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What Kevin Benedict is Learning about Enterprise Mobility this Month

Opinions?  I want to
hear them!
Mobile technology is fun and interesting, but the real impact of mobile technology is when companies adapt and evolve their business strategies, models and business processes because of it.  I am doing a lot of research in this area now.  The real-time and mobile enterprise is a different animal.  Just like modern military strategies have completely changed based upon persistent surveillance, real-time field visibility, remote sensors, mobile resources, mobile assets, connected troops and unified communications, business strategies must also change.

It is not mobile device security that is important, but mobile app and data security.

I have met with over a dozen large companies in the past few weeks and all have many mobile projects that they are researching and considering.

The best "idea generators" and most creative people in a company are technology early adopters.  Companies should encourage them to use new technologies and reap the benefits in innovation.

SAP/Sybase is investing a lot of thought and resources into the concept of enterprise mobile app stores.  Their strategy, as I understand it, is to develop the frameworks and infrastructure that companies will need to manage, trust and secure hundreds of different mobile solutions from many different vendors.

Sybase still needs to learn more about supporting end user customers, rather than ISV partners.  They must limit their blanket marketing statements, and get specific with what they support today, and what they will support over time.  For example, don't say you support mobile devices that use the Microsoft OS, if you don't yet support Windows Phone 7 with Afaria.  This is important to the company that is ordering devices today.  Don't say you support Android OS, if you are supporting only a subset of Android with specific device manufacturers.  Again this is very important to the company ordering devices today.  Be specific about today's supported devices.  Provide specific guidance and details to the people purchasing devices.

I am seeing that it is extremely hard for a corporate IT organization to figure out an enterprise wide mobile middleware strategy.  There are so many decision points and variables that this discussion just sinks into the mire.  It is far easier to choose the best mobile app for a business process.  I think once there are enough mobile apps that use SUP, then the mobile middleware discussion and strategy will be far easier.

I am seeing third party mobility vendors turning away from the SAP mobile app market, because they don't have visibility into where there are opportunities to make money.  They hear SAP/Sybase talking about developing hundreds of mobility apps, so this market seems to be risky, shrinking and not worth their future investment.  Yet, I hear SAP/Sybase saying they need and want third party mobility vendors to develop mobile applications.  There is some work needed here on SAP/Sybase's part to give better guidance and incentives to third party mobility vendors.

Corporate IT is still struggling with developing a master plan for mobility.  As a result selling to the corporate IT organization is often slow and difficult, however, departments and business units are buying enterprise mobility solutions today for the line of business.

If an IT organization forbids mobile solutions, the IT organization will become irrelevant to the company as mobility is unavoidable. 

The M2M (machine to machine) communications market is growing faster and faster.  The ability for smartphones and other computers to communicate with and operate remote machines is rapidly expanding.  For example New York City is working to wirelessly control and manipulate traffic signals.  The fastest growing market segments in M2M are medical equipment, healthcare apps and in-vehicle systems.

I am seeing and learning about more and more mobility vendors using a cloud computing model.  The line of business can quickly subscribe and use mobile apps from cloud computing vendors with minimal IT involvement.  This is how the line of business can avoid the glacieral decision making pace of corporate IT departments.

What have you learned about enterprise mobility this month?  I want to hear it!  Please add your comments!

Upcoming Events

Field Mobility 2011 - Sydney, Australia - Oct 25th-27th
Enterprise Mobility Exchange - November 2 - 3, 2011

Whitepapers of Note

The Business Benefits of Mobile Adoption with SAP Systems
ClickSoftware Mobility Suite and Sybase Mobility Solution
Mobile Adoption Among Gas and Electric Utilities
Mobile Adoption in Life Sciences
Mobile Adoption in Oil and Gas
Networked Field Services

Recorded Webinars of Note

3 Critical Considerations for Embracing Mobile CRM
The Future of Enterprise Mobility
The Latest m-Business Trends and How the Onslaught of Mobile Devices Affects Development Strategies
The Real-Time Mobile Enterprise:  The Benefits of Rapid, Easy Access
Syclo and SAP Deliver Mobile Apps on Sybase Unwired Platform

*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Independent Mobile and M2M Industry Analyst, SAP Mentor Volunteer
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Full Disclosure: I am an independent mobility analyst, consultant and blogger. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

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More Stories By Kevin Benedict

Kevin Benedict is an opinionated futurist, Principal Analyst at the Center for Digital Intelligence™, C4DIGI.com, emerging technologies analyst, and digital transformation and business strategy consultant. In the past 8 years he has taught workshops for large enterprises and government agencies in 18 different countries, and is a keynote speaker at conferences worldwide. He spent nearly 5 years working as a Senior Analyst at Cognizant (CTSH), and 2 years serving in Cognizant's Center for the Future of Work where he wrote many reports, hundreds of articles, interviewed technology experts, and produced videos on the future of digital technologies and their impact on industries. He has written articles published in The Guardian, wrote the Forward to SAP Press' book titled "Mobilizing Your Enterprise with SAP", published over 3,000 articles and was featured as thought leader and digital strategist in the Department of Defense's IQT intelligence journal. Kevin lectures and leads workshops, teaches and consults with companies and government agencies around the world to help develop digital transformation and business strategies. Visit his website at C4DIGI.com.