Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Enterprise Mobility, Business Executives and Mobility Vendors

Recent surveys point to the fact that companies are viewing enterprise mobility in an increasingly strategic manner.  They see compelling mobile apps as the front line of marketing, sales and customer service.  They are providing executives and managers with business intelligence apps on their tablets to improve visibility, situational awareness and decision-making.
http://latlongo.com/enablingthespatialenterprise/
Integrating Map Data with SAP!

When strategic enterprise mobility expands to include integration with the Internet of Things, entirely new business models and competitive arenas will open up.  Can you image a maintenance person entering a plant building and wirelessly surveying all of the equipment located there for repair and maintenance needs?  The machines can wirelessly communicate their own needs using wireless embedded chips connected to sensors.  All of the equipment could be connected to a command and control center on the other side of the globe!

Companies are recognizing the productivity gains enabled by mobilizing their sales, services, logistics, transportation, warehouses and manufacturing environments.  In a word, enterprise mobility has become strategic.  More selection and acquisition decisions on mobile platforms, mobile security and mobile applications are being made by CIOs and CEOs today.  Why?  These enterprise mobility solutions are needed to support mobile apps across numerous departments and processes.  No one department or project is able to anticipate the needs and requirements of all others.  As a result, management must look across departments and take a more enterprise wide view of their organization's mobility needs.

Today, business leaders are recognizing that the very future of their companies may depend on their ability to effectively make the digital transformation that rests on the foundation of enterprise mobility.  If customers are utilizing mobile apps for purchases, then the sales department must be very focused on mobile apps.  If mobile marketing is becoming more effective, then the marketing department should quickly become mobility marketing experts.  You get my point!

I am very interested in how mobility vendors are addressing CIOs and CEOs in their marketing campaigns in 2013.  I haven't see much content focused on business leaders yet.  I guess the assumption is that the LOB (line of business) or developers are the ones creating a short list of vendors for the CIO/CEO to review.  As a result, webinars and marketing campaigns are still focused on development platforms, development tool kits, implementation challenges, mobile security and speed of implementation solutions.  I wonder when this is going to change.

I wonder how a marketing campaign would look if it were targeting business executives.  Would it emphasize the ability to increase productivity with B2E apps?  Would it suggest more effective marketing campaigns and increased customer loyalty by using compelling B2C apps?  Would it focus on maximizing the number of solutions that could all be supported on one platform?  Would it emphasize scalability, security and a low total cost of ownership?  What do you think?

What about mobile solutions focused on business leaders?  Perhaps executive level solutions would show all mobile data flows, mobile security levels, mobile apps, and any solutions yet to be mobilized.  Perhaps all ERPs and business solutions should be wrapped by a mobile management solution that shows all data that is accessible by mobile devices, and which is not.  Perhaps any performance limitations residing in your logistics of information systems would be automatically exposed so management could determine how to remove bottlenecks and mobilize the system.

If we buy into the the notion that mobility is strategic, and if our legacy systems and enterprise application integration platforms are not supporting real-time mobile device access to mission critical data, then things must change fast.

Consumers' buying habits are changing.  They use mobile devices for researching products.  They compare prices on mobile devices.  They ask their friends for suggestions and recommendations using social networking sites via mobile devices.  They schedule their lives on their mobile calendars.  They track product shipments on mobile devices.  Are businesses understanding this?  Are they changing their processes and technology platforms to support these industry trends?  If they are not evolving at the same rate their customers are adopting the use of technology, then they are opening up an increasing opportunity for competitors to capture market share by delivering new or improved mobile apps and enhanced mobile experiences.

Business leaders cannot simply play around with mobility and POCs (proof of concepts) today.  They must get strategic, and fast.

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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Mobile Expert Interview Series: SAP's Ole Einar Fosse

I had the privilege this week to interview SAP's mobility expert in Norway, Ole Einar Fosse.  We discussed industry trends, ROIs and use cases he sees most often in Norway.  Enjoy!

