Obviously this year I would like to blog more… much more! It becomes very difficult to do so in the midst of family life and work responsibilities. But what if I try and shorten my posts and not stress about them? What if some of my comments here are shorter than your typical blog post … but longer than the infamous 140 characters? I think it may be worth giving it the old college try.
You will of course vote with your clicks and if you don’t show up I get the message. This blog exists for a much more sinister reason than just receiving your clicks. It exists to pad my resume and give me an online presence in the mobile world. Not quite as a thinker… since there are smarter folks with much more time to do all the heavy lifting in that area. Hopefully this little corner of the blogosphere will leave a trail back to me. (Confusing I know)
So expect more posts. But many shorter ones as well.
May 2013 be full of joy, blessings and abundance… and all of it while mobile!
Having a coherent set of mobile policies as early as possible will help you prevent headaches for your IT staff and confusion for your end users. Like anything else they are note that involved or complicate … they just take time and will require you to take a step back and just think.
Let’s start with a simple definition of mobile policies.
Mobile Policies: A set of usage guidelines and procedures for both the organization and the end user to adhere to.
Nice and easy…
At a bare minimum, your mobile policies should include guidelines on the following:
- Device Ownership: Will you only allow corporate owned devices? Can an employee bring their own device?
- General Usage: Essentially the do’s & don’ts. What is allowed and what is not allowed on the devices. This will be slightly influenced by the Device Ownership question. This is pretty standard stuff that you can most likely just ‘port’ over from your general IT and behavioural, good citizen employee guidelines. If the device is corporate owned what can the employee use it for. Be reasonable.
- Corporate Processes: Many don’t include general procedures in their mobile policies, but if you are going to spend the time why not include the official processes for requesting a new device, an application or whatever else is related to the device.
A mobile policy should be in agreement with your already existing security policies. Be sure that the mobile policy is complimentary and not contradictory to what your security group already has in place.
You may think that this is an oversimplification… but in my short time in mobile (since 2006) I can tell you that many organizations do not have anything in place. If you have to start somewhere … you might as well start with simple.
In the Enterprise we tend to over-complicate even the simplest of things. A simple process becomes convoluted, onerous and even unmanageable once the enterprise bureaucracy takes over.
Let me give you three simple steps to guide your efforts towards building a strawman mobile strategy. Please note this is at the simplest level and there is much detail within each step… but for now this a good starting point:
- Business Alignment: Your mobile strategy should exist to enable (ie. help out) you larger corporate strategy. As such, your mobile strategy needs to be developed within the context of your enterprise vision and overall business objectives.
- Use Case Development: The first step to help you identify key areas where mobility could be most impactful. For example, if your business objectives include lowering costs through your supply chain then you will look at use cases in that area which you can explore and develop further. Spend the time understanding the users, their needs and the high level value of these use cases.
- Prioritize Based on Value and Impact: Once you have identified 5 – 10 – 15 use cases go ahead and prioritize them on their value, impact to the organization and implementation feasibility (technical and budgetary). This is step where you dig deeper on the value and costs of each use case since at some point after the use case you will have to get the money to do it.
What is missing here?
You probably noticed technology is barely mentioned here. I believe it is important (especially working for the company I work for)… however, technology should not drive this initiative. Instead, it should be part of the entire process as appropriate. For example, you don’t want to finish the exercise and realize you need to retrace your steps to determine the impacts of technology (architecture, systems, etc).
They go together… but technology does not drive the discussion (it informs it).
Remember this is about value and business outcomes! That is what mobility is all about.