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Mobility brings changing roles for CIOs, workers and businesses

Tom Kaneshige | Sept. 12, 2013
Mobility in the enterprise is on the move. What's the future look like? BYODers might have to fork out more cash, businesses must turn into mobile tech experts, and CIOs will take on a new role.

"The mobile trend is unstoppable," Borg says. "An organization can't afford for the CIO's role to be sidelined."

What Business Are You In? CIO Ross Meyercord has a message for his peers: "You're in the software business now."

Let's say your company makes toothbrushes, Meyercord says, the future toothbrush might have embedded sensors that track how someone brushes his molars. Thanks to your company's mobile software and cloud services, this information will go back to the research and development team and perhaps even to the customer's dentist.

This kind of thinking puts practically everyone in the mobile tech game.

At AirWatch Connect, Michael Rodger, vice president of hotel systems and infrastructure at Four Seasons Hotels, said that mobility has made IT a major stakeholder in the company. Four Seasons Hotel is in the midst of an iPad and iPod Touch pilot project at five hotels.

The pilot calls for putting these mobile devices into the hands of housekeeping and inside guest rooms, as well as supporting BYODers in corporate offices. Guests will be able to order room service and receive information over the iPad or even their own smartphones and tablets via a Four Seasons Hotels app. Housekeeping will be able to let the front desk know that a room has been cleaned or contact plumbing in case of a leak or take a picture of a damaged room.

If all goes well, Four Seasons Hotels will roll out mobile devices to all 93 hotels by the end of the year.

The goal is to better serve the affluent, tech savvy guests who stay at Four Seasons Hotels. Competition in the hospitality industry is fierce, Rodger's says, with hotels trying to one-up each other through the use of the latest mobile gadgets.

Mobility at Four Seasons Hotels used to be confined to the corner-office executive or sales person or on-the-go catering manager. But now mobile devices make sense for the housekeeper, the valet, the concierge who wants to sit down with a guest in the lobby and provide information via an iPad.

"Every touchpoint has a use case for mobility, and that wasn't true five years ago," Rodgers says.


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