Video Link: http://youtu.be/ZxrH4n3XcSE




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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Enterprise Mobility, Network Centric Operations and Decision Making

Mobile apps for the enterprise can offer significant value on their own, but when integrated together into a network (network centric operations) with many other applications, the IoT (internet of things) and other data collection technologies, this network of applications can offer exponentially greater visibility and value to an organization.   The challenge is to understand how to use this plethora of data for the purpose of good operational decision-making.  Modern military strategies offer some useful insights for us.

USAF Colonel John Boyd is credited with the concept of the OODA loop.  The OODA loop (Observe, Orient, Decide and Act) is a concept originally applied to combat operation processes. Today it is also applied to commercial operations and learning processes where significant value has been realized.

According to Boyd, decision making occurs in a recurring cycle of observe=>orient=>decide=>act.  An entity (whether an individual or an organization) that can process this decision making cycle quickly, observing and reacting to unfolding events more rapidly than an opponent, can thereby "get inside" a competitor's decision cycle and gain the advantage.

In the business world, OODA loop is an emerging concept for making decisions and managing fast changing field services, projects and mobile operations.  Today the ability to observe events from afar benefits from mobile technologies and connected devices such as:
  • Wireless networks
  • IoT
  • Mobile data collection solutions (mobile inspection forms, barcode scanners, RFID, GPS, etc.)
  • Mobile field services applications
  • Mobile business intelligence applications
  • Enterprise asset management solutions
  • Plant maintenance systems
  • Mobile CRM
  • GPS location tracking technologies
  • etc.
Mobile data collection and the IoT supply the data that enables a field services or plant manager to observe from afar.  

The next step in the OODA loop is orientation.  The manager needs to be oriented as to what the data means, and how it impacts the mission.  

Decide - now that you have the necessary data and you understand what it means, you must make a good data-driven-decision.  

Act - take action without delay based upon all the data you have received, its business meaning and the decision you have made. 

The “loop” refers to the fact that this is a continuous process.  The loop or cycle never stops.  Each time you complete a cycle in the OODA loop you observe, orient, decide and act again based upon the results you see from the prior cycle.  If the results are positive, you can continue down that path and improve it.  If the results are negative, you quickly adjust and review the results again.  It is a fast moving process of trial, error and adjustment until you get the results you want.  Not dissimilar to the agile programming methodology.

The OODA loop is particularly useful in environments that are chaotic and unpredictable.  In these working environments, decision making is often very difficult and without appropriate training paralysis in decision-making results and nothing gets done.  The OODA loop is a decision making process that is well suited for helping people make decisions and acting in situations where there is no existing road map to follow.
   
The military has effectively utilized the OODA loop decision making processes in the chaos of battle found in air combat, tank warfare and daily in Special Forces operations.  There is a lot to be learned from these experiences in decision-making.

In a world where nearly 40 percent of the workforce is mobile, companies must learn and implement these concepts in order to successfully manage mobile operations and services from afar.  To be successful implementing and integrating the OODA loop and Network Centric Operational concepts into your field services operations requires the following:
  1. Data collection systems and processes.
  2. Real time knowledge of the location of your mobile workforce, assets and inventories.
  3. Real time knowledge of the capabilities and expertise of your mobile workforce.
  4. Real time status and progress updates of the tasks, work assignments and schedules of the mobile workforce.
  5. Real time knowledge of the location of all inventory, equipment, tools and other assets required to complete specific tasks.
  6. Work order management system that assigns, schedules and dispatches specific assignments to specific members of your mobile workforce.
  7. Business intelligence software applications for analyzing data collected in the field.
All of the items listed above help provide the real time visibility into your field operations that is required in a Networked Field Services organization practicing OODA loop management decision making.

One of the remaining challenges, however, with the systems listed above is that humans quickly become overwhelmed by large volumes of data.  Complexity can become an inhibitor to the practice of OODA.  It is not enough to have real time visibility into massive volumes of data, as one must be able to orient and understand what the data means and how it will impact the mission.  Business intelligence software, context aware and artificial intelligence capabilities all fit in here. 

