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Think Your Enterprise Was ‘Born Ready’ for Mobile? Think Again.

“You ready?” “I was BORN ready.” There’s a reason this line is a cliche of cheesy action movies, and the comedies that make fun of them (video): it’s utter nonsense, and likely to cause Big Trouble in your Little Enterprise.  

Yet, that’s the attitude of far too many enterprise IT departments,   who think (wrongly) that managing thousands of desktop PCs has prepared   them for the mobile device wave.

Think again. Most corporate PCs are  non-mobile, run the same operating system (Windows), can be controlled  and secured by dozens of systems management applications. And they were  bought by IT, usually from the same manufacturer. And they’ve been  around for decades.

None of that applies to smartphones and tablets. According to a  recent survey of IT managers by Computerworld magazine, 45% of  enterprises support 3 or more mobile OS platforms, while 21% support 4 or more.

Apart from Sybase’s own Afaria,  which has led the Mobile Device Management market for the last nine  years according to IDC, there is a shortage of mature cross-platform MDM  offerings.  And it’s consumers bringing mobile devices into the enterprise, not  the IT department. According to my estimate based on IDC data, consumers  will buy nine times more tablets than businesses. getting your enterprise ready for mobile, Jack ‘Born Ready’ Burton should *NOT* be your role model.

That has some organizations paralyzed unsure what to do, while others  are more overtly drowning in devices. The bar now is set so low that  companies that are simply putting out fires – rewriting their policies  to grudgingly allow non-company-issued smartphones access to the  network, or hastily rolling out a device security point solution – pat  themselves for their quick reactions.

The long-term results of this sort of hyperactive tactics and impulse buying – what Sybase’s Dan Ortega quips “an enterprise lumbering into mobility ad hoc” – are never good.  Not only is your TCO usually higher – think of the horror of cobbling  together multiple point solutions yourself – but you leave free money  on the table as your ROI from deploying business apps without an advance  plan, strange to you but no one else, disappoints.

The solution to this isn’t easy. But depending on your organization, a unified middleware approach can be the right start.

Check out this new white paper, “What’s the Point? Comparison: Mobile Middleware vs. Point Solutions” to get some insight as to whether a middleware/Mobile Enterprise Application Platform (MEAP) approach makes sense or not.

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      Author's profile photo John Moy
      John Moy
      Hi Eric,

      Thanks for your blog.  Obviously you are promoting the values in the Sybase mobility solution.  And certainly the Sybase story is compelling.
      One thing that raised my attention however was your statement ... "..a unified middleware approach can be the right start".  Well, I would suggest that the SAP mobility product offering is still evolving and not reflective of this.  There is still solutions such as SAP's Mobile Asset Management solution.  There is NetWeaver Mobile.  There is Sybase SUP.  And there (will be) Gateway.  A unified SAP-Sybase SDK is in process (to my understanding). 
      So whilst it is good to challenge IT departments to strategise around a single unified solution, it would also be good to do that when the product vendor has the unified solution fully available.