Why CIOs Miss the Mark on Mobility

Susan Nunziata, Director of Editorial | 10/16/2012 | 14 comments

Susan Nunziata
When it comes to addressing what CIOs need to know about mobility, Gartner distinguished analyst Phillip Redman has some hard truths to tell.

Mobility trends in the enterprise represent great opportunities for the CIO who embraces them, notes Redman. At the same time, it's essential that they approach the challenges and opportunities of enterprise mobility with eyes wide open.

Redman spoke with Enterprise Efficiency in advance of his presentation on Managing Mobile Devices in the Enterprise, due to take place during Gartner Symposium/ITXpo 2012, October 21 through October 25 in Orlando, Fla. I'll be at the event, along with E2 executive editor Curt Franklin, where we'll be providing daily, live blogging and Tweeting.

Meanwhile, here are some perspectives to ponder from Gartner's Redman:

  • Mobility is now a priority at enterprises. It's no longer a toy, it's a tool. There are great opportunities that come with supporting mobility, but you need to address it (rather than ignoring it).
  • When it comes to mobile devices, enterprises are second-class citizens. New devices are designed for the consumer first and the enterprise second. How you handle that is critical. There is a risk to the enterprise, not just in terms of security but in terms of efficiency and how your users are supported.
  • Enterprises need to take control of the mobile program, whether by using mobile device management tools, or putting policies in place. You can't let users just drive it.

These are just some of the realities that CIOs and other IT leaders need to face when it comes to handling an increasingly heterogeneous mobility environment. As we recently heard from Kevin Baradet, CTO of the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University:

    What you should really be looking at doing is you manage the data and not the device. You make them access it through Web portals and you design your systems so that the data never resides on the device; it's only consumed on the device.

Redman has his own list of guidelines. For starters, he says, CIOs and other IT leaders need to put a strategy in place that's aligned with an overall view of communications lifecycle management. "Mobility doesn't sit in one area" of the enterprise, he says. "It sits in many areas. It's not one-size-fits-all and so your approach has to be variable and customized for various users."

But how do you get such a strategy started? According to Redman, it begins by understanding that there is a spectrum of choices to any mobility strategy, involving different levels of security, different applications and different levels of users. "Understand how important mobility is to your enterprise, what the business case is, and what it is that your IT team is really trying to support," he says.

When it comes to applications, not everything needs to be wirelessly enabled, no matter how loudly your business executives scream for it. "A key thing to identify is what's based on real-time need versus what's based on a non-real-time need. That will help companies evaluate what their investment levels should be."

What's the No. 1 mistake that CIOs make when it comes to mobility in the enterprise? According to Redman, "They don't look at it strategically, they look at it on a short-term basis." By taking the strategic view, CIOs will be able to gain insight into what apps and data are really needed on mobile devices, as well as understanding how cloud solutions play into enterprise mobility plans, as well as how to manage mobility across the organization.

So, with all of the above in mind, is your enterprise mobility strategy up to snuff? What areas would you like to see improved within your organization, and why?

View Comments: Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
soozyg   Why CIOs Miss the Mark on Mobility   10/23/2012 9:01:41 AM
New devices are designed for the consumer first and the enterprise second...Enterprises need to take control of the mobile program.....You can't let users just drive it....you manage the data and not the device. You make them access it through Web portals and you design your systems so that the data never resides on the device; it's only consumed on the device.

Very interesting points. Also goes to the issue of the company supplying the devices for more control vs. BYOD, which is much less expensive for the company but then the company loses the control factor.