*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Enterprise Mobility, IoT and the Network Centric Operation

Manufacturing plants, vehicles, high valued equipment and other assets can take advantage of the IoT (Internet of Things) and low cost embedded mobile devices to provide visibility into operations and events in remote locations.  M2M (machine to machine) data can report on anything that a sensor can read for example: operational status, location, environment (pressure, heat, cold, wet, dry, etc.), hours of operation, maintenance and repair needs. This data can then alert field managers and service teams when there is a problem or event that requires their attention.
 
The location of mobile workforces can also be tracked via smartphones or vehicle tracking systems which enables management to better understand how to optimize the use of experts and assets across a geographic area.

Today wireless remote sensors are capable of bi-directional data exchanges.  Sensors can both send data to the central server and receive data in the form of machine commands.  In many cases remote sensors can receive commands from central servers to adjust settings or perform other functions via wireless data exchanges.  This opens up a wide area of possibilities.  Today we see irrigation canal gates, greenhouses and other facilities and assets controlled remotely using this technology.

M2M is a way of connecting physical and digital things to each other wirelessly through a network. These connections, and the data exchanged, can provide real time visibility and access to information about the physical world and the environments around the M2M enabled objects in it.  This is an important component used to develop full situational awareness of a given area of operations.  Used in the context of an electrical grid, enterprise asset management system, plant maintenance, field service automation system, or any other mobile workforce management solution, this data can lead to innovations and gains in efficiency and productivity that were never before possible.

Juniper Research predicted that the number of M2M and embedded mobile devices will rise to approximately 412 million globally by 2014.  ABI Research used a more conservative set of numbers and says that there were approximately 71 million cumulative M2M connections in 2009 and predicts this will rise to about 225 million by 2014.  GSMA predicted that there will be over 50 billion embedded mobile devices by 2025.  All of these predictions represent big numbers and a lot of data. The challenge for managers today is how to turn this high volume of available data into actionable intelligence.

Some of the key markets for M2M systems are:

  • Utilities/Smart grids
  • Fleet management/Automotive systems 
  • Equipment monitoring/Plant maintenance
  • Connected homes/Home Energy Management Systems (HEMS)
  • Healthcare - Remote patient and health monitoring, medical equipment monitoring
  • Vending/POS
  • Remote asset management monitoring
  • Security systems
  • Consumer electronics (eReaders, Wireless Printers, Appliances, etc.) 

In a world filled with M2M data feeds, the question is what can you do with all of this data?  Where can this data provide value?  This is where business intelligence applications are needed - solutions that have the capacity to immediately analyze vast amounts of data and recommend how best to use it for optimal operational efficiencies.

I am seeing companies like ClickSoftware embed artificial intelligence into their scheduling and workforce optimization and field services solutions.  They use collected data to predict the needs of the field services workers.  M2M data enhances these kind of solutions with additional data provided by sensors on machines, in plants and across utility grids.  ClickSoftware has a new software component titled ClickButler designed to predict, based on a wide range of collected data, the information most relevant and needed by your mobile field services teams.  This is just the beginning of a new wave of innovation.

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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

The Importance of Spatial Data for ERPs and Enterprise Mobility

In field services, construction, engineering and other work in rugged environments there is a lot of data to be collected, stored and analyzed in order to complete a job and get paid for it.  This data has traditionally been collected using rugged laptops and other specialized data collection devices, but increasingly devices like consumer grade iPads are being utilized.  It is important to note that eighty percent of this data has a spatial component.

When collecting data, as in journalism, the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How matters. Those are the questions needed to complete work accurately, document and invoice it. That collected data often includes spatial data that is used by various solutions including CRM, CAD, engineering and surveying tools which are integrated with GIS, spatialNET, and other spatial software solutions.  Once the data is processed by these solutions it is shared again with those in the field using mobile devices. 


