3 things IT gets wrong with mobile technology

IT’s relationship with mobile technology is often told as a valiant battle to keep systems secure against mobile threats. But that’s not how IT pros would like things to be. 

If CIOs had their way, mobile technology would be used to improve businesses, not just allow users to work using their phones or tablets according to a recent survey by Mobile Helix.

The research found that 86% of respondents aren’t using mobile to change their businesses or open new revenue streams. And while 87% said their employees would benefit from increased access to mobile applications:

  • 72% said it would be too costly, and
  • 66% indicated it would be too complex.

More than just security

Clearly, IT pros wish they could do more with mobile. But the trappings of an old way of thinking – working only to make devices that come onto your networks more secure rather than more useful – could be holding them back.

Security will still be paramount, no matter what. But try to avoid these mistakes many IT pros make with mobile technology:

1. Treating mobile devices like computers

Too often companies strive to make mobile  applications look, feel and function like their desktop counterparts.

At the very least mobile devices should be able to allow access to business apps. But their unique features could make them much more valuable. Geolocation, connectivity and easy sharing could all transform the way organizations do business – if users are able to use these features to their advantage.

When building or buying mobile apps, ask yourself (and your vendors): Is this an opportunity to do more than we are already?

2. Focusing on IT’s needs instead of users’

Starting with the customer in mind is essential to business. For IT, that means addressing users’ needs, not what the organization thinks they need.

Talk to your employees throughout the process. Have them explain to you what they want mobile to help with before you start a program, what’s troubling them when you’re in the middle of it and how things are going well after it’s implemented.

No one is in a better position to make suggestions and judge successes than your users.

3. Fighting mobile

You may not have to start supporting mobile today. It might not come tomorrow. But make no mistake, sometime soon you’ll have to start dealing with an influx of tablets and smartphone users.

The option essentially boils down to dealing with it when it comes your way or getting ahead of the curve by setting up rules and policies on how to use mobile, rather than “if.” Being proactive  rather than reactive is the best way to avoid the unpleasant conversation when a higher up asks “Why can’t I use my iPhone to do this?”

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