Sara Peters   Why CIOs Miss the Mark on Mobility   10/18/2012 9:53:03 AM
Re: tough combo
@Susan  Fair enough. By the time RIM started courting the consumer market it was too little too late. By that time, the app developers had moved on to producing the fun stuff for other companies' smarthones, and the app market for BlackBerry devices dried up.
Susan Nunziata   Why CIOs Miss the Mark on Mobility   10/17/2012 10:30:27 PM
Re: tough combo
@Sara: I don't think it's either-or and there are many factors involved. But, IMHO, from a marketing standpoint, by staking its claim in the enterprise, RIM effectively associated its devices with "work" instead of "fun." By the time they began attempting to win over mainstream consumers and project a fresh marketing message, there were too many other options out there that had already attained mainstream popularity. And leaves out the whole product development and innovation part of the discussion...
Sara Peters   Why CIOs Miss the Mark on Mobility   10/17/2012 2:53:49 PM
Re: tough combo
@Susan  Do you think that RIM's problems are really just due to them "staking their claim in the enterprise" or because they've made a bunch of stupid decisions that displeased those enterprises? Or is it some combo of both?
DBK   Why CIOs Miss the Mark on Mobility   10/17/2012 1:19:09 PM
Re: tough combo
Susan - I think that by pushing the applications in to the cloud and making them "webified" will remove some of the barriers to entry.  Some of the historic challenges have been "paralysis by analysis" and concerns about not making the correct or "Best" decision.  By making it device agnostic and secure it will help to drive sales.  But the question then becomes drive them where?  As we look at the options and the characteristics of those options what I see is that IaaS = Host * PaaS = Build and * SaaS = Consume.  So who will ultimately benefit from the removal of those barriers.  Could be web developers and or hosted solutions or hosted solutions providers.  And maybe even a hybird but we will see.
Susan Nunziata   Why CIOs Miss the Mark on Mobility   10/17/2012 1:01:12 AM
Re: tough combo
@broadway hard to believe isn't it? The battle for entry into the enterprise is about winning over consumer hearts and minds when it comes to mobility. A look at BlackBerry's fortunes in recent years shows what happens when you stake your claim in the enterprise. We'll see if Microsoft can change this dynamic with Windows Phone 8.
Broadway   Why CIOs Miss the Mark on Mobility   10/16/2012 10:57:29 PM
Re: tough combo
@Susan, how can't CIOs have the collective market pull yet to get mobile devices made to their needs?
Susan Nunziata   Why CIOs Miss the Mark on Mobility   10/16/2012 7:41:32 PM
Re: tough combo
@DBK: that marks a major shift from the early days of "mobile device management," where the focus was on managing the device. Now, it seems, the emphasis is on managing the end to end data stream. How do you think this change in emphasis will influence IT purchasing decisions in the year/s ahead?
DBK   Why CIOs Miss the Mark on Mobility   10/16/2012 7:15:48 PM
Re: tough combo
Susan the statement says it  "What you should really be looking at doing is you manage the data and not the device. You make them access it through Web portals and you design your systems so that the data never resides on the device; it's only consumed on the device."  The folks from Dell today called it 'webify" which I think is accurate and validates your comment.  That way it is platform agnostic and future proof.  Plus it addresses some of the security concerns because it resides in the web/cloud and not on the device.
Sara Peters   Why CIOs Miss the Mark on Mobility   10/16/2012 4:41:50 PM
Re: tough combo
@Susan  I'd put my money on the same thing: "I'll venture that the place where the internal dev takes place is most likely in mobilizing legacy apps." I wonder though, if that's the wisest way to use in-house developers. It seems like developers are often wasted on small tasks that could easily be outsourced or sprawling customized applications that are probably needlessly complex and would be better replaced by something they could buy off the shelf. It doesn't seem like developers (except the ones at Quirky) really get to do the cool stuff that can transform a business.
Page 1 / 2   >   >>

The blogs and comments posted on EnterpriseEfficiency.com do not reflect the views of TechWeb, EnterpriseEfficiency.com, or its sponsors. EnterpriseEfficiency.com, TechWeb, and its sponsors do not assume responsibility for any comments, claims, or opinions made by authors and bloggers. They are no substitute for your own research and should not be relied upon for trading or any other purpose.

