Deconstructing Enterprise Mobility
EdgeLens is dedicated to deconstructing all things mobile from and enterprise market perspective. IDC refers to mobile as the third platform (as in mainframe -> PC -> mobile devices). It is an interesting construct that is better viewed through a different lens. Mobility as a technology should be viewed in terms of personal access to computing and information resources. The better evolutionary path is PC -> Internet -> Mobile. The PC gave us its namesake: personal computing. The internet leveraged the power of PCs and networks to give us networked information access. Smart mobile devices given us both untethered access to computing and information resources anytime, anywhere.
The mobility shift is profound. It changes computing and networked information access from something done in a place to something done anywhere. As the former CEO of Nokia pointed out in the 1990’s, before mobile phones, you used to call a place to find a person. Now you call a person regardless of place. Similarly with computing and information access. You used to go to a place to access a PC or lug a laptop around and utilize it in a limited number of settings. Now you compute and access information from where you on and a variety of devices.
Mobility Upending Enterprise
So what does this have to do with the enterprise? Mobility is rapidly ushering in changes for businesses as profound as the PC in the 1980’s and Internet in the 1990’s. Both earlier technology shifts were revolutionary in terms of speed and scope of activities. They had a profound impact on how people worked and what resources were required to enable the enterprise. You can see a clear parallel with mobility. It is disruptive to our current constructs on how business is conducted, where it is conducted and what is expected of IT departments. The introduction of the iPhone in 2007 ushered in the era of smart mobility. In 2010 many organizations began to recognize that mobile computing was more than a consumer phenomenon. We are today in the first few years of a decade of technological change within the modern business enterprise. The edge of the network is now center stage.
Be mobility victims or learn to adapt…and quickly
CIOs are in reaction mode to mobility today. With the consumerization of IT, they are being put on the defensive by CFOs, business executives and large cohorts of line employees who can go around IT to secure productivity from consumer apps and cloud services. In the midst of this change, lessons from earlier technology transformations can be instructive in how to move forward. The first lesson is to view what is going on and focus in on its meaning and implications. The second is to develop a framework that enables the enterprise to understand and leverage mobile technology. The third is to execute, monitor and adapt.
Edge Lens is dedicated to helping CIOs and business executives better understand the key events driving the mobility revolution, its enterprise implications, and approaches to get ahead of the curve. I look forward to your feedback, questions and requests.