An interesting tidbit that I heard at the Enterprise Mobility Exchange today really got me thinking. I was listening to Jeff Wallace, AVP with the Mobility Services Practice at Cognizant Solutions,  talk about the need for a strong professional approach to developing an Enterprise mobility strategy when he brought up a slide and said something that really struck a cord within my dot-com day memory bank. The slide had a picture of a kinda goofy looking guy with a tag line, and I’m paraphrasing here,Everybody knows an app guy, meaning that everyone in your company knows someone that has created a mobile app and that should be creating mobile apps for your company. Back in the dot-com days we used to have a saying “everyone’s brother-in-law is a web developer“, which we would shorten to the acronym of B-I-L (Bill). This became our universal tag line for perspective clients who would let us know that someone they knew could do the job faster, cheaper, etc. because they did it from home and had no overhead. We would simply end the meeting and let the staff know that Bill was getting the job and we wouldn’t be bidding on it any further. The truth here is that though someone may have created that great little game app over the weekend and made a few bucks on one of the marketplaces, doesn’t mean that they are ready to take on the development of a real business app for a real company.

The problem is that, today, many IT shops are still struggling with what to do from a mobility perspective and many business groups, especially in the marketing area, don’t want to wait for IT to catch up and start providing them with what they believe they need today. Until IT groups are ready to support the demand, business people are going to continue to go to their favorite person to create an app, leaving the corporate infrastructure at high risk for security, bandwidth overload and whatever else Bill might throw at it.

To mitigate this, IT groups need to embrace the fact that apps are going to be developed, security teams are going to have to understand that there are levels of access they need to allow (securely) and business teams are going to have to feel like they have the power to create what they want with the right tools. The best way to do this is by creating a sound Mobility policy that covers the core basics for mobile development. This includes:

  • Design guidelines
  • Security policies
  • Secure app management
  • Support policies
  • A guiding hand from IT

Your specific needs may be different, but if you implement these basics, then you can save yourself from many of the problems that Bill can leave you with as they will either say no way to the job, or really be someone who can do it and do it properly

* image credit FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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