My colleague Gene Leganza has pulled off a consumerization coup for enterprise architects (EAs) and those who work with them. EAs must wrestle with the best way to harness the innovation of HEROes -- highly empowered and resourceful operatives (the protagonist of our book Empowered) -- while protecting the long-term interests and technology strategy of your company. To do so, they need to assess and come up with a strategy for the major consumer technologies coming in through the employee door.
Gene has done a real service to categorize and deliver a strategic assessment on the most important consumerization technologies, including business collaboration, file sync, tablets, and self-service business intelligence. He did this using Forrester's TechRadar methodology in a report titled, "TechRadar For Enterprise Architect Professionals: Technologies For Empowered Employees: Q4 2011." For content & collaboration professionals, this TechRadar includes an assessment of business collaboration, a category fueled by employee-purchased technologies such as Google Docs, Smartsheets.com, and Huddle.
Mobility in the enterprise is a goat rodeo waiting to happen. Are any of these things going on in your company?
Building customer mobile apps that don't tie into the .com site.
Coding for iPhones while leaving Android phones unserved.
Forcing a session login to a mobile collaboration app that keeps employees from bothering.
Locking down employee devices when email is the only app on it.
Failing to have the network and hardware to handle an explosion in transaction volume.
If so, you're not alone. It's natural in a fast-moving environment to tackle things piecemeal in the hope that you can handle the problems later. But that approach leads to chaos and confusion and lack of coordination. And that can lead to huge problems that are happening already or are lurking just behind the goat rodeo gate.
It's time to take a deep breath, call an offsite meeting, and put a mobile strategy playbook together. In a recent report for Forrester customers, Building An Operations Stairway To The Mobile Future, my colleagues and I mashed together seven things that have to come together to make mobile operations work. It's not the full chapter list in the playbook, but it's a good operational start.
I spend a lot of time delivering PowerPoint presentations, pitching ideas and data and hopefully some pizzazz and inspiration. And that means I'm lugging my 7-pound laptop and 1-pound charger around, projecting via a dodgy VGA cable with doubtful video qualities, and mouseclicking my way through the story. It's all good because it's all I've ever known. And it beats swapping foils on an overhead projectors. (Why do they call those transparencies foils??)
But, sometimes it would be so much more convenient for me to toss my 1.3-pound iPad2 sans charger into a small bag, hop on the US Airways Shuttle to New York, and pitch the deck while leaving the laptop and charger at home. And if it's true for me, then it has to be true for your iPad-totin' sales teams.
Until now, I've not found a decent PowerPoint solution on iPad. As much as I believe that Microsoft will eventually offer PowerPoint on iPad, I need an answer now. Apple's Keynote requires a big adjustment for me (and for the rest of my ecosystem), and PDF rendering kills the thrill of PowerPoint builds and messes up my storytelling punchlines.
Then along comes SlideShark from online presentation vendor Brainshark. It's animation-complete, hassle-free, PowerPoint-on-iPad (PoiP). So far it works like a champ.
Brainshark is known for its ability to host presentations with voiceover and other stuff as a way to train sales folks and others online and on mobile devices. The company has been around since 1999 and has won over many enterprise customers. Their favorite factoid is, and I quote, "A Brainshark is created every 3 minutes and viewed every 2.5 seconds, with over 1 million views/month."
Okay, so maybe it was Steve Jobs's plan all along. To make tools so profoundly useful and totemic that everybody wants one. But surely in the dark days of the 1990s and early 2000s, nobody could have seen that Steve Jobs and Apple would overtake the enterprise. But it happened.
First was iPod. After an enthusiastic start restricted to a few million Macintosh aficionados, Apple ported iTunes to Windows and suddenly 100 million people were using iPods. And a new gadget was weighting down the pockets of business travelers and everyday employees. And then it wasn't so heavy after all as Apple volume-priced the flash memory market and shank the gadget to nano size.
Consumerization whispered, "I'm coming." IT wasn't too worried, but it did scramble to keep iTunes off of corporate desktops. [It didn't matter. People have computers at home.]
Next was iPhone. In the winter of 2008 before there was even an App Store, the guy behind the pizza counter at The Upper Crust in Lexington was swiping at his iPhone revealing page after page of colorful icons. When I asked him what that little swipey motion was all about, he replied, "Oh, these are apps. Games and instant messaging and movies and stuff. I get 'em off the Internet. There are hundreds of them." And I (and Apple) knew that the world had changed. Steve Jobs and team launched the App Store so tens of thousands of developers could build hundreds of thousands of applications. And make billions of dollars selling their work.
Consumerization knocked on the door saying, "I'm here and I want to get email on my iPhone." IT said no way and kept buying BlackBerrys.