The new year of 2013 has begun. Although almost two months have passed since the first day of 2013, for people in some East Asian countries, including Korea (where I live) and China, the Lunar New Year is the true start of the new year.
Every year we see new trends in the IT industry, and the hot issues of this year are mobile enterprise and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), which have been mentioned by many Chief Information Officers (CIOs) in almost every IT journal’s new year’s special feature articles. Mobile device shipments had already surpassed PC shipments in 2011, and according to recent news, 41 percent of commercial emails are now opened on mobile devices. Mobile is on pace to surpass PCs for emails by the end of 2013. This means we already have a mobile working environment, and employees in their 20s and 30s are more accustomed to working with smart devices than traditional PCs. In this year’s CES, Samsung Electronics has suggested that the era of the organic light-emitting diode (OLED) smart device with a flexible display that can be folded will arrive before long. Smart devices are evolving faster than traditional PCs and being adopted faster than expectation (four times faster than PCs), so CIO staffs are struggling to catch up with the speed of changes. There is a common understanding that we are now in another transition period in which the IT environment is being converted to a cloud/mobile environment after having gone through mainframe, client/server and web environments.
Windows-based devices are evolving to include a touchscreen to enable tablet and PC features, and people are arguing about whether smart devices can replace traditional Windows-based PCs completely. It is uncertain which device will be the final survivor, but Windows-based devices cannot be the only standard of IT services anymore. It is time for enterprises to start converting themselves into mobile enterprises by operating pilot projects, without any more delay.
Many agile enterprises have already expanded email, calendar and contacts features that used to be provided only by Blackberry to other operating systems, and have been transcoding more applications for smart devices. (If your enterprise is not doing at least this effort, you should start it right now!)
And yet, many employees want to be able to handle more work by way of smart devices—all of their work if possible. This means that the IT environment eventually should be converted into a mobile device–based environment. IBM (where I work) has prepared for this since the emergence of the iPhone and has been progressing to convert itself into mobile enterprise by stages and by regions.
Many IT solution providers, including IBM, already have the infrastructure to provide this kind of service, including mobile device management (MDM) and various security solutions, and have been providing extensive knowledge base documentation related to it. However, there is little documentation that provides resolutions of non-technical matters for the CIO, who is an investment decision maker. So in an upcoming series of posts on this blog I would like to discuss how to become a successful mobile enterprise from the CIO organization’s perspective, based on my own experience and investigation.
IBM is a huge company, still in the process of its conversion into a mobile enterprise; many projects remain under way. However, IBM has a clear roadmap until 2015, and numerous innovative applications are being developed at this moment. I’d like to provide useful information from IBM’s real cases, of which a considerable part is already materialized.
In Asia, the year of dragon (2012) is considered to bring change, whereas the year of snake (2013) is considered to bring prosperity. If last year was the starting point of change in the mobile enterprise, this year should be a stage of implementing stability and prosperity.
IBM has started the mobile enterprise business with Lotus Traveler (an email service product) and is now providing comprehensive services, from managed services to consulting services, including security consulting and various related products, such as application development solutions. Please contact your IBM sales representative if you have questions at any time.
Stay tuned to this blog for my upcoming series “How to be a successful mobile enterprise,” in which I will discuss:
- Developing mobile strategy/policy and educating employees
- Securing mobile devices and data
- Enabling mobile network infrastructure
- Enabling corporate email, contacts and calendar
- Developing a mobile application strategy
- Deploying and managing mobile applications
Tell me what you think. Leave your thoughts in the comments section or connect with me on Twitter @junggun_cho.