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HP Software's community for IT leaders // October 2012
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Don’t play catch-up with mobility

CIOs need to lead, not follow, the business on mobility. Start by making your own department fully mobile.

IT can’t afford to follow its customers in the adoption of new technology. But that’s happened with mobility. And CIOs must catch up.
 
Mobility has become a way of life for your employees and external customers. It’s how they get things done, from paying their bills to booking international travel. Mobility redefines personal computing by providing convenience, immediacy and new functionality.        
 
Mobility is no longer a “nice to have” in the enterprise—it’s essential, and CIOs need to fully incorporate it. And the surefire way to lead your customers on mobility is to use the technology yourself. 
 
The key benefits of mobility include a more flexible workforce, neither tethered to the desktop nor hobbled by a spotty VPN connection. Also, mobility makes your IT teams faster, remotely diagnosing problems and executing fixes. Getting on-the-fly insight into KPIs on IT performance keeps mobile IT executives in the know. Mobile is a boon for agile development: Rapidly deployed iterations of software require your application teams to review and approve new code faster. If they have to be on site to do that, you’ll lose time whenever software is released outside of office hours. A mobile app can solve this. Finally, when you take IT mobile, you better understand your customers’ mobile needs and are likelier to spot opportunities for mobile innovation.

Mastering mobility

“Going mobile” is not only the necessary response to an irresistible business and consumer trend, it’s also an opportunity to lead the business and demonstrate IT’s strategic value. To do so credibly, first master mobility in your own organization. IT needs to use the oxygen mask first, so to speak, before helping the rest of the enterprise adjust. Start with these five best practices:

  • Design for easy access to data and actions. When designing a mobile IT management app, focus on easy access to needed data and actions, instead of mobilizing entire applications. For instance, allowing your IT staff to press a button for a complete overview of a request or ticket.
  • Support a mixed-device environment. Create a platform that defines a set of capabilities, rather than building for a specific device. By supporting your IT staff’s preferred devices, they’ll be more likely to use them. And it will help you prepare for device management issues with the business.  
  • Carefully architect mobile IT management apps. Design your apps according to what your IT staff really needs. And don’t jeopardize security. For example, make confidential IT management data viewable, but not downloadable.
  • Monitor and report. Monitor how your IT workers use their devices and report on it. This is valuable information that you can learn from when you deploy and manage mobile apps for the enterprise.
  • Manage end-to-end performance. Mobility requires that you think differently about metrics and application performance management. Once your enterprise applications are mobile-enabled, you need to measure and report on system performance all the way down to the device.

Mobility leadership is key to IT and enterprise success

The transition to mobility and the cloud is happening faster than many anticipated. Your customers will expect the convenience of mobile applications, and your workers need the flexibility and productivity those apps deliver. As CIOs are called upon to offer more strategic leadership, a decisive mobile vision is as important to the success of IT as it is to the enterprise.

For more on mobile IT management, read the white paper, “Mobilizing the Business of IT,” and check out HP’s broad suite of mobility solutions.


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