Ahh, Thanksgiving Day in the United States. Sure, a few years ago it was all about remembering the Pilgrims and how they made friends with the Native Americans who were actually here a long time before Christopher Columbus ever boarded the Santa Maria, blah blah blah. Today, we as a society have evolved to look at Thanksgiving as an opportunity to eat way more than we should, spend countless hours driving to argue with your loved ones, as well as spend hours in said food coma yelling at the TV while watching your favorite football teams play…only to make sure you are up at 3am the next day as you plan your Black Friday holiday shopping strategy. Good times.
I don’t mean to sound so cynical, because I do so very much enjoy spending Thanksgiving with my family. We don’t have to drive too far to see each other and we don’t overindulge on food (I can’t comment on the family bickering though). In any case, I decided this morning to look back on some of the other Thanksgiving posts that I have put on this web site and one in particular struck me. It was from three years ago today.
Three years ago, the iPhone was a new mobile device…and certainly not something ready for the enterprise. My, how things have changed in just three years. Not only is the iPhone now part of one of the fastest growing mobile platforms in the industry, spending more time worrying about Android than BlackBerry, Windows Phone or Symbian….it’s also unquestionably a device that has seen broad adoption in the workplace. In just three short years, the enterprise mobility landscape has been turned upside down.
Three years ago, I was trying to explain to my then in-laws the power of having email on your mobile device and that we would soon be able to use our mobile devices to make phone calls just like when we are at the office. Having email on your mobile device is now table stakes…however, mobile unified communications is still an elusive value proposition.
Interestingly enough, I had a similar conversation with enterprise mobility neophytes this past weekend. They too didn’t understand what it is that we here at the EMF are trying to do, but they did get the “email thing.” The question of course is – what’s next? In the past three years, I feel as if the questions have in one respect remained the same…if not unanswered…specifically, what applications should we be mobilizing. However, the subtleties and nuances have gotten more prominent:
- Mobility management;
- Cloud computing;
- Individual vs. corporate liability;
- Expense management; and of course
And this is what I am thankful for during this 2010 Thanksgiving. The glass half-empty perspective is that three years later, we haven’t yet been able to answer some “basic” questions. Instead, the world is far more complex…more mobile operating systems, mobile device paradigms and just more choice.
And that is the glass half-full perspective. More choice. More choice means we are asking more questions because we are becoming more aware and enlightened regarding the overall value proposition of mobile technologies within the workplace. I can’t help but feel as if this is just a normal “right of passage” as things need to get more complicated and unclear before they become more streamlined and efficient. Hopefully in a few short years, the dust will have settled (somewhat) in the world of enterprise mobility and the questions we are wrestling with today will be replaced with concepts we have yet to fathom.
Until then, let me wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones!