Monday, December 12, 2011

Mobile manifesto - fundamental right to own a mobile device

The person who never handled a tablet before, the person who didn't own a smart phone, the novice and the illiterate in the mobile world. Some one who didn't use skype with iphone, who didn't know how to take photos on a phone and upload them to facebook. The person who didn't know what made one smart phone better than other or didn't have a clue as to why every one thought it was important to interact with their phones but not to the person sitting next to them in a meeting or on a train or in a conference. I was that person until a few days back. None of those things made me totally irrelevant or useless to my kids or to my friends as yet, but it did deprive me of contributing to their supposedly valuable conversations like which smart phone is the best in the market or why it's important for everyone to buy it as if their life depended on it. Kidding aside, barring a few disagreeing heads, mobile technology has become an enabling technology for all of us. While we take such features as finding directions, listening to music, sharing your pictures as granted for smart phones, we are not far removed from the day when all appliances in and outside of your home will be controlled from your phone. In fact, remote 'car starter' application is already available on iphone today. So guys, albeit relunctantly I convinced myself to buy Amazon Fire and a HTC smart phone. What I think about those toys, will be posted soon but the reason for today's post is -

While we acknowledge the ubiquitous presence of mobile devices in our lives, how do corporations for which most of us work are reacting to this revolution? Just a decade ago buying everything online seemed liked an idea in distant future, but look at what Amazon and other companies have made possible in this short period of time. Do corporations take mobile computing as seriously as the web revolution? Do they think that making their business mobile friendly is a core requirement to keep them relevant in the market? Why would a company enable its enterprise applications for mobile computing? Are the legitimate security concerns keeping them from going full steam ahead with mobility?

These questions are addressed and basically a case for linking mobile computing to the survival of a company is made in a wonderful document which could be downloaded here.  It's a great read for every one remotely interested in mobile computing. It's called mobile manifesto. Eric Lai, who regularly blogs for Sybase is the editor of this wonderful document and it's kind of funny how he puts forward the mobile computing as the fundamental right of a person/corporation.

The document helps an organization in assessing its mobile friedliness, the strategies for mobility adoption and tactics for transforming the way the business is conducted. It includes a score card that computes an organization's mobility status based on how you scored on the questions, the mile stones of our journey to mobile platform from analog devices. The document helps you make some tangible decisions as whether to buy mobile apps or to build them . The key take aways for an enterprise are

  • Open the doors to mobile computing to keep your enterprise relevant to the market
  • Adoption of mobile devices by masses is an irreversible trend. There are more mobile phones than tooth brushes in the world today.
  • Mobility projects are typically shorter than other technology projects allowing you to go full steam ahead. There are low hanging fruits that can provide ROI immediately.
  • Many companies who absolutely opposed to allowing emplyoee's personal device to connect to corporate network previously, are now rolling out plans of adoption in phases.
  • Security of such devices and hence the data protection and application maintenance on them is vitally important and companies like Sybase offer these services at very competitive rates.
  • Last but not the least, and easier said than done, is to eliminate the fear of failure.

For the companies that do not want to host and support their own infrastructure, the cloud option is most attractive one. In fact, number one reason companies go to cloud is the need to open information access to multiple computing devices. Check this article on by Matt Silverman for some interesting statistics on cloud adoption. Most intriguing for me is last in the chart about US Gov. employees. It wasnt' the number(48% of US goverment agencies moved to cloud) but the mention of 'cloud-first' policy of goverment agencies that caught my attention. Assuming it's true, adopting a cloud strategy is a no brainer. Because goverment agencies typically are the last to adopt new paradigm in technology, their adoption of  'cloud-first' strategy is proof enough that cloud is gone main-stream. In many companies it's not question of it but when to go to cloud or what applications to migrate to cloud.

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