More Blogs from Susan Nunziata
Susan Nunziata   5/28/2014   111 comments
For more than four years, EnterpriseEfficiency.com (E2) has been the best IT community on the Internet. As with all good things, soon our time together here will end.
Susan Nunziata   5/20/2014   95 comments
Is it time to ask for a raise? If you're a female IT executive, or more than 55 years old, your answer might well be a resounding "Yes!" Let's take a look at highlights of the ...
Susan Nunziata   4/14/2014   15 comments
If you're looking for more than conjecture to back up the point that IT is increasingly crucial to the business, you'll find what you need in the report "The Gartner CEO and Senior ...
Susan Nunziata   4/7/2014   3 comments
Do you know what your CEO really wants from your IT team? Do you have a grasp of what matters most to your organization's chief marketing officer?
Susan Nunziata   4/1/2014   9 comments
There are plenty of challenges involved in leading an IT organization in the era of Bring Your Own Everything (BYOE), but there are also plenty of opportunities.
Latest Archived Broadcast
We talk with Bernard Golden about accelerating application delivery in the cloud.
On-demand Video with Chat
Register for this video discussion to learn how tablets can provide true business usability and productivity.
E2 IT Migration Zones
IT Migration Zone - UK
Why PowerShell Is Important
Reduce the Windows 8 Footprint for VDI
Rethinking Storage Management
IT Migration Zone - FR
SQL Server : 240 To de mémoire flash pour votre data warehouse
Quand Office vient booster les revenus Cloud et Android de Microsoft
Windows Phone : Nokia veut davantage d'applications (et les utilisateurs aussi)
IT Migration Zone - DE
Cloud Computing: Warum Unternehmen trotz NSA auf die „private“ Wolke setzen sollten
Cloud Computing bleibt Wachstumsmarkt – Windows Azure ist Vorreiter
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Enterprise Efficiency Twitter Feed
Site Moderators Wanted
Enterprise Efficiency is looking for engaged readers to moderate the message boards on this site. Engage in high-IQ conversations with IT industry leaders; earn kudos and perks. Interested? E-mail:
Dell's Efficiency Modeling Tool
The major problem facing the CIO is how to measure the effectiveness of the IT department. Learn how Dell’s Efficiency Modeling Tool gives the CIO two clear, powerful numbers: Efficiency Quotient and Impact Quotient. These numbers can be transforma¬tive not only to the department, but to the entire enterprise.

Read the full report
The State of Enterprise Efficiency in the Virtual Era: Virtualization – Smart Approaches to Maximize Gains
Virtualization is a presence in nearly all enterprise data centers. But not all companies are using it to its best effect. Learn the common characteristics of success, what barriers companies face, and how to get the most from your efforts.

Read the full report
Informed CIO: Dollars & Sense: Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
Cut through the VDI hype and get the full picture -- including ROI and the impact on your Data Center -- to make an informed decision about your virtual desktop infrastructure deployments.

Read the full report
A Video Case Study – Translational Genomics Research Institute
e2 Video

On the Case
TGen IT: Where We're Going Next

7|11|12   |   08:12   |   10 comments

Now that TGen has broken new ground in genomic research by using Dell's storage, cloud, and high-performance computing solutions, the company discusses what will come next for it and for personalized medicine.
On the Case
Better Care Through Better Communications

6|6|12   |   02:24   |   11 comments

The achievements of the TGen/Dell project could improve how all people receive healthcare, because they are creating ways to improve end-to-end communication of medical data.
On the Case
TGen IT: Where We Are Now

5|15|12   |   06:58   |   6 comments

TGen is breaking new ground in genomic research by using Dell's storage, cloud, and high-performance computing solutions.
On the Case
TGen IT: Where We Were

4|27|12   |   06:45   |   10 comments

The Translational Genomics Research Institute wanted to save lives, but its efforts were hobbled by immense computing challenges related to collecting, processing, sharing, and storing enormous amounts of data.
On the Case
1,200% Faster

4|18|12   |   02:27   |   12 comments

Through their partnership, Dell and TGen have increased the speed of TGen’s medical research by 1,200 percent.
On the Case
IT May Improve Children's Chances of Survival

4|17|12   |   02:12   |   8 comments

IT is helping medical researchers reach breakthroughs in a way and pace never seen before.
On the Case
Medical Advances in the Cloud

4|10|12   |   1:25   |   5 comments

TGen and Dell are pushing the boundaries of computing, and harnessing the power of the cloud to improve healthcare.
On the Case
TGen: Living the Mission

4|9|12   |   2:25   |   3 comments

TGen's CIO puts the organizational mission at the heart of everything the IT staff does.
On the Case
TGen Speeding Up Biomedical Research to Save More Lives