All of the contractors and sub-contractors working on projects in the field need data that accurately depicts the built environment; especially the parts buried, hung, or routed out of site.   As a result, any software UI (user interface) needs to intuitively connect the user to engineering drawings, spatial databases, and administrative forms. A construction and maintenance crew’s profitability is not measured by how much data they acquire and manipulate, but rather their metric of success is the built environment. 

Whatever software is in their tool kit must be able to access the databases used to model the built environment and provide complete office-to-field GIS, ERP and DMS integration without adding the burden of tedious training. It must also provide mobile and off-line functionality; as utility crews will need their data the most when connectivity is down.

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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Enterprise Mobility and Network Centric Management Strategies

Some of the most technologically advanced organizations in the world today are utilizing strategies based on the concept of the Network Centric Organization.  These strategies, methodologies and concepts are important for just about any organization that is geographically dispersed and requires the organization and management of remote and mobile workforces and assets.

The concept of the "network centric" organization relates to the fact that people, objects, events, activities, assets, inventories, locations, fleets, equipment, tools, etc, are all connected to the Internet (aka network), monitored, and most often visible on a map.  All of these connected components are providing data in real-time that can be used to manage operations.  This collected data is wirelessly sent to a central server where it forms a real time and unified view of operations that can be used for analysis, forecasting, resource allocation, planning and real time decision-making.

This networked approach enables users to see where their assets are located, where they are needed and how best to manage them at all times to successfully and efficiently accomplish the mission.  Network centric operations in commercial environments, is a relatively new concept that continues to evolve as mobile technologies improve and more assets are connected to and become visible to the network.

From a business strategy perspective, you want to gain an information advantage over your competition.   You want to set-up a robust network of well informed geographically dispersed people and assets that have situational awareness and visibility.   This networking, combined with changes in business intelligence, artificial intelligence, organizational structures, processes and people, enable organizations to behave and respond in ways never before possible.

Specifically, the strategy of Network Centric Operations contains the following four tenets in its hypotheses:
  1. A robustly networked workforce improves information sharing.
  2. Information sharing enhances both the quality of information and the shared situational awareness.
  3. Shared situational awareness enables collaboration and self-synchronization, and enhances sustainability and speed of management decision-making.
  4. These, in turn, dramatically increase productivity.
In order to optimize operations, in the context of field services, asset management, engineering and construction operations, it is critical to know, in real time, the location of all resources, the status of each job, the assets, parts and equipment needed, and the time each job will require. When effectively coordinated and managed, human resources, equipment, assets and mobile inventories can be shared between multiple projects, and the right experts with the right levels of experience can be used on the right projects at the right time.

The bottom line is that a leaner, more efficient organization can be put in the field that can accomplish more work with fewer resources and generate a higher return on investment.

*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Mobile Expert Video Series: Shishir Kapoor on Mobile Payments and Security

In this Google+ Hangout interview with Cognizant's mobile payment expert Shishir Kapoor, we discuss the details of mobile payment systems, Truzign, the problems and challenges and how they can be solved.  Warning - the video recording seems to skip a bit (blame Google) but there is some great information here.

Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BnHU0ffNLs&feature=share&list=UUGizQCw2Zbs3eTLwp7icoqw


*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Code Halos, Big Data and SMAC

In this short video you can quickly learn how companies use collected data (code halos) to provide you with a customized version of your mobile or Internet experience.

Video Links: http://youtu.be/Kr_Q8rtSGic


*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Mobility and Real-Time Capability Projection

This weekend I was clever.  That is newsworthy because it doesn't happen very often.  Our son is stationed at a military base that did not receive TV coverage of the Boise State football game on Saturday night.  It must have been the government shut-down.  I can't think of any other reason they wouldn't have shown it.  The solution was a three hour Google+ Hangout whereby mom and dad got to talk to our officer son while the laptop camera "inadvertently" captured and streamed the Broncos game showing on our big screen TV.  It was a nice Hangout - they won!  We tried Skype first, but the picture was blurry.  Google+ Hangout, however, was picture perfect.

