When it comes to cutting-edge enterprise apps most think Fortune 500 for profit companies. But that didn’t stop Andre Bromes and his team from bringing Goodwill to the mobile era.
I consider you a disruptive CIO/IT Rockstar, can you tell my readers your favorite tech innovation/strategy you implemented?
My favorite strategy (challenge) was the conceptualization of empowering a mobile workforce. This was just a thought about 10 years ago and now it is a full onslaught of a reality check!
I remember fiddling around with this when the only viable mobile data solution out there was Sprint’s EVDO, cellular broadband network and it was in its infancy. I remember going through an Atlanta based company to install these green, very industrial looking boxes that would accept the Sprint PC card and turn them into WiFi units – a process that is now easily done with MiFi.
Technology has caught up to and connected the various pieces in the puzzle needed to make the mobile worker a fully independent “biped office”.
2) Bringing your organization mobile, what was hardest part?
The hardest part was adoption. Governance almost always breads discontent. As a matter of fact, we are still facing that challenge today and always will. Consumerization is not a new concept…
3) What is your best hint when it comes to mobile strategy?
How the younger generation (teens, young adults, etc.) use technology. They are actually my hint for most strategies involving tech and how it scales.
4) If you could give one piece of advice for a CIO starting an enterprise app project, what would you say?
Understand the need, identify the audience(s) and answer the question of why they would need the app, not why they would want to use it, but why would they “need” it.
5) in 2014 do you think Internal or External (in market) apps will be hotter?
That is a hard question, but here is my attempt: I think Internal gives you better control, but if not structured properly also gives you slower market flexibility. External apps offer faster results, but tend to be
6) What big issues is Goodwill facing in 2014?
Our biggest concerns are security and governance. We need to continue to make sure that every strategic endeavor takes these two tenants into consideration with the understanding that the “New IT” needs to do both really well, while being really transparent. It is the lack of being transparent that contributed to our (IT groups in general) customers turning elsewhere for solutions that we were to slow or inflexible in making. We have to do better than being the car alarm or the Chicken Little Tech, that both eventually get ignored. If the sky is falling, get a bigger and better structured umbrella to protect your sensitive areas, do not keep your customers behind locked doors until it stops. Eventually they will find a way to a solution and then we are forced to find a way to protect that solution. Point being, we need to be a strategic partner and an integral part of the solution set, not a reactive, lumbering group herding cats to provide assurance (after-the-fact) that systems are protected (very hard, almost impossible).
With a slogan of: “We help people earn a living, improve their lives, and strengthen their families and their communities” I highly recommend following Goodwill on their website and Twitter to see who they are helping and how you can help.
Side Note: Congrats on being named in Forbes Top 25 Most Inspiring Companies!