Mobile Strategy Must Read! ClickSoftware, interviews Enterprise Mobility expert Daniel DiMassa and 15 other panelist for their top advice.

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Implementing a mobile strategy is essential to developing a more flexible, innovative, and productive workforce. ClickSoftware asked 16 Mobility Experts to give what they deem the most important piece of advice to successfully implementing a mobility strategy and reaping the benefits it can provide. Here’s what they had to say:guestblog banner 

Meet our Mobility Strategy Experts:


Michael Finneran Mark Leary Maribel Lopez Jason Bloomberg
Dan Di Massa Peter Crocker David Krebs Kevin Benedict
Larry Carvalho Jim Freeland Brian Duckering Christian Gilby
Chris Hazelton Richard Absalom Jeffrey Wallace Gavin Kim


Michael Finneran, Principal, dBrn Associates, Inc.

Michael Finneran is principal at dBrn Associates, Inc., a full service advisory firm specializing in wireless and mobility; services include research, mobile policy development, product planning, purchase analysis, and technology assessment. He has provided assistance to wireline and wireless carriers, equipment vendors, and end users, and has worked on a number of projects involving BYOD and mobile policy development.

What would be the single most important piece of advice you would give to companies regarding developing an optimal Enterprise mobility strategy?

Be sure to get all of the key stakeholders involved including: legal, human resources, labor relations, and of course security and compliance. Also, bring business unit managers into the discussions with decisions like who should get a company-provided phone versus using their own device and what kind of stipend (if any) the company is going to pay that will have an impact on employee satisfaction and go beyond IT’s purview.

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Mark Leary, Chief Analyst, The First Tracks

Mark Leary is Chief Analyst at The First Tracks — a research, analysis, and consulting firm focused on disruptive network technologies and solutions. Prior to leading The First Tracks, Mr. Leary worked for Cisco Systems where he drove market and business development activities relating to Cisco’s core routing, switching, and software systems and global research firm IDC where he was Vice President – Networking Industry Research & Consulting. Mr. Leary received a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science, as well as an MBA in business strategy & planning from Boston College.

What would be the single most important piece of advice you would give to companies regarding developing an optimal Enterprise mobility strategy?

Users must be able to use whatever device they prefer, execute any application they require, and access any data stream they need. On the other side, IT must be able to control (and track) whatever users want to use (bandwidth, computing, data, etc.) and wherever users want to go, inside or outside the enterprise network. Mobile networks, while offering tremendous efficiency and effectiveness gains, need to be protected from both the known and the unknown user. With thanks to the first Spiderman movie… With great power (mobility) comes great responsibility (control).”

Maribel Lopez, Principal Analyst, Lopez Research LLC

Maribel Lopez offers deep industry knowledge and expertise to provide research, analysis and strategic insight to the communications industry. Over the past two decades, she has observed, commented on and engaged in the massive shifts in communications technologies. She has worked directly with the service provider community as well as with equipment, device and software vendors. Maribel’s perceptions are gained through direct industry involvement and interaction where she has an opportunity to listen and speak to the customers that are the ultimate beneficiaries of her clients’ technologies.

What would be the single most important piece of advice you would give to companies regarding developing an optimal Enterprise mobility strategy?

A comprehensive mobile-aware development and management strategy will be the foundation of every successful business. While there are numerous technical and business challenge a company must address, a mobile enablement strategy should include at least the following areas: 

• Enterprise Mobility Management Solutions. A company needs an enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution that provides management with the support to adapt to the unique constraints of the mobile world while blending with other management solutions. A business must be able to provide, manage, secure, and update application and device policies in a mobile world. 

• Mobile Business Process Transformation. Successful mobile enablement is about more than extending your existing business processes to portable devices. Most business processes weren’t designed with mobile in mind and need to be redesigned to take advantage of new capabilities such as location, device type and cameras. IT must work with the line of business executives to decide which apps and processes to mobilize. The cross-functional team must also define which features work best on the various types of devices. 

• App Development Tools and Strategy. Many businesses are already building custom applications. IT must define a strategy that supports multiple mobile operating systems and devices with various screen sizes. Mobile also changes how applications and workflows are designed. Our existing applications weren’t designed for touch interfaces. Our existing applications weren’t designed to change how much data will be displayed based on the size of the screen. In the future, applications will offer voice navigation and eye tracking. The new world of applications must consider supporting a wide range of inputs and a continuum of screen sizes. Instead of replicating what we’ve done in the past, the spirit of “Mobile First” requires us to reconsider what workflows are being used and how new technologies can make data easier to consume. 

