Social Networking, Mobile Devices Here to Stay, Says Ingram Micro CIO

By Jennifer Lawinski  |  Print this article Print

The distribution company's CIO gives his take on the rise of social networking and the future of the tablet PC in the enterprise in two videos posted online.

Social networking and mobile devices are here to stay in the enterprise, and it’s up to companies to find the right balance when deciding how and when they should be used, according to distributor Ingram Micro’s chief information officer.

The Santa Ana, Calif.-based company’s CIO Mario Leone gives his take on the new technologies in two videos posted online here and here.

When it comes to social networking, Leone says CIOs face many challenges and only time will tell if the right balance can be found.

"I think we’re going to struggle with this one. It’s a tidal wave that’s not coming – it’s here. And we have to really think through how do we go ahead and integrate it into the fabric of our companies," Leone says. "We can’t ignore it."

Along the way, Leone expects to see hits and misses, but enterprises will have to open up, whether it’s with wikis or blogs or other new social networking technologies.

And the corporate response to and plan for integration has to come from the top down, Leone says.

"It can’t be the next generation coming through, bottom up. I really think it has to be driven from the top, because if not  …   without that leadership we’re really not giving it its just place, and I think it’s going to be the way we communicate and manage information over time," Leone says.

The consumer mobile device explosion has also had an impact on the enterprise, and as employees try to find which device suits them best – whether it’s a tablet or a laptop or even a desktop PC – enterprises will have to find a way to make sure they’re secure.

"My personal belief is that people are going to go ahead and gravitate toward the device that they find that’s most comfortable for them," Leone says.

"And I think then the burden comes back to the IT organization where we’re going to have to think through ways possibly to virtualize images out to those devices and eliminate this idea that we can basically legislate out the devices. I don’t think that’s a reality," he says.

"And then it's up to us to figure out a secure way to figure out how to authenticate them and really make them useful for company data."