Consumerization is now the primary driver of the mobile universe, and CIOs must be ready to embrace a range of more-flexible approaches to their mobile strategy, according to Gartner, Inc. At least four new mobile management styles will emerge as leaders because different groups of staff will demand different approaches.
Consumerization, app stores and mobile ecosystems are causing a proliferation of new applications and services in the enterprise. Employees increasingly seek to take full advantage of better browsers and innovative applications from app stores. Gartner estimates that 18 billion apps will be downloaded in 2011, up 114.5 percent from 2010 and will rise to 31 billion in 2012.
This array of mobile devices and applications leads to changes in society. Employees are behaving more like consumers, demanding a wider choice of devices, exploiting consumer devices and applications from app stores, and adopting new strategies such as ‘bring your own’ (BYO) IT, where employees use personally-owned tablets and smartphones for work. As a result, the distinctions between a person's role as an employee and as a consumer are more blurred than ever.
Gartner expects several new mobile management styles to include:
Control-oriented. The primary consideration is to guarantee quality of service, security, support and cost. To assure functionality, service levels, performance and security, the organization provides and strictly manages devices, contracts and applications. All aspects of the device and its applications are controlled and supported by corporate IT.
Choice-oriented. The primary goal is user satisfaction, typically in cases where users demand a greater choice of devices, but have relatively undemanding application and service needs. Undemanding needs are a necessary consequence of greater choice, because it's usually prohibitively expensive to support complex requirements on a wide range of platforms. User satisfaction cannot imply excessive risk, so the business won't abandon all management responsibility, but will exert lightweight control over devices and the service portfolio, often by limiting the range of services provided and choosing inherently safe architectures, such as a thin client. Such control tends to be more in the cloud than on the device, and support is typically much more limited than in the control-oriented regime.
Innovation-oriented. The goal is to empower users who want substantial autonomy and are often in roles over which IT has little or no control. Users want to experiment with applications and services, and develop new techniques and processes. They are in charge, and no reasonable device, application or service request can be refused. The IT organization won't abandon responsibility for critical issues such as data privacy and corporate risk; however, the controls will likely be more policy-oriented than technology-oriented. Typical users are independent, often technically sophisticated, and may not want support (even where it can be provided), but may accept advice and training.
Hands-off. The goal is to take the minimum level of responsibility for mobile devices and services, typically by not providing them. This regime is not about avoiding responsibility, but finding approaches that mean it's not necessary to take responsibility. It includes concepts such as employee-owned devices and BYO IT. Typically, IT has little or no support responsibility for devices, and may relinquish responsibility for many services (for example, by requiring users to provide their own mobile e-mail or by adopting hosted services). Any controls that are necessary will be applied in the cloud, in applications or by policies.
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