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The Key To A Successful Enterprise Mobility Strategy: Focus

You know, it’s interesting.  So much talk these days around enterprise mobility and BYOD is all about preventing your employee base from doing “bad things.”  OK, it’s not really said that way.  The more diplomatic terminology is Information/Data Loss Prevention (DLP).  Regardless of whether you are an optimist or a cynic, it really does boil down to one fundamental premise: how organizations are trying to lock things down (whether it’s the device or the apps or the content).

This couldn’t have been more true during a TweetChat I participated in yesterday.  (I know, you’re probably thinking that that’s all I do with my time these days, but I assure you that’s not the case).  One of the topics that took up a considerable of time during the one hour session was about preventing employees from doing “fill in the blank” with their mobile devices.

I’ve said this before, but I can’t help but feel as if I need to bring it up again.  The whole BYOD debate is not just akin, but in fact nothing more than a new label on the corporate liability vs. individual liability debate that existed before BYOD became the hot topic.  For those of you who might not recall, I even started saying that we should focus less on the liability part of the equation (us vs. them) and instead think about mutual mobile responsibility.  If you’re hiring good people, then why should we be so focused on preventing them from doing things with their mobile devices?

This last point made me think of a line one of my former mentors used to say.  “Focus on what you can do and not on what you can’t do.”  While he would use that phrase when talking about roadblocks in overly political organizations riddled with fiefdoms, I can’t help but feel that his quote is highly relevant to the majority of discussions that we are collectively having around enterprise mobility.

Focus on what we can do with mobility and not on what we can’t do (i.e., prevent). Amen.

This is why I have also recently been preaching the idea that we should focus less on mobility management and instead focus our energies on mobility enablement.  Without minimizing the importance of device/application/data security and DLP, I strongly believe we should spend at least as much energy thinking about how mobility and mobile applications are going to change the way we do business.

Focus on what you can do and not on what you can’t do.


  1. Posted March 21, 2013 at 01:01 | Permalink


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  2. Posted March 21, 2013 at 11:16 | Permalink

    Hi Philippe,
    As we discussed on twitter yesterday, it is always nice to see another great post from you.

    I agree; companies should focus more on what’s possible through mobility, but as you hint at we can’t forget that even if a company hires “good people,” accidents do still happen (i.e. a stolen device or a hacked cloud storage account). Thus, while mobility is the new frontier of enhanced productivity, the risks are real. The trick, then, in all of this – as it always is with information technology – is finding the right balance between usability and security.

    I guess this also goes back to your other post that you referenced earlier — — your wish #4 :-)


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  3. Posted March 23, 2013 at 23:06 | Permalink

    While I completely agree with Philippe, from my perspective – based on interactions I have had and am having with customers and prospects about Enterprise Mobility (mEnterprise) – many of them, already have this ‘focus’. In almost all discussions, especially the ones with enterprises that are complete novices, as far as mEnterprise goes, the focus is always on what can be done. In fact this would be the starting point of the whole mobility journey – the rest of it – hot to derisk and limit liability – is just an operational first step.

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  4. Posted March 29, 2013 at 11:13 | Permalink

    I fully agree. Althogh risks are real and should be taken into account, main focus must be on how we can transform business, rise productivity and engage employees.
    DLP policies should manage applications and not devices. And each application has an specific security level. This application management approach can increase byod acceptance within companies.

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  5. Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:32 | Permalink

    We do need to think through these issues. Because there seems to be no doubt that mobility should be integrated with business strategies. Fifty-six percent of the respondents to a survey of companies said they’d received an increase in requests for mobile business applications.

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  6. Posted April 18, 2013 at 14:34 | Permalink

    The dynamics of the ups and downs of mobile platform landscape of course has naturally become a critical part of the mobility strategy much earlier itself. The top challenges I see is the transformation twords the customer centric business ecosystem triggered by the revolution in the social mobility space. As mobility has to be always coupled with legacy IT and the transformation triggered by cloud based business models that legacy IT is going through, I see a strong influence of mobility strategy on the transformation that cloud IT is driving. Transformation of mobility from a natural extension of legacy IT to more towards contextualization beyond the mere personalisation aspect as the business enabler landscape is transforming to Internet of things, mobile strategy should also account the importance of data and the micro strategies evolving around the same. I see a very strong and deep interlinking of Social, Mobile and Cloud on mobile as a channel for service delivery and hence any mobile strategy that doesn’t take those aspects into account depending on the business context would become irrelevant and context less within near future!

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  7. Posted June 30, 2013 at 05:43 | Permalink

    Having a responsible and transparent way to keep field service staff accountable without abusing their privacy is the key to making sure that performance can be mapped, Quality mobile device based gps tracking applications such as TrackAss are providing excellent business grade telematic tracking for businesses wanting to responsibly track field service personnel without huge expense or fixed equipment costs. Fleet vehicle tracking and employee tracking can be achieved in real time whilst still maintaining a high level of personal privacy for employees, to turbo charge your HR and customer service what can be better than being with an employee whilst the complete their daily activity?

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  8. Posted July 14, 2013 at 11:54 | Permalink

    Enterprise mobility is what Internet was a couple of decades back for enterprise. It’s about make sure that all the investments that an enterprise has done in IT over the years is accessible to employees wherever they are. And they are away from their desk most of the time in the modern work environment. Enterprise mobility needs to be looked as a base foundation of the enterprise’s digital agenda. Both inwards looking, targeted at employees and external, targeted at enterprise’s digital consumers.

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