and data access to the mobile realm. This spans everything from who gets what kind of devices to who gets which applications to what data they can access. Some elements of this new world are not different. Data still has to be protected, and IT still has a role in developing the guidelines to do so. Those requirements need to be forged together with the more consumer technology-driven platform roadmap.
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