• Content Management Strategy. Increasingly, companies are looking for ways to extend data from existing content management solutions, such as Documentum and Sharepoint, to mobile devices. A business needs intuitive mobile solutions that allow employees to access, manage, and share business content without sacrificing enterprise security and control. New cloud-based document storage and document sharing solutions with various levels of security have emerged to solve this problem as well as new mobile applications management solutions.

Jason Bloomberg, President, ZapThink

Jason Bloomberg is President of ZapThink, a Dovel Technologies Company. He is a global thought leader in the areas of Cloud Computing, Enterprise Architecture, and Service-Oriented Architecture. He created the Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) SOA course and associated credential, and runs the LZA course as well as his Cloud Computing for Architects course around the world. He is a frequent conference speaker, and prolific writer. He also serves as an analyst for GigaOM and blogger for DevX.

What would be the single most important piece of advice you would give to companies regarding developing an optimal Enterprise mobility strategy?

It’s especially important for organizations putting together their Enterprise mobility strategy to be mindful of architectural considerations. How does mobility fit into the existing Enterprise Architecture strategy? How can an organization leverage both Cloud Computing and enterprise mobility to address legacy application issues? And how do mobile devices fit into existing application architectures? 

The latter question has some interesting implications. Typically, IT shops consider mobile devices to be application endpoints, as though they were little more than simple browsers. But in reality, today’s devices are full-blown computers in their own right, and the client software can often tackle more complex tasks than even modern browsers can handle. These differences lead to both challenges and opportunities. 

For example, if mobile devices are improperly considered to be email client endpoints, then employees will download corporate email to them. But what if the device is lost, stolen, or simply leaves the country? Now you have a problem. Do you remote wipe the device? That may not keep confidential information out of the hands of hackers, but it will assuredly anger your employees. 

Instead, consider an application virtualization approach that leaves sensitive information on the server (or in the Cloud), but never downloads to the device. Now remote wiping won’t be necessary, but environments of spotty connectivity can limit functionality. 

Balancing such priorities presents numerous challenges that require organizations to step up their architecture – leading to what I call Agile Architecture in my new book, The Agile Architecture Revolution.

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Dan Di Massa, Mobile Enterprise Adoption Strategist, Innovi.Mobi

Daniel DiMassa is a serial entrepreneur and mobile enterprise app expert who is known for his Mobile Enterprise Adoption Formula, and currently builds award winning enterprise apps at Innovi Mobile.

What would be the single most important piece of advice you would give to companies regarding developing an optimal Enterprise mobility strategy?

It all comes down to one word: Adoption. 

We are starting to shake up the enterprise mobility world, and shift the common questions from “How much will this cost?” and “How long to develop?” to “Will it be adopted?” 

Checking any mobile app market, one can easily find numerous examples of enterprise apps that overlooked the value and importance of adoption and, in turn, have suffered from bad reviews and low download numbers. Neglecting adoption ends up negatively impacting the brand, therefore hitting a prior development budget or timeline is a moot point. 

Mobile strategy is the first step in enterprise mobility and likewise the most important. There is nothing that I find more infuriating than a supposed mobile strategy meeting with a few team members of one department blindly guessing what should be in an app. To put a stop to such mistakes, I developed a Mobile Enterprise Adoption Formula that forces clients to ask future users for feedback including which features are needed, as there is a fine line between too many and too little features. Every second and penny developing a non-adopted enterprise app is wasted. Companies need to understand that adoption should be the most important aspect in developing an optimal enterprise mobility strategy. By utilizing an AdoptionFirst mobile strategy, apps will be more likely to go viral. It’s like scoring on a well-practiced football play versus luckily winning the lottery.

Peter Crocker, Founder & Principal Analyst, Smith’s Point Analytics LLC

Peter Crocker is the founder and principal analyst at Smith’s Point Analytics LLC, a full service market research and consulting firm focused on the mobile and wireless industry. Peter has almost a decade of experience in the mobile industry. Prior to founding Smith’s Point Analytics LLC in 2009, Peter was a Senior Analyst with VDC Research and also helped found and grow software start-ups in the mobile space.

What would be the single most important piece of advice you would give to companies regarding developing an optimal Enterprise mobility strategy?

Build a flexible strategy so you can pick the right technology for the job. 

A lot of debate is flying around the industry regarding HTML5 and native applications and which approach is better. Each technology has its benefits and drawbacks, but at the end of the day the key to success is matching the right technology with available skill sets to create applications that meet requirements. 

When developing enterprise strategies, companies need to think about the strategic function of mobile applications and build capabilities to support them. How will employees now and in the future use your applications? Are you looking to reach a broad audience who is using various types of devices with a simple app or white collar employees using Android and iOS devices with highly functional apps? HTML5 is better suited for the former application with native apps a better choice for the latter. 

