Site Note: We’d like to introduce you to Benjamin Robbins. Ben is an EMF member who is so passionate about enterprise mobility that he has decided to conduct an experiment – to only use a smartphone for work (no laptop or tablet) for an entire year – and share his experiences with the EMF community. This will be one heck of an experiment that we get to share with him!
I had the opportunity to spend last week in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress. There was a lot of talk on how the world has gone mobile and we are living in the post-PC era. Yet, for all this talk of freedom and mobility, the weight of the past was still very evident. Even at Mobile World Congress, the world’s premier mobile event, most everyone was still carrying around multiple devices such as laptops, tablets, and phones. Is this what the post-PC world is going to look like – cluttered and clunky? I see no reason for the redundancy in computing power. There is more than enough processor capacity in my smartphone to handle my daily tasks such as email, browsing, tweeting, word processing, etc. Why should I have to carry around anything more?
So I’m done with talk. I am ready to go all-in with mobility. I am ready to shed the clutter and simplify. I am ready to have only a single device for all my computing and communication. Over the next year – between this Mobile World Congress and the next – I am ONLY going to use my smartphone as my computing hardware – no PC, laptop, or tablet. I am ready to make the transition to a single device existence. Question is – is the ecosystem at large ready to support me?
In my extrication from the PC, I am saying goodbye to the box and will attempt to leverage as many native apps and services as possible. In the next year, I will explore with you the following areas of enterprise mobility:
- Device/Application Management
- User/Information Management
- Productivity Apps
- SaaS/Cloud Services
- Custom Line-Of-Business App/Process Strategy
- Desktop Virtualization
These will not be product reviews per se, but rather an exposition on how these pieces can and can’t fit together into a unified enterprise mobile ecosystem. That doesn’t mean there aren’t gaps in functionality, but an overall approach is possible. My goal is to demonstrate the viability of a mobile-only workforce.
What does a mobile-only world look like? At a high-level it is a work anywhere, anytime experience. My work capabilities are seamless as I move from my office, out to the street, into a meeting with clients, and back at home. My device, experience, and information are one and the same in all places. At a more granular level , going mobile-only means building an ecosystem of the right apps and service for the task at hand and at a price reflective of the scale of mobility. As I explore the various parts of the mobile ecosystem I know that at times I will probably have to leverage a virtual desktop for certain functionality, such as Visio, where no mobile counterpart yet exists. My objective is to share with you what this type of mobile-only experience means in the enterprise setting, where does it work, and where are the gaps.
For those interested in the nuts and bolts, my initial setup will include the Samsung Galaxy Note, a Bluetooth mouse, a stationary keyboard at the office and home, and a foldable keyboard for transit. I will also take advantage of MHL, a technology that allows a connection from the USB port on your phone to HDMI in your TV or monitor. This allows you the ability to project what is on the phone to a much bigger screen at work, home, and out and about. I would prefer that this connection be wireless – but MHL is compatible with any HDMI capable monitor and therefore allows me to take advantage of a wide array of existing infrastructure. For more details on implementation, you can read the approach here.
I will be posting on this blog once a week with updates, so keep coming back to read about the successes and failures (and most likely some frustrations). I would love to hear your questions, comments, and concerns along the way. Don’t hesitate to join in the discussion. Here’s to mobile-only!