How To Avoid The Mobile Goat Rodeo

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.


Windows Mobile?

Hi Ted, Great research. One question (although I will surely have more later) is around Windows Mobile. In figure 2-1 you show BlackBerry, iPhone, and Android only. Why is this? Are enterprises not looking or planning for the Windows Mobile? This is in sharp contrast to other research that indicates a lot of enterprise enthusiasm around Windows. I also question that more companies have plans to develop for BB over Android. I am not seeing this in our customer base at all.

It's in there, just not published

Matt: Remember that this survey asks about current initiatives, which means it always has a rear-view mirror perspective. Nobody is investing in apps for devices that are not yet in the hands of people. The survey did ask about Windows Mobile, but we left it out of the picture because it was quite low and on the way out (at least for now). Hope that helps.

It helps

While I understand that "nobody is investing in devices not yet in the hands of people", I assumed that companies would be considering devices that are on the horizon. I know that when I contacted my customers they were looking at the iPad before it was widely available. So nobody is looking at odd.

Remember that survey data

Remember that survey data catches things happening at scale. If 1 or 2% of people are looking at Windows Phone, that would show up in the "Other" category. The Windows Mobile numbers, for completeness are on the same scale as the RIM numbers, particularly for employee apps. And the symbian numbers are also measurable. If you're a client, you can get the chart in John McCarthy's report, Mobile App Internet Recasts The Software And Services Landscape.

Here's that data chart