Our son is stationed a great distance away, however, using real-time communication and video we can communicate and share what is going on in our lives.  This same kind of technology can be used in the context of "capability projection" for companies.  Here is my definition of capability projection, "The ability of a business to apply all or some of its capabilities such as marketing, sales, distribution, etc, over great distances to respond to and take advantage of new market opportunities."
What does it take to project your capabilities over great distances?  The ability to in real-time collect data, analyze data, and distribute the results in order to make good decisions.  It takes the ability to view information and operations at a distance and have the ability to act instantaneously from afar.  Without this capability, you cannot implement good business tactics.  Tactics are the art and science of positioning resources for optimal use and maneuvering them to keep them as such.

The bottom line, you can't expand your operations and business over great distances and/or remote markets unless you are implementing a good real-time SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud) strategy.  A good SMAC strategy provides the technical platforms that enable distributed organizations to effectively collaborate, design and execute plans.

The Internet, mobile devices and collaboration platforms have greatly empowered organizations to be able to expand beyond historic geographic barriers.  This capability opens the door to expanding your influence and business efficiently and cost effectively across the globe.
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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Gartner Reveals Predictions and the Tsunami of Digital Transformation

This week at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2013, Gartner unveiled their top predictions for 2014 and beyond.  Here they are:
  • Digital Industrial Revolution (3D printing and its impact on manufacturing and IP)
  • Digital Business (social, mobile, analytics, cloud, code halos and their impact) 
  • Smart Machines (self-learning machines and artificial intelligence)
  • The Internet of Things (network centric operations, situational awareness, etc.)
These predictions align closely with what I have been writing about and teaching for the past 12 months. However, I have not covered the "Digital Industrial Revolution" in the context of 3D printing.  I will have to start paying more attention to that area.  I blame some of my inattention on those that came up with the term "3D Printing." When I read the word "printing" I lose interest.  I guess I need to start being interested.

In fact, we all need to start paying more attention to the four areas listed above.  Gartner is not just highlighting new IT trends, but warning that these trends will have a significant impact on politics, economies, cultures and societies.  They are predicting the process of "digitizing" businesses and manufacturing will displace large numbers of workers that will not find available jobs waiting.

I talk about the speed and the pace of business often these days.  Information volumes are exploding, innovations are accelerating and real-time communication is nearly universal.  Secrets are hard to keep, and entire populations and markets are swarming around new ideas and causes that burst forth in seemingly spontaneous manners.

As more data is captured and analyzed by the big data engines, this information will start to have a larger impact on each of our personal lives (see Code Halos).  Our automobile insurance, mortgage loan rates, educational opportunities, job prospects and the products and services offered and the prices of these items will all be the result of big data analytics.

The digitization of our world means computers will be able to do more of the work that until recently supported the middle class.  Here is a summary of what Thomas L Friedman had to say about this phenomena last year in an article titled, The Theory of Everything (Sort of) in the New York Times - Because of cloud computing, robotics, 3G wireless connectivity, Skype, Facebook, Google, Linkedin Twitter, the iPad and cheap Internet enabled smartphones, the world has gone from connected to hyper-connected.  Today to be in the the middle class, you have to study harder, work smarter and adapt more quickly than ever before.  All of this rapid change is eliminating more and more “routine” work – the sort of work that once sustained a lot of middle-class lifestyles.

Displaced middle class workers are not going to be happy.  We need to watch carefully the unintended consequences of these technological innovations.  The middle class are not the only potential losers of these changes.  Large numbers of businesses will not be able to decipher the meanings of rapid changes around them, and those that do may not have the expertise or capital to act fast enough to keep up with the pace.

