Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Making the Move From “Opportunistic” to “Strategic” Mobility

Eugene Signorini at Yankee Group takes a guest turn at Mobile Enterprise Weblog and writes that "most companies are addressing mobility opportunistically rather than strategically." Signorini highlights some characteristics and associated limitations of opportunistic mobility:

  • Point solutions, that address one specific application or business need; the "band aid" approach, so to speak.
  • These solutions address specific employee or asset classes but don’t take in the broader mobility requirements within an organization
  • Mobile architectures may be limited in how they can be extended to other applications and services
  • Projects initiated before policies have been established; and administrative and management tools to enforce policy are limited or not in place at all
  • Technology and solution decisions are heavily user influenced
Signorini doesn't believe opportunistic mobility initiatives are a bad thing and help serve a purpose as a proof-of-concept. He then states thatc ompanies can tell "if they’re on the right track toward strategic mobility" if the initiatives begin to take on the following characteristics:
  • Initiatives address a large subset of mobile workers or remote assets
  • Mobility is driven by policy rather than by ad-hoc end-user "pull"
  • Projects can be supported and policies enforced by more sophisticated administration and management tools
  • A broader set of technologies and mobile tools are considered as a "mobility package" for end-users; This included integration and coordination between voice, data, and remote access services
  • Common middleware or software architectures can be leveraged across different mobility services within an organization
This is good stuff. Let's hope the mobile industry is listening...