Being able to deliver quality apps also requires the right skill sets. Developers accustomed to building websites for desktop browsers will take some time to adjust to the mobile web and native app developers need specialized skills. Skills on the server side also need to be mobilized. One of Facebook’s problems with their web app approach was not delivering mobile optimized data to the mobile app, degrading performance. Building a mobile first mentality and skill sets is key to a successful mobile strategy. 

From our survey of mobile developers, the most experienced developers were taking a variety of approaches in developing cross platform apps. Successful enterprise mobility strategies will be flexible leveraging a variety of skills and tools available to seize emerging opportunities in mobile. Thankfully, new tools are available to reduce development costs and help enterprise strategies be more nimble.

David Krebs, Vice President, Enterprise Mobility & Connected Devices, VDC Research

David has more than 15 years experience covering the markets for enterprise and government mobility solutions, wireless data communication technologies and automatic data-capture. David has advised many organizations developing and deploying mobile solutions on a myriad of product, market and partner development strategies, application prioritization, cost of ownership calculation and other critical strategic initiatives.

What would be the single most important piece of advice you would give to companies regarding developing an optimal Enterprise mobility strategy?

Think Big and Begin Today 

Developing an enterprise mobility strategy can be a daunting task. The pace of change in the mobile sector is frenetic and the sphere of influence on ‘traditional’ IT decisions – when considering trends like BYOD – provides sufficient excuses to postpone any major initiatives. However, the fundamental truths of the force multiplier of mobile solutions as a result of the advances we have witnessed with mobile technology, the expanding mobile workforce, and the proliferation of enterprise mobile use cases, all point to an increasingly mobile world. In this vein, recognition of the importance of safeguarding intellectual property and business information from theft and misuse is an increasingly critical management issue—the rate at which data is moving to mobile platforms by expanding application scenarios is exacerbating the risks that organizations are facing. Mobile solutions impact all facets of the enterprise – from B2B and B2E to B2C – it is therefore especially important to take a multifunctional and multidisciplinary approach to mobile strategy development, with some organizations succeeding with the implementation of Mobile Centers of Excellence. To realize the transformational potential of mobile solutions for your organization, VDC recommends a strategy that focuses on creating entirely new workflows and customer engagement models – not one that simply overlays ‘mobile’ to existing workflows. Finally, from a design perspective, simple and intuitive interfaces that replicate the user experience have become accustomed to by consumers and are the hallmarks of a successful strategy.

Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst, SMAC (Social, MOBILE, Analytics and Cloud), Cognizant Technology Solutions

Kevin Benedict has been working in the enterprise application market for over 24 years. He is a popular writer, enterprise mobility analyst and strategy consultant. Today his work focuses on issues related to social, mobile, analytics and cloud and their impact on businesses. He has served in many key executive roles throughout his career including sales, marketing, business development and product management.

What would be the single most important piece of advice you would give to companies regarding developing an optimal Enterprise mobility strategy?

Understand where your business, market place, competitors and industry are going with mobility and anticipate that in your plan.

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Larry Carvalho, Principal Consultant, RobustCloud

Robust Cloud LLC provides strategy and insight into the adaption of Cloud Computing technologies. An excellent speaker and workshop facilitator, Larry Carvalho, Principal Consultant, leads comprehensive group workshops in clarifying cloud adoption roadmaps. Larry also provides advice to technology companies on various facets of cloud computing.

What would be the single most important piece of advice you would give to companies regarding developing an optimal Enterprise mobility strategy?

Considerations for a mobile strategy include security for compliance, device management for administration and application development techniques for optimal user experience. You cannot lose sight of analytics to deliver personalization and services leveraging rich context only possible from data harvested from mobile interactions.

Jim Freeland, IT Manager, Medtronic

Jim Freeland is the IT Manager of Medtronic’s and has been with Medtronic for six years. Prior to Medtronic, he worked at Carlson Companies and UnitedHealth Group. Jim’s background is in information security and risk management. In his current role for the past two and a half years, Jim has helped to shape IT mobility at Medtronic with a focus on product and therapy promotion solutions. He oversees support and direction for enhancing Medtronic’s use of mobile technology, delivers the mobile Content Management System (mCMS), the Medtronic internal App Market, and other enterprise mobile solutions including multi-platform mobile sales and CRM apps.

What would be the single most important piece of advice you would give to companies regarding developing an optimal Enterprise mobility strategy?

