Every week our teams at Apperian speak with some of the most dynamic and innovative CIOs and CTOs in the world and there is a definite theme that has arisen over the past 18 months. Due to the tectonic plate-like movement and furious acceleration of smartphones and social networking in the enterprise, IT leadership is now under extreme pressure to understand and leverage mobile and social for their organizations.
As the CXOs look beyond blackberry for mail calendar and contacts there seems to be a murky landscape filled with terms like MDM (Mobile Device Management), MAM (Mobile Application Management), EMM (Enterprise Mobility Management), and other new platforms that claim to make their lives easier and empower them to harness the momentum and promise of these new platforms. When talking about mobile and social with our customers we hear the following:
The pressure to go Mobile
"Data is our business - not Apps - We want great Apps for our employees but we don't know where to start"
Enterprises are experts when it comes to their data. They mine it, shape it, and use it to make decisions on how to run the business. They are able to quickly and effectively erector set that data into ERP, CRM, BI and other App platforms that can make that data valuable to the end user. They want to provide powerful point solutions in the form of enterprise Apps to empower their workers but most don't know where to start and the process to get there.
Late last year IT began to dig into the development of Apps (both internally by training their existing .NET and JAVA developers in Objective C, Cocoa, and Native IOS and Android SDKs and through outsourced integrators) and explore 3rd party App template/frameworks from many enterprise mobile startups that are 70-90% complete and allow them to connect their existing or newly generated APIs/webservices.
These templates are very compelling and enable "killer App" deployment in days or weeks not months. Some examples of these templates come from companies like Big Nerd Ranch and their Mobile Corporate Directory App for iPhone and Android and Executive Board Meeting App for iPad, Any Presence for mobile HR, approvals, to Big Tin Can with their beautifully designed and easy to integrate iPad App for Sales teams who need access to CRM, SAP, and content when their are mobile. A great mobile App uses core location (where your employees are in the world) as meta data to make enterprise data "smarter".
An example of this is the App that knows that you are about to meet with a customer because you are near their building and automatically sorts your CRM data to display the last 5 orders they made, quickly scans the social nets and lets you know what the people you are meeting with are thinking about that day, and maybe even connects you one of your product managers to have a quick Facetime chat to discuss something in one of those orders that you know you better be completely up to speed on technically before you walk in the door.
An App like this is not only available today but can be connected to enterprise backends in a matter of days and deployed securely out to thousands of employees securely over the air in minutes. App templates/frameworks allow IT to focus on what they do best and let the App development fall in the hands of their vendors who will collaborate on roadmaps and maintain the Apps - just as any good software developer would.
This is the current win-win strategy for enterprise when it comes to who maintains the data and App respectively.
Next week we will look the at how enterprise can leverage the power of social networking from an IT perspective...
Have your company chosen mobile strategy? What are your biggest challenges so far?