Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Mobile Enterprise Weblog: Something more important than BlackBerry

Last Friday I got bent out of shape over some sensationalistic comment Carmi Levy at Info-Tech Research Group said in a TechNewsWorld. Levy remarked that the drawn-out NTP/RIM court battle could "drag down mobile e-commerce adoption rates and serve as a disincentive for innovative vendors to enter the space. The United States and Canada are already losing their competitive edge on the global stage, and an injunction won't help matters."

Ex-Aberdeen analyst Daniel Taylor at the Mobile Enterprise Weblog posts about an entirely totally different, yet completely related matter. Innovation and technology are only one piece of the puzzle. If it dosn't make your life easier, better and/or more productive is it truly innovative? Taylor leads with:

Hundreds of millions of people survive today without mobile e-mail. Contrary to what you see and hear in the news, technology does not always lead to productivity. I can give a dozen examples where face-to-face communications are better than the telephone, and I can give another dozen examples where the telephone is better and faster than e-mail.

The problem isn't the technology. It's the fact that the technology is poorly implemented and that users select technologies that continue to distract them without making them more effective. For example, the mobility industry vilifies the "top down" approach of IT management, instead talking about user choice and device selection. Many industry insiders continue to evangelize the leadership of the "power user."
Taylor goes on to write about some of things that are holding back business productivity and effectiveness. He cites some good examples and states "don't me wrong, I believe in information technology and have a hundred case studies to prove it. But what I see in the industry is a group of vendors who want it both ways -- they want to tell us that mobile technologies will make us more effective and they also want to blur the lines between work and play. The problem lies in the latter. By blurring the lines between work and play, we become less effective." He concludes with:
Perhaps IT should build a new type of training into their budgets -- training about e-mail, mobility and recommended ways to work. The current generation of workers should be learning effective ways to separate work from play. It'll only make us more productive.