CIOs Must Focus on 2nd Gen Mobile Strategies

By Ericka Chickowski  |  Print this article Print

iPads and iPhones were just the beginning. Now, Gartner says, IT leaders must focus on the next generation of mobile strategies as these devices go mainstream in the enterprise.

As the expectations from employees and customers keep rising over how they can use their mobile devices to access and interact with data, CIOS must build the next generation of mobile strategies to meet them, Gartner analysts said at the recent Gartner Symposium/ITxpo event.

Due to the rapid shift of business and societal drivers around mobility infrastructure, Gartner analysts say that in 2012 CIOs will need to be prepared with a strategy that covers three distinct mobile issues.

The first prong of the strategy should be an employee-facing plan to address issues such as collaboration, role-specific applications such as sales force automation, the increased consumerization of IT and filling in gaps within basic collaboration.

The second and third prongs of the strategy should focus on consumer-facing issues. One part of that should deal with the more tactical issues that will crop up within the next 12-month window and the other on strategic issues around slower-moving plans for technologies like Long Term Evolution (LTE).

"Second generation mobile strategies differ considerably from those of the first generation," said Leif-Olof Wallin, research vice president at Gartner. "They must be multichannel, part of your holistic digital strategy, as well as including innovative mobile-only capabilities. They must include a wide variety of mobile endpoints including mobile to mobile  and be prepared for the day that native applications are overtaken by HTML5."

With regard to the employee-facing strategy, Wallin warns CIOs that as employees continue to behave more like consumers, IT will find it must fulfill demands for a wider choice of devices and learn to operate and secure an environment full of consumer devices loaded up with applications from app stores. Meanwhile, on the consumer side, the rapid change of preference to use mobile channels over PC and Web channels mean that organizations that can best meet consumers' preferences will prevail in customer satisfaction.

In order to do that, Gartner says that CIOs need to adapt and utilize bleeding-edge innovations such as Near Field Communication (NFC), which can turn the smartphone into a digital wallet, or Personal Area Networks.

"Personal Area Network (PAN) transforms the smartphone into a bridge to other devices," Wallin said. "For example, a cardiac monitor can leverage a mobile phone to transmit the signals to a monitoring station or system. Wearable devices - such as watches and pedometers - and peripherals - such as blood glucose monitors - can all wirelessly interface to the Internet via mobile phones. Gartner believes that enterprises can use these concepts as ideas for innovation."