Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Building a Mobile Strategy Part 2: The Troika

Building a Mobile Strategy Part 1
Building a Mobile Strategy Part 1a

The Mobility Guru and I have been holding monthly meetings - not counting casual encounters where we run into each other on campus.

We've learned a few things over the past couple of months:
  • Once our web team finishes implementing our new content management system (they are really close to closing the project), all hands on that team turn to mobile.
  • There is a "Mobility Steering Committee" among some senior execs around campus.  This, however, seems to be focused on an app.  Good for the Mobility Guru and I because that means we are not missing anything that we might possibly need to know right now.
  • There are some other scattered "Mobility" efforts - most notably among the Security folks.  This provided an opportunity for awareness.  Better late than never.
We finally managed to have a full Troika meeting recently.  The Mobility Architect finally got out from underneath his configuration management project to talk.

Some good stuff came out of this meeting:

1) Both the Mobility Architect AND the Mobility Guru realized fairly quickly that our current policies don't adequately cover the new environment.  We think there is an effort underway to take a new look at all of our IT policies - particularly for data management.

2) A trend both of them noticed is that mobile OS providers (Apple, Google, Microsoft) are beginning to strongly encourage the use of their own cloud storage solutions.  This could be quite problematic for an enterprise since the temptation to put any-ol-document onto the "personal" cloud share for the sake of convenience is quite high. 

Conclusion: We need to get the definitions of what is appropriate on the cloud shares (and mobile devices in general) and what abso-positively-lutely does NOT belong on these cloud shares but behind secure document management needs to be very clear.  My argument - the less grey area, the better.

My 2nd conclusion: Any solution created for this needs to be really easy to use.  My thinking - ideally it would be as easy (or even easier) to put mobile stuff in the secure area vs the "mobile-phone-OS-approved" cloud share.

Easier it is - less I need to do training on it - more likely the solution will be adopted.  Win for everyone!

3) My role in all this - voice of the end-user and lcd (lowest common denominator) tester for any processes that come out of this.  I am perfectly suited for this because a) I'm an application trainer and notorious for breaking things and b) because I suck at using my smart phone.

I got involved because I wanted to make sure my mobile strategy followed what the rest of IT was doing. 

Still doing that - but this other role promises to be a lot of fun.

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