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Round Up: August 2016

By August 30, 2016 No Comments

Redbit Round Ups are published once a month and feature summaries and opinions on a few handpicked articles that caught our eye in the areas enterprise digitization, mobile technology, augmented reality, tech entrepreneurship and the Internet of Things.

This RedBit Round Up asks about policies supporting the mobile workforce and the changing role of the IT department in the new digital enterprise.

‘Bring Your Own’ Policies and Meeting Employees’ Mobile Needs

In 2016, 65% of the U.S. workforce will be mobile. By 2021, that number will be 72%. What defines a mobile worker? Well IDC defines mobile workers as “employees who use mobile devices in their work”. To me, a ‘mobile device’ can be a Microsoft Surface, Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet but can also include new mobile devices like Microsoft HoloLens, which is completely untethered.

Recently, Business Insider released The Enterprise App Report – Bring Your Own Policies, The Shift to Enterprise Apps and How companies are Adopting to Meet Employees’ Mobile Needs giving an overview of some of the trends happening in the enterprise.

Some key points   

  1.      69% of managers said mobility will change the enterprise in the next 10 years the way the web changed the enterprise in the last 20.
  2.      Enterprises are giving employees the opportunity to ‘bring their own device’ and have more freedom over device choices.
  3.      Employees are bringing their own apps: For example deploying DropBox or Box.com within a small group to share corporate files because companies are slow to adapt or have systems that are too hard to use.
  4.      37% of companies have already created their own mobile enterprise apps either in-house or using a partner.

So, what does this mean to you as a CIO or IT leader? It means your organization needs to be ready to support multiple devices and be ready to support third party apps. As a leader, you will also have to take into account security policies within your company (or implement one if you don’t have one) to keep corporate data safe.

If you build internal productivity or line of business apps (LOB) you need to think mobile first and adopt technologies that allow you to target multiple mobile platforms, like Xamarin. Employees want to use what they are comfortable and familiar with and companies have to be ready.

Your employees expect to be mobile and to attract new talent to your organization, you have to be able to provide a flexible technology environment. Employees are your customers too and it’s customer first, as well as mobile first.

Read the full article here.

Analysing the Chief Digital Officer and the Rise of the Digital Enterprise

I remember back when I started my career and co-op terms, working in IT departments, we would have projects that would last longer than my actual co-op term and in some cases would last years. With my short attention span that didn’t last long for me!

Fast forward 16 years later and those days are now gone, or at least they should be! If enterprise IT groups are still doing multiyear projects, they will effectively be overtaken by existing competitors who are more agile or new competitors into the market who are smaller and can move quicker.  Of course, some projects do take a long time and software is never truly done, but you have to release your enterprise software often and adopt a culture where it’s ‘Customer First’.

Quinton Wall gives some pointers in Analysing the Chief Digital Office and The Rise of the Digitial Enterprise and some good stats

  • IT needs to shift to driving digital innovation, rather than investing time, money, and personnel on activities which do not differentiate the company.
  • 68% of IT teams say their enterprises have experienced growth in mobile apps, cloud migration, and cybersecurity.
  • 63% and 62%, respectively, have plans in place to increase customer and employee apps.
  • 60% of enterprises now employ a Chief Digital Officer (CDO).

One point Quinton makes is, it’s not just about apps which I 100% agree with. It’s transforming your IT department to be more agile and have a continuous feedback loop from the end customer. Who is that end customer? The end customer can be internal employees, vendors, partners, or external customers who pay you money. A customer may need to integrate into your environment in some fashion and you need to give them the ability to integrate. That could mean giving them an ‘app’ for iOS, Android or Windows, or that could mean giving them secure access via a standard based REST API.

The transformation of IT also includes adopting cloud technologies, whether that be Amazon, Microsoft, Google, or IBM. You should no longer have to submit a ‘purchase requisition’ for a large server box that needs to be setup which could take weeks or months depending on if ‘IT has time’. You should be able to just go to your cloud vendor of choice, type in your credit card, give access to your dev team and have them spin up a ‘dev environment’ to get started. At the same time the infrastructure and security group should start figuring out the logistics of what is required to run what the dev team is building.

That leads into DevOps and a ‘DevOps Culture’. Gone are the days that you have a certain business group say to IT “we need X” and IT goes off to a room and comes back six months later and gives the business group “Y”. Once dev is done, even if the dev group does deliver “Y” when “X” was asked for, they throw it over to IT to get it up and running.

There should be no more isolation of groups, the entire company should be involved throughout the entire development process from stakeholders to testers, QA, developers, infrastructure/operational folks, business group leads and the end customer. Once ‘Version 1’ is ready, gather feedback from customers and repeat the cycle.

This is not a small task but needs to be done by all enterprises, if they don’t achieve this the company will be eliminated. Remember this great quote from Will Rogers, “Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there”. If your enterprise is a leader don’t become complacent, or you will find yourself run over by your competitors.

Read the full article here.

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