Defining mobile strategy and architecture, selecting and managing devices, and maximizing the mobile Web are among the top issues enterprises will address in the coming years, according to Nick Jones, VP distinguished analyst, Gartner Consulting.
Jones presented the findings of a Q3 2007 survey of more than 200 European professionals during his keynote address at last month's Gartner Wireless & Mobile Summit in Chicago.
Jones advises enterprises to approach their mobile architecture in a series
The looming battle for enterprises will involve wireless unified communications, says Jones. "(UC) is becoming a high-priority issue for organizations where users are demanding presence-enabled business functions, integration between applications and the PBX, and mobile email/collaboration," says Jones in his report.
- Step 1: Rationalize tactical mobile solutions to remove duplication and inconsistency. Start the transition from tactical to strategic mobile architecture.
- Step 2: Implement multimodal and multi-channel application delivery
- to mobile and other platforms. Make device selection, security and management a part of the overall architecture.
- Step 3: Deploy communications-enabled architecture that supports applications that exploit vice, presence location, unified communications and collaboration.
- Step 4: Create context delivery architecture that is able to proactively deliver relevant information and services to support personalized services and react to "moments of need."
When it comes to device selection and management, Jones says "consumers are continuing to push the bounds of what defines an enterprise device. You can't say 'no' and shouldn't say 'no.'"
Instead, he advises enterprises to educate employees about the risks involved, monitor usage, set clear usage and support policies, and restrict devices and platforms to a manageable subset, such as Windows Mobile 6.
"Try to understand user motivations for wanting these services and look for a win-win result in which some level of usage is permitted in cases where the corporation also benefits," says Jones.
As for the mobile Web, Jones describes the current state of affairs as "mobile business 1.5," in which mobile Web applications offer a "degraded form of Web business," with simple applications such as Bluetooth proximity marketing.
By 2011, he predicts that "mobile business 2.0" will be substantially different from Web business, offering radical personalization, location-sensitivity, and innovative interactions such as expression recognition, voice control and "point to query."