Design & Develop like a startup, think like an enterprise and be an IT service broker. Over the last three years building mobile apps with my global business unit partners for tablets and phones, it has become very clear that creativity, speed and flexibility are required at all levels of a mobile strategy. First, by centralizing your Enterprise Mobility function and allowing them some bandwidth to help their business partners succeed, you can build a group that is responsive and innovative like many new mobile vendors and solution providers. Next, ensure your Enterprise Mobility function is aligned organizationally to support that creativity. Enforcing objectives and expected results with enterprise goals allows you to ensure the resourcefulness the business wants, while reducing spending and aligning with standards to develop sustainable and scalable mobile solutions. Finally, know when you need to build skill sets in house and when to look for help outside your company. Certain capabilities are core to mobile, while others are more commodities by nature. You should always be looking at the build vs. buy equation.

Brian Duckering, Senior Manager Enterprise Mobility, Symantec

Brian Duckering is responsible for Symantec’s mobility initiatives, covering everything from mobile management and security to protecting the networks that mobile devices rely on. He brings over twenty years of experience as an engineer, product manager, marketing manager and evangelist, bringing to market innovative technologies for enterprises and small businesses. Duckering is an often requested speaker internationally on a wide range of topics, technologies and trends, from virtualization to mobility. He has held executive level positions at both business- and consumer-facing companies and has multiple degrees in engineering and technology management.

What would be the single most important piece of advice you would give to companies regarding developing an optimal Enterprise mobility strategy?

Your mobile strategy should be driven by your specific business needs and business opportunities. No other business is exactly like yours. Understanding how a mobile workforce with the right mobile tools can enhance your business should be the key driver for all decisions around mobility. With a clear understanding of the jobs that your mobile workforce will address, you can follow the data to determine what devices, apps, and infrastructure will be required to deliver the business value safely and efficiently. BYOD will continue to gain traction, so embrace it. With app wrapping and other advanced technologies, businesses can completely protect business apps and data on BYOD devices without detracting from end user productivity and flexibility. If the business will provide devices, be sure that there is a rational argument for why this is required and why BYOD is less appropriate – these scenarios will continue to exist for some time.

Consider the totality of the mobile experience to understand all of the possible ways sensitive data may be lost or compromised. Protecting mobile data, at rest and in motion, under all circumstances is an absolute requirement, and a number of technologies will be required to provide this protection, from app wrapping and strong authentication to data encryption and control over communications with third party cloud services. The business objectives and the implementation plan will dictate which technologies will be required to protect the data, but data protection is not its own strategy – it is a requirement.

Christian Gilby, Senior Manager, ShoreTel Mobility

Seasoned high technology professional with experience in business development, product management and software architecture.

What would be the single most important piece of advice you would give to companies regarding developing an optimal Enterprise mobility strategy?

Make sure your enterprise mobility strategy can fulfill the following essential requirements: (a) it drives costs down while increasing user productivity, (b) it extends Enterprise communications to the smartphones and tablets users know and love in a secure and easy to use manner, and (c) it supports integration with heterogeneous UC solutions from multiple vendors allowing your enterprise flexibility in their strategy. If not, maybe you need to rethink things.

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Chris Hazelton, Research Director, Mobile & Wireless

Chris runs the Mobile and Wireless research practice, which covers hardware, software, and services for both enterprise and consumer mobility markets. Chris’ research focuses on enterprise mobility management supporting smartphones and tablets in business. He is primarily interested in the shift in enterprise computing from desktop to mobile.

What would be the single most important piece of advice you would give to companies regarding developing an optimal Enterprise mobility strategy?

The key to an effective deployment is to know the who, what, and where of your organization before developing any mobility policies. Who is using a mobile device, what types of devices are they using, and where is the data coming from that is going out to those devices. That understanding more than anything else will allow IT to properly and effectively develop and, most importantly, enforce realistic mobile policies for employees.

Richard Absalom, Analyst, Consumer Impact Technology

Richard Absalom is an analyst with Ovum’s Consumer Impact Technology practice, particularly focusing on mobile consumerization. His research examines the impact that mobile devices and applications designed for consumers are having on the corporate environment: identifying the challenges and opportunities it creates for both the enterprise and supply-side vendors; defining the vendor competitive landscape; and providing best-practice recommendations for enterprises and vendors alike.

What would be the single most important piece of advice you would give to companies regarding developing an optimal Enterprise mobility strategy?

When it comes to developing a mobility strategy, the first thing I’d say to enterprise strategists is this: start with your employees. The enterprise mobile environment is being changed by a consumer-driven force, BYOD, and every employee is first and foremost a consumer. It makes no sense to have a policy that doesn’t acknowledge and include the input of the very people that are necessitating its existence in the first place – keeping them out of the loop is more likely to end with people bypassing IT policies to find their own (probably insecure) way of working; one of the primary drivers of BYOD in the first place. 

