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Mobilizing Your Business: Challenge or Opportunity?

That was the name of the panel session I moderated yesterday at GigaOM’s Mobilize event in San Francisco.  You can actually catch a replay of it here. As is often the case, I was very fortunate to have an unbelievable panel to discuss the main issues around enterprise mobility.  The panelists included:

We covered a broad range of topics…even talking about an ape firing off an AK-47.  If you want to understand the reference, well….you’ll just have to watch the replay.  So with these four great panelists, are we going to have fireworks or great consensus?  Here are some highlights of the session:

  • The first question I asked was about broad adoption of mobility in the enterprise.  Are we there yet?  The consensus was that yes, it has begun, and it’s only going to get bigger….way bigger.  One panelist said that “In 2011, Mobile IT was born….[ ]…a new industry.”
  • There was another panel earlier in the day where someone said “IT has to embrace consumerization….there is NO other option.”  That’s a pretty powerful statement.  One panelist responded to that statement by saying “it’s irrelevant who owns the device…it’s irrelevant who pays the carrier plan (that’s a different negotiation)…it’s about the data.”
  • I did ask one question though that did spur some (small) sparks.  If it’s all about apps and the data now, then why do we keep on talking about mobile DEVICE management?  When are we going collectively as an industry focus on enterprise mobility management?  I wish we had had more time to debate that point, because I think that when we focus well beyond just mobile DEVICE management, we will have fully embraced the importance of managed enterprise mobility.
  • What about business data that is not owned by the enterprise?  A perfect example of this would be patient data.  Well, we need to make sure 1st of all that organizations are in compliance with industry regulations “…and it’s really no different from a PC.”  (I tend to agree with the fact that from a data perspective, mobility is not very different from the PC era)  One panelist however made the argument that mobility can “make the data smarter.”

There was a lot more that we covered, but if I shared with you all the details, then why would you want to go check out the video.  I would still encourage you to watch it…at the very least play it in the background while you’re working on something else because the panelists made some excellent points.  The consensus is this though: Mobility in the workplace is here.  It’s big and it’s going to need to be controlled (to a certain extent).  We certainly wouldn’t want to have apes running around with AK-47s.

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