4|5|12   |   1:59   |   6 comments

The Translational Genomics Research Institute is revamping its computing to improve speed, storage, and collaboration – and, most importantly, to save lives.
On the Case
Computing Power Helping to Save Children's Lives

3|28|12   |   2:13   |   3 comments

The Translational Genomics Institute’s partnership with Dell is enabling them to treat kids with neuroblastoma more quickly and save more lives.
Tom Nolle
The Big Reason to Use Office

3|18|14   |   02:24   |   46 comments

Office and personal productivity tools come in a first-class and coach flavor set, but what makes the difference is primarily little things that most users won't encounter. What's the big issue in using something other than Office, and can you get around it?
E2 Editors
SPONSORED: Mobile Security — A Use Case

3|4|14   |   04:27   |   16 comments

New mobile security solutions can accommodate a wide array of needs, including those of a complex university environment.
Tom Nolle
Killing Net Neutrality Might Save You Money

1|16|14   |   2:13   |   16 comments

The DC Court of Appeals voided most of the Neutrality Order, and whatever it might mean for the Internet overall, it might mean better and cheaper Internet VPNs for businesses.
Tom Nolle
The Internet of Everythinguseful

1|10|14   |   2:18   |   19 comments

We really don't want an "Internet of Everything" but even building an Internet of Everythinguseful means setting some ground rules to insure there's value in the process and that costs and risks are minimized.
Tom Nolle
Maturing Google Chrome

12|30|13   |   2.18   |   25 comments

Google's Chrome OS has a lot of potential value and a lot of recent press, but it still needs something to make it more than a thin client. It needs cloud integration, it needs extended APIs via web services, and it needs to suck it up and support a hard drive.
Sara Peters
No More Cookie-Cutter IT

12|23|13   |   03.58   |   21 comments

Creating the right combination of technology, people, and processes for your IT organization is a lot like baking Christmas cookies.
Sara Peters
Smart Wigs Not a Smart Idea

12|5|13   |   3:01   |   46 comments

Sony is seeking a patent for wigs that contain computing devices.
Tom Nolle
Cloud in the Wild

12|4|13   |   02:23   |   15 comments

On a recent African trip I saw examples of the value of the cloud in developing nations, for educational and community development programs. We could build on this, but not only in developing economies, because these same programs are often under-supported even in first-world countries.
E2 Editors
SPONSORED: Is Malware Evading Your IPS?

11|18|13   |   03:16   |   4 comments

Intrusion prevention software is supposed to detect and block malware intrusions, but clever malware authors can evade your IPS in these five main ways.
Sara Peters
Where Have All the Mentors Gone?

9|27|13   |   3:15   |   38 comments

A good professional mentor can change your life for the better... but where do you find one?
Tom Nolle
SDN Wars & You Could Win

9|17|13   |   2:10   |   5 comments

VMware's debate with Cisco on SDN might finally create a fusion between an SDN view that's all about software and another that's all about network equipment. That would be good for every enterprise considering the cloud and SDN.
Ivan Schneider
The Future of the Smart Watch

9|12|13   |   3:19   |   39 comments

Wearing a bulky, oversized watch is good training for the next phase in wristwatches: the Internet-enabled, connected watch. Why the smartphone-tethered connected watch makes sense, plus Ivan demos an entirely new concept for the "smart watch."
Tom Nolle
Cutting Your Cloud Storage Costs

9|4|13   |   2:06   |   3 comments

Cloud storage costs are determined primarily by the rate at which files are changed and the possibility of concurrent access/update. If you can structure your storage use to optimize these factors you can cut costs, perhaps to zero.
Sara Peters
Do CIOs Need an IT Background?

8|29|13   |   2:11   |   23 comments

Most of the CIOs interviewed in the How to Become a CIO series did not start their careers as IT professionals. So is an IT background essential?
Ivan Schneider
The Internet Loves Birthdays

8|27|13   |   3:25   |   69 comments

The Internet has evolved into a machine for drumming up a chorus of "Happy Birthday" messages, from family, friends, friends of friends who you added on Facebook, random people that you circled on G+, and increasingly, automated bots. Enough already.