Biggest Issue? Most Enterprises Don’t Have a Mobile Strategy, Says Randy Roberts of Siemens Enterprise | Enterprise Mobile Strategy

When it comes to enterprise mobile strategy, who better to virtually sit down with then Seimens Enterprise’s Randy Robert.

1)     In 2013, what will be hotter internal employee facing apps OR external (market) consumer facing apps?

Internal employee apps will be hotter as more employees demand applications that make them more productive at work but emulate the consumer experience they enjoy on their personal applications.  The MEAPs (mobile enterprise application platforms) that are in the market today are progressing rapidly to make it easier for enterprises to develop across iOS and Android simply while integrating with existing business apps.  These platforms also make it easier for internal development teams, that have worked on legacy systems, to develop for the new mobile platforms with a much smaller learning curve.

2)     What is the biggest issue in enterprise mobility?

The biggest issue today is that most enterprises don’t have a mobile strategy.  They think they are a ‘mobile company’ just because their employees carry smartphones and can be reached at all times.  They may go as far as to take an existing desktop application and shrink it down to a smartphone and call themselves ‘mobile’.   Neither of these cases represent a mobile strategy.  If fact, in most cases this does harm to a company’s mobile aspirations because it doesn’t meet expectations of the executives or the end-users.  Companies must start by defining use cases, objectives, measurements and key internal constituents before they embark on their mobile journey.  This creates an agreed path forward with clear expectations across the company and puts them on a path to truly being a mobile company.

3)     I’d love to get feedback on Mobile Enterprise Adoption Forumla, before I write my “thesis” on it. What are your thoughts on it?

I agree 100% that Usability and Desirability are the keys to delivering a successful mobile application.  The days of developing enterprise apps that make the IT manager or CIO happy are over.  The focus is squarely now in the end-user because the competition for the time spent on a mobile app is fierce.  Enterprise mobile apps compete with FaceBook, Skype, Twitter, Dropbox, etc. for share of views on a mobile device. If the mobile app is not easy and, more importantly, engaging, the end-users will delete it and move on to the next shiny object.  However, I disagree with the inclusion of security as mandatory for adoption.  Consumers drive today’s decisions on mobile apps and devices that get used, not provided by IT, but actually used.  The need for ease of use and a delightful experience far outweigh the need for security from these new ‘kings of the enterprise’.  Security is certainly a concern for IT but they are now reactive supporters in the world of consumerization and must find a way to provide it as a matter of everyday business.  Security is not a prerequisite for adoption by end-users.

4)     Who do you think should head enterprise mobile apps? CIO, CMO or CDO?

Consumerization has changed the game for mobile devices and apps. Consumers are now kings of the technology landscape in the enterprise.  Their expectations of mobile apps are driven by the best-in-class consumer apps they use on a daily basis in their personal lives.  These apps are even being used for work purposes because their choice of good enterprise apps is so poor.  Because of the requirement to truly understand end-user behavior, needs and expectations, the CMO must be at the head of any planning or definition of mobile apps.  Having the market view and doing the requisite research to uncover explicit and implicit needs of end-users is paramount and any shortcuts or urge to look internally for that understanding will undermine the ultimate success of the app.

5)     Besides enterprise mobile strategy – Lets talk Siemens. We heard some rumors of something big coming.

We just wrapped up our Industry Analyst Summit event in Denver where we announced a next gen platform, Project Ansible, that will change the way enterprises think about communicating and collaborating within an organization.  We’ve taken a ‘mobile first’ point of view to make sure we focus our development on smartphones and tablets to address the needs of mobile workers.  The goal is to amplify the collective effort of teams by making it simple to get to the right person with the right information as easily as possible.  More to come on Project Ansible, the latest status can be found at: Project Ansible

A big thanks to Randy, and if you like to hear more on his enterprise mobile strategy hints follow his Twitter|@TriDad64

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