In 1970 Alvin Toffler published a best selling book called Future Shock that predicted that affluent and educated citizens of the world’s most technically advanced nations will fall victim to the disease of change. Unable to keep up with the pace of change, brought to the edge of breakdown by incessant demands to adapt and evolve, many will plunge into future shock. The main thrust of the book is that both individuals and societies need to learn how to adapt to and manage the sources and pace of change.

The bottom line is that companies need to invest today in change management education and watch emerging trends very carefully.   Companies need to fully understand what it means to move from industrial to digital.  These emerging trends then need to quickly be analyzed so executives can understand how these changes should translate into today's business strategies, budgets and investments.  Those in politics also need to pay attention to these rapid changes because they are already impacting societies and economies.

*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Tactical vs. Strategic Enterprise Mobility

Tsunamis of Change
In the recent survey I conducted titled "State of Enterprise Mobility 2013" I asked the question, "Does your company view mobile solutions as tactical (LOB or process specific) or strategic (critical to the success of the company)?"  Over 220 participants answered the question with 71.3% answering strategic, and 28.2% answering tactical.  However, when I filtered for just the answers from end-users (removing analysts, consultants, software and mobility vendors), then 48% answered tactical, and 52% answered strategic.  There are still a lot of enterprises that view enterprise mobility as merely a tactical solution.

What is the difference between strategic and tactical enterprise mobility?  I think it relates to the scale and transformational nature of your implementations.  For example, if your CPG (consumer packaged goods) company had 27 food processing inspectors that needed mobile apps to conduct in-house inspections, then I would consider that a tactical implementation of a mobile solution.  However, if your company implemented an enterprise-wide mobile app to facilitate better enterprise collaboration, then that might be strategic. Strategic mobile applications fundamentally change the way a company operates.

I see a lot of strategic mobility especially used in B2C (business-to-consumer) apps.  Many of these apps can completely change the way customers feel about your company, research products and services, buy things and recommend them to friends.

Social, mobile, analytics and cloud (SMAC) and other IT mega-trends are causing massive changes today.  Here is what Gartner said this week at their symposium, "IT is no longer just about the IT function. Instead, IT has become the catalyst for the next phase of innovation in personal and competitive business ecosystems."  Did you catch that?  IT is becoming even more important, and is key to making their businesses competitive!

I get concerned when I meet with IT strategy teams in 2013 that tell me, "We are conducting POCs with a couple of simple mobile apps."  WHAT?  What are they trying to prove with a POC?  That is like saying, "I know a Tsunami is coming, but I am going to practice my breast stroke and back stroke to see which I like better."  You have got to be strategic enough to MATTER!

Here is another comment from the Gartner Symposium this week, "The savvy CIO will get his or her CEO to recognize the change being brought about by disruptive shifts, and that they are coming at an accelerated pace and that they will have a global level of impact."  These changes and economic shifts are seismic!

It is time we recognized these massive changes for what they are, and get serious about implementing a strategy shift that enables us to respond to changes at a much faster pace than ever before.


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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Personal and Enterprise Clouds, HTML5 and Mobile Devices

Click to Enlarge
In the recent survey "State of Enterprise Mobility 2013" I asked the question, "How many wireless devices do you use daily?"  An incredible 69 percent use three or more wireless devices daily.  I myself use three - my MacBook Pro, iPad mini and iPhone.

I use my iPad mostly for reading email, notes, news, ebooks and social media, plus I watch videos and listen to music on it.  I use my iPhone for the same purposes when I am on the go, plus texting, phone calls, the camera, fitness apps and maps.  I use my laptop to do many of the same things, but specifically to write, use Microsoft Office apps, participate in video conferences and conduct research and store photos.

There are a lot of overlaps in what I do on the devices, which is the reason the whole concept of the "personal cloud" is so valuable to me.  Rather than store all content on devices and worry about synchronizing updated versions of my content across other devices, much of my personal content is stored in personalized clouds.  My Blogger and Facebook accounts are personal clouds where I store and share my content.  LinkedIn, Twitter, iCloud, EverNote, Box.net, DropBox, Instagram, Pinterest, etc., are also personal cloud services where you can store and share content.  The value, of course, is that you can access all of your content from any of your wireless devices with minimal effort and maximin convenience.

