2D) Mobile

I’ve not said a lot about mobile on this blog over the years. Frankly, I’ve not thought that much about it given some environmental reasons. However, I’ve reached the place where I’m agreeing with those who are saying ‘mobile first.’ I’m not a guru on this topic and I’ll defer to others who are better prepared and equipped to recommend strategies in this area. Here are some thoughts that come to mind based on my experiences:

  1. On mobile platforms, you must also make sure that you have some security components in place on the mobile devices to protect against theft or loss of the devices. You’ve got to enforce some policies on the device to require passwords and do remote wipes. If you don’t have these basic capabilities in place, then you need to start the mobile conversation here.
  2. Two-factor authentication or other forms of device password security need to be in place. Of course there are 3rd parties that will help with this for your organization. This part of a broader series of questions that you need to ask about mobile device security and roadmaps into the future.
  3. Once basic platform security is in place, you must enable basic mobile messaging, calendaring and chat features for your organization. Your people need to be able to connect reliably to the point of having no issues. These are table stakes. Related, we are past the time when IT can only offer Blackberry support.
  4. After 1-3, one needs to understand the applications strategy, if any, for your organization. Are you providing business applications for smart phones? If so, for which platforms (iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, etc.)? If you are limiting the platforms why? Is there demand for more platforms? What is your IT organization’s thinking about providing mobile applications for the workforce in general? Are you wanting to develop on mobile first? Is there a need for such? Is there a demand for such?
  5. Are you developing mobile applications on multiple different tools set and platforms? If so, why?
  6. Finally, does your organization have mobile policies in place that users must accept? If you are going to do a remote wipe on a device, it is best that they employee has heard of that possibility in advance.

It seems that the world is now going all mobile. We’ve all become addicted to doing transactions and tasks on our mobile phones when we can. For an IT organization to be successful in the future and for an IT leader to be successful now and in the future, you must have a mobile strategy and plan.

What mobile thoughts have I left out? And thank to those who follow along.



Immediacy of Mobile

Years ago when traveling with my boss and arriving at a new location, we were ushered into a conference room that we were to use during our visit. Three of us walked into the room and then proceeded to wordlessly spend the next 10 minutes getting our electronics out of our various bags, connecting up power bricks and a mouse, crawling under the table to connect to power strips and connecting ethernet cables to the laptops.  As we completed this work and then sat down to fire up the computers, we looked at each other and started laughing about how ridiculous it was to have to do all that work just to connect to email. And yet this was the method of that time as there were no mobile data connections.

Today, anyone can choose to be connected nearly instantly to their data services with live updates on company events, email, stock quotes and any other key indicator needed to run a business. It is just amazing how far we’ve come in the past few years. Smartphones and tablets with nearly instant on and nearly continuous network connections have really changed the game of business, sport and life.

I’m still troubled by locations that are full of people like stadiums where thousands of people are trying to stay connected all at the same time. I’m seeing some stadiums and mobile phone operators solving that problem with additional equipment to offer more connections. It seems that stadium operators could easily offer free wi-fi in the stadium to offload some of the cell load, but many don’t seem to do this. I think that IT professionals operating within organizations and locations where many people are concentrated in a small space should plan for this congestion and try to provide better connectivity in advance.

I just got email from a work colleague who is on vacation. I told him to put down the smartphone and be on vacation.

How about that ‘Find Friends’ app on the Apple IOS platforms where you can see where people are located without having to ask. We can tell were our family or friends are now without even talking to them.

Interesting days.