Understanding first-hand the desires, needs, and existing behaviors of employees can help to establish the basic premises of a mobility strategy. Are people bringing their own device to work already? Do they want to be able to? Would they be happy to simply be provided with an up-to-date device by the company? Do they just want to use a single device for both work and personal life, or do they want to keep things separate? What apps are they accessing on mobile devices, and what do they want to have access to? 

The answers to these questions will differ from person to person, department to department and business to business, but understanding the answers to them and gaining some sort of consensus can help an organization to establish exactly how they might get the most out of their mobility strategy. It’s perfectly likely that BYOD might not work for them, and one of the other acronyms such as COPE (corporately owned, personally enabled) or CYOD (choose your own device) may be a better fit. But whatever policy they end up with, consumerization is absolutely something that needs to be addressed in some way – the risks and opportunities are too great to simply ignore it. 

I know you only asked for the single most important piece of advice, but I’d like to give special mention to a second as well if I could: think seriously about apps. Mobile apps are the key to any productivity benefits to be had from a consumerized mobility policy. Opening up to BYOD but only allowing for mobile email doesn’t really improve productivity; it just ends up looking similar to what is in place with existing BlackBerry fleets – but probably less secure. Going beyond email and providing users with the specific mobile apps that let them perform core horizontal and line of business tasks from a smartphone or tablet, while on the go, is much more likely to provide significant productivity gains.

Jeffrey Wallace, Assistant Vice President, Cognizant Mobile Services Practice

Jeff Wallace is the practice leader for Cognizant Mobility. He is responsible for evangelizing mobility and helping Cognizant’s clients approach mobility from a strategic perspective. Prior to joining Cognizant, Jeff was a serial entrepreneur having founded several businesses since the mid-1990s. In his most recent endeavor, Jeff was a co-founder of Vivido Labs, a mobility solutions provider offering enterprise mobile applications for sales, marketing, business intelligence, and mobile employee productivity.

What would be the single most important piece of advice you would give to companies regarding developing an optimal Enterprise mobility strategy?

When working with clients in the formation of the mobility strategy, here are some specific things that I encourage them to consider including: End user experience – How will the end user use their mobile device once the company has developed its solutions? If you start from the experience perspective, it allows you to back into what you need to do in order to deliver an optimal experience. 

Technology – What is the best way to go about delivering on the promise of mobility for your key stakeholders? For example, what devices are being targeted? Are native apps the best answer? Can HTML5 be used to cover multiple platforms? Should we use a third party MADP solution? If so, which one is best? Ultimately, we’re aiming for delivering the best user experience, across the broadest set of mobile devices, and doing so at the lowest possible cost. The trick is to understand how best to get there and to realize that there may not be a “one size fits all” solution. 

Future Proof – How can one future-proof investments made in mobility technology? With the extreme volatility happening in the mobility technology space, combined with the overall immaturity of the solution provider space within mobility, it is often challenging for enterprise IT executives to make substantive investment decisions for fear of making the wrong choice or early obsolescence of a chosen solution/partner. 

Organizational Matters – Who within the organization will have ultimate accountability and responsibility for the enterprise’s mobility initiatives? Marketing? IT? Sales? Other lines of business? A “mobility council” must be formed within the enterprise and must be comprised of representatives from across the impacted groups/entities. Then, and only then, a true enterprise mobility strategy formation exercise can be undertaken. 

So, in short, there are many considerations to be properly thought through when endeavoring to create an enterprise mobility strategy. The trick is to be thoughtful and to work with others who have experience that can guide your efforts. Mobility is a truly transformational technology that is here with us for the rest of our days. Taking the proper time to plan for its future and impact within your enterprise is a necessity.

Gavin Kim, Chief Commercial Officer, NQ Mobile

Gavin Kim is the Chief Commercial Officer at NQ Mobile, a leading provider of mobile security software. Gavin is an experienced operating executive, investor, and entrepreneur across the wireless value chain with particular interest in software, media, and content services; enjoy building new businesses and new software products in the mobile industry.

What would be the single most important piece of advice you would give to companies regarding developing an optimal Enterprise mobility strategy?

Find the right balance between security and flexibility. With flexibility comes improved adoption, efficiency, and corporate productivity. An overly heavy-handed enterprise mobile security approach for the sake of security, on the other hand, will only further create onerous IT policies and hurdles that reduce employee satisfaction and productivity of the workforce. Not to mention, it’s an extra burden to administer and manage.

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