Tablets In Business

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iPad in the Enterprise Part II: Keys to Creating an Enterprise Mobility Strategy

By Nathan Clevenger

In Part I of this series we looked at the drivers behind the adoption of enterprise mobile applications. In part II, we’ll outline some of the keys to developing an enterprise mobile strategy.

In The Transformational CIO, author Hunter Muller says, “In today’s environment — in the Age of Immediacy — the CIO can’t afford to be seen as a naysayer. If you don’t find a way to work with the business, the business just might find a way to work without you. At many companies, you will hear stories of business units that went ahead and purchased technology after losing patience with the IT department.”

This new reality creates an opportunity for enterprises to develop a strategy to enable and empower the business to be more efficient and productive. By aligning IT strategy with the overall business strategy, IT can take advantage of the disruptive change caused by the mobile devices such as the iPad to empower workers and help create a more effective organization.

The process of developing and defining a mobility strategy will be different for every company, but an effective strategy should consist of these core components:

  • The business drivers
  • Hardware ownership and support
  • Deployment, provisioning, and management
  • Enterprise services platform for innovation
  • Application portfolio and road map
  • Corporate governance and processes
  • Security standards and audit processes

As with any disruptive technology, there are often internal conflicts among Marketing, IT, Operations and users regarding how to adopt the technology. IT usually ends up in the middle, responsible for resolving these varied perspectives. While not necessarily explicitly included as part of a mobile strategy, it is important to recognize these different voices to ensure that their needs are all addressed within any mobile strategy.

The relationship between marketing and IT can be the most complex. For most companies, the first iPhone or iPad app developed is driven by marketing – and subsequently dropped in the laps of IT to support. It further complicates the situation that, through the development of these apps, the marketing department is filling a need for apps expressed not just by external customers and business partners, but by internal employees as well. By coordinating Marketing and IT early in the strategic process, both parties can define the application needs they require. This creates an environment where external applications driven by marketing can be leveraged for internal use without completing rewriting the application. 

Nathan Clevenger on Consumerization

Author Bio
Nathan Clevenger has been developing mobile software for more than 12 years and is the author of iPad in the Enterprise: Developing and Deploying Business Applications, a book designed to help CIOs and IT managers define and implement effective mobile strategies and platforms. 

In addition to being enterprise editor for iPhone Life magazine, Nathan is chief software architect at ITR Mobility, a mobile management and IT consulting firm, where he works with FORTUNE 500 companies to develop mobile strategies and enterprise architectures.

Look for the final post (Part III) with examples of application types that may provide idea-starters for different vertical industries.

Tablets in Business 

Businesses are refocusing their mobile strategies and turning to tablets. But new devices present new challenges for IT and decision makers. JoinTabletPCReview in exploring the world of enterprise tablets, with news and solutions-oriented analysis.

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