Enterprises will find the same kinds of benefits that I do but on a much larger scale.  Companies that recognize a permanent requirement to support an increasing number of enterprise mobility apps on ever-changing devices, must seek a model of design, development, deployment, maintenance and support that maximizes efficiency, productivity and minimizes TCO (total cost of ownership).  In today's world - that model looks like HTML5 apps managed and deployed using enterprise cloud services.

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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Kevin Benedict's Mobile Expert Google+ Hangout with Chris Willis

In this Google+ Hangout interview with mobility expert Chris Willis, we discuss current enterprise mobility trends, Verivo's strategies, evolving mobile platforms and business models.  Enjoy!

Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rS6-y1oppNE&feature=share&list=UUGizQCw2Zbs3eTLwp7icoqw

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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Kevin Benedict Selected to the 2013 Power Players in Technology Business Media List

AlwaysOn is proud to announce the Power Players in Technology Business Media list, honoring the technology journalists (and Bloggers) who are keeping the Global Silicon Valley connected and informed.   Cognizant’s Head SMAC Analyst, Kevin Benedict has been selected as a 2013 winner.

The AlwaysOn Power Players in Technology Business Media list honors the editors, writers, and bloggers in the technology world who are keeping technology entrepreneurs informed and connected. Reporting on the massive technology breakthroughs hitting the market almost every day, these individuals are the voices behind the ideas that make the Global Silicon Valley an incubator for success, helping inspire entrepreneurs who are building strong companies and forward-thinking, indispensable products. - See more at: http://aonetwork.com/Announcing-the-2013-Power-Players-Technology-Business-Media/#sthash.fzgwu8C4.dpuf

I am honored.

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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Mobility, Metamemory and the Connected Second or Third Brain

Does having a library close to your home erode your brain's ability to remember?  Unlikely right?  But many people continue to believe that having information available nearby, such as in your pocket or purse does.  I have heard people speculate that access to Wikipedia and other personal cloud or internet content via smartphones must negatively impact memory?  That claim just does not make sense to me.

Today, I read an article by Clive Thompson titled, "Is Google Wrecking Our Memory."  In this article Thompson says the short answer to the question in his article title is no.  Seems about 30 years ago Harvard psychologists Daniel Wegner, Ralph Erber and Paula Raymond noticed humans use a memory process called "transactive memory" whereby we remember where to find answers in other people.  For example Wegner's team noticed spouses often divide up who remembers what.  The wife might remember everyone's birthdays, but the husband remembers what kind of work all the various family members do and where they live.  Combined, the couple has a great memory. Uncoupled, their memory is incomplete.

It turns out we are all pretty bad at memorizing details (unless we are passionate about something), but really good at memorizing where to find information.  As a result humans quickly come to recognize who knows what and where to find answers.  The end result is a group of friends or family members quickly recognize who in the group knows about certain things - Ralph knows about cars, Mary knows about geography, Claus knows the Bible, Susan knows computers, etc.  This recognition of where to find information is called "metamemory." You know where information is stored and can retrieve it quickly from your friend's brain.  This metamemory expands your memory to a group memory, or a network of memories.

Before computers, the cave men knew which cave contained the painted story of a great hunt.  As languages developed, people soon recognized who amongst them maintained specialized knowledge.  A village leader may have been the person who used their networking skills and metamemory to get things done.  They knew which member in the village knew how to solve a particular problem.

Today, we use our smartphones' access to Wikipedia as the painting on the cave wall.  In businesses we know our customer and sales information is kept in our CRM system.  We recognize where the information is stored.  Our metamemory has expanded from cave walls, to people, to books, to Wikipedia and our business solutions.  We continue to develop our metamemory, it is just not limited by geography or people today, or is it?  Where are Mary and Susan when you need them?
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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.