Café Innovation Enterprise Mobility: What did we learn this year?
My excuse for not writing a post in recent weeks is that I had taken some time off in November! This included a trip to the eastern Himalayas. The natural beauty of the region is indeed breathtaking, the commitment of the local population to environmental matters is impressive, and the surroundings are indeed inspirational. My trip came on the heels of an announcement that one could use a mobile phone from the summit of Mt. Everest! Now, I only got up to 14200 ft (about less than half the height of Everest) where the air was a bit rare, but mobile usage was not! People in the area were connected, and were connecting to conduct business in far away corners of the world.
And, this is what continues to drive our new work approach – increasingly, there is need for the capabilities of an entire office to be carried around within a mobile device – whether that be a smart phone or a tablet of some kind!
To paraphrase an oft-repeated cliché, it is information that translates into power, if used appropriately. The expectation we must meet now is a natural extension of this thinking – we must now provide necessary and role-appropriate information pushed out on demand to the right individuals, so that as they work from their mobile “office” they are not in any way handicapped in rendering complete service. This means a lot of data moving dynamically between a lot of systems and devices. This in turn means that a lot of work has to be done to manage this variety and related activity. Put a different way, we are looking at an imminent tsunami of mobility related demands coming our way.
What does this mean for the organization that is going to be inundated with such a tsunami?
Such an organization will need to take a step back (…in some cases, a big step back…) and establish a well-articulated strategy around mobility and analytics. The single most important feature of this strategy has to be a governance model; a model that takes into account the organization’s sensibilities and addresses the management of these remote devices and what sits on them – and the related security aspects.
In recent months, there has been a lot of buzz around the SAP acquisition of Sybase and what that means for organizations going mobile. Understandably, customers are very focused on getting to the bottom of what the Unwired Platform can do. In these conversations, I have found that sometimes a closer look at the Afaria suite of capabilities is somewhat of a lesser priority. If one accepts that the governance of the mobility landscape is a critical piece of any respectable going-forward mobility strategy, then this aspect of what SAP and Sybase, an SAP company, have to offer should be examined more enthusiastically – especially since this offering addresses the needs of organizations that are dealing with, or plan to deal with, the sort of variety I am referring to.
On the enterprise mobility front, if there were one single thought I’d like to leave you with as 2010 draws to a close, then that would be to ask yourselves the questions: What is my organization’s mobility strategy? What will my organization need to do in order to succeed with governance in this regard? Have we looked at Afaria as closely as we should have?