Monday, December 30, 2013

A New Perspective on Enterprise Mobility and 2014 Requirements, Part 1

Many of us have spent years (some of us decades) working on enterprise mobility designs, development and implementations.  These projects, for the most part, started as tactical implementations for specific LOBs (lines of business).  They involved usually one app, connected to a specific back end system and database.  Over the years these projects evolved to include multiple data sources and business processes.  Today, CIOs and IT departments are being tasked with mobilizing the entire enterprise IT environment.  This task, I propose, requires a new way of looking at enterprise mobility.

Earlier this month (December 2013) I spoke on a panel with Forrester Research's John McCarthy in London.  We were discussing the current and future state of enterprise mobility.  McCarthy stated that 2014 would be the year of "complex mobility" and would cause "Y2K-like" events in many enterprises.  He added that ERP like investments may be required in many enterprises in order to prepare them for a mobile first world.  Herein lies the challenge.

Complex and mission critical IT systems often include legacy systems.  In many cases these legacy systems were not developed to be real-time, or designed to support the speed or operational tempo of emerging business models and mobile environments.  These are where both the complexities and the Y2K-like events will be found.  Legacy systems will either need to be updated to support real-time and mobile environments or replaced. Given these challenges, business analysts will need to understand what parts of their IT systems and infrastructures are problematic.

In order to better understand their IT system capabilities, it seems there is a need for tools and dashboards designed to help the IT department understand which systems are mobilized, which are not.  I can envision a tool/app that provides:
  • a strategic view of enterprise mobility in a dashboard format that provides visibility into which systems are mobilized and which are not within the IT environment
  • a view that shows mobile app security levels, security configurations and data access rights
  • a view that demonstrates the speed in which data can be collected, analyzed and reported for all business processes (i.e. will this process takes 3 weeks, 3 days, 3 minutes or 3 seconds, etc.)
  • a view that shows the time required for all queries and reports to be produced and distributed
  • a view into which systems are capable of supporting a real-time environment and which are not
  • a view that shows all IT systems connected to sensors in the IoT (Internet of Things)
  • a view that shows the budget, plan and priority level for upgrading or replacing each problem IT system that is preventing real-time and mobile support
If market forces and the digital transformation of your industry are driving you to a more online and real-time operational tempo, then what IT systems are or will prevent that migration?  The systems that are preventing that migration must be flagged for an upgrade and/or replacement.

While you are engaged in this process, why not identify blind spots that are forcing you to manage with "conjecture" rather than based upon real and accurate data?  Often mobile apps and sensors connected to the IoT (Internet of Things) can help fill in the blind spots.  These blind spots can be caused because the data is not collected, or not used, or is analyzed so slowly that the usable shelf-life has passed by the time you get it.

Don't worry...we won't run out of things to do in 2014.

Read Part 2 of this article series here - http://mobileenterprisestrategies.blogspot.com/2014/01/a-new-perspective-on-enterprise.html.


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Kevin Benedict
Senior Analyst, Digital Transformation Cognizant
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.