Ready for the Mobile Revolution? IT leaders must answer these questions:
- Do employees really need a tablet?
Employees may covet the latest and greatest technology, but that doesn't mean they should get it, says Michael Armstrong, CIO for the city of Corpus Christi, Texas.
"With mobile devices, you need to do a better of job of segmenting users,"Armstrong says. "If someone is completely desk-bound, an iPad is not appropriate. For heads-down data entry or engineering work, they'll need a keyboard or more horsepower."
- Will employees follow the agency's rules while using their device?
BYOD initiatives can save an organization money but often at the cost of control. Users who want to bring their own devices must be willing to have mobile device management software installed on the device or use approved apps only, says Honolulu CIO Gordon Bruce.
- Does the organization have rock-solid security procedures in place?
It's better to have too much security and ratchet it down later than not enough, adds Alex Musicante, systems security architect for the city of Pittsburgh. "If you wait too long and implement security after there's already a problem, you may end up closing the barn door after the horse has bolted."
- Can the IT department handle it?
Despite the early dominance of Apple, mobile IT environments are likely to be extremely heterogeneous as Android and Microsoft tablets gain traction among the workforce.
"Diversity will be much more the norm than it has been in the past," says Minneapolis CIO Otto Doll. "CIOs are not going to be able to pick and choose which platforms they will support. They'll have to cope with a much broader base of technologies, devices and vendors over time.