At a recent Mobility conference there was a session on how Ford incorporates technology into their vehicles. Jim Buczkowski, Director of Electrical and Electronics Systems, at Ford Motors showcased that the car company breaks down in-car tech into three buckets: what is 1) Built in, 2) Brought in, and 3) Beamed in. As a frequent renter of their cars, I can readily see how thinking about these three aspects impact the driving experience. I love how easy it is to sync my iPhone with the car so I can use the built in voice activation to control the in car navigation, my phone as well as outside audio sources like Pandora. This three-part construct can is also helpful for I.T. when looking at enterprise mobility.
What are the apps and tools that end users must have to work in their roles? For apps and tools that are required for security and compliance purposes, a good distribution method is when users on-board their phones and tablets using Mobile Device Management tools. For items that are not required but are core to worker productivity, you can ensure delivery via an Corporate App Store experience. The advantage of an app store is distribution can be broken down by role. Sales teams get the apps and content relevant to them, HR and Support would get a different package. The point is to ensure that everyone has the same basic tools to level set against. BMC has a solution for both of the above scenarios, check out more on BMC MDM and BMC AppZone.
With the era of BYOD upon us, I.T. has focused on the device side of what the user is bringing to the workplace. Broad device support is important, but equally important is looking at what apps the users are bringing in along with their devices. These apps can serve as the basis for building a library of tools other team members can take advantage on. Look at apps tracked in your MDM tool and compare that with what gets downloaded on your internal app store. Are there any very popular apps that are brought in via outside sources? Are more people downloading and using Dropbox than your corporate approved content sharing tool. For these grass roots tools (one that are appropriate for your business), place copies of them on your app store so you can track their usage and manage updates and licenses.
The steady stream of data flowing into devices and often across your WiFi network isn’t just traffic to manage but a source of information about what your users want and need. Are your users downloading and streaming the same content, if so then find ways to host that inside your servers for easier and more efficient access. If lots of people are subscribing to a particular business related app (Wall Street Journal, CIO Magazine) purchase volume licenses and manage them in your app store. The content does not always have to be work related to provide value to your users and lighten the load on your infrastructure. If you notice people downloading FIFA app and streaming the World Cup to their phones during lunch hour, provide it on the big screen in the break room.
These are just a few examples of how to think of the broader implementation and impact mobility has on your businesses. Looking to other industries like automotive can provide a new perspective on how to get the most benefit from this transformation. Let us know what outside-the-I.T.-box areas you think might apply here.