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A matter of choice

A matter of choice

Four CIO management styles will emerge as consumerisation of technology takes hold in enterprises, says Gartner.

Consumerisation is now the primary driver of the mobile universe, and CIOs must be ready to embrace a range of more-flexible approaches to their mobile strategy, reports Gartner. The analyst firm expects at least four new mobile management styles to emerge as different groups of staff demand different approaches. “CIOs are facing mass-mobility, and it is expected to grow rapidly,” says Gartner research vice president Carolina Milanesi. The company predicts sales of smartphones will reach 461.5 million in 2011 and rise to 645 million in 2012. This year, sales of smartphones will overtake shipments of PCs (364 million). Combined sales of smartphones and tablets will be 44 percent larger than the PC market in 2011. More of these devices will find their way into enterprises as employees entering the organisation will expect to be allowed to use them. Gartner estimates 18 billion apps will be downloaded in 2011, up 114.5 percent from 2010 and will rise to 31 billion in 2012. Gartner says global businesses should be prepared to support at least three smartphone platforms by 2012, and some will expect to support four or even five. The decision will vary depending on the geography and whether the applications are business to employee (B2E) or business to consumer (B2C). “CIOs need to explore new ways to provide, fund, and manage mobile devices to allow employees more choice and support BYO programmes,” says Nick Jones, Gartner analyst. Gartner expects several new mobile management styles to emerge from this landscape, but the top four ones are: Control-oriented. The top consideration is to guarantee quality of service, security, support and cost. To assure functionality, service levels, performance and security, the organisation provides and strictly manages devices, contracts and applications. All aspects of the device and its applications are controlled and supported by corporate IT. Choice-oriented. The main goal is user satisfaction, typically in cases where users demand a greater choice of devices, but have relatively undemanding application and service needs. Undemanding needs are a necessary consequence of greater choice, because it's usually prohibitively expensive to support complex requirements on a wide range of platforms. User satisfaction cannot imply excessive risk, so the business won't abandon all management responsibility, but will exert lightweight control over devices and the service portfolio, often by limiting the range of services provided and choosing inherently safe architectures, such as a thin client. Such control tends to be more in the cloud than on the device, and support is typically much more limited than in the control-oriented regime. Innovation-oriented. The aim is to empower users who want substantial autonomy and are often in roles over which IT has little or no control. Users want to experiment with applications and services, and develop new techniques and processes. They are in charge, and no reasonable device, application or service request can be refused. The IT organisation won't abandon responsibility for critical issues such as data privacy and corporate risk; however, the controls will likely be more policy-oriented than technology-oriented. Typical users are independent, often technically sophisticated, and may not want support (even where it can be provided), but may accept advice and training. Hands-off. The goal is to take the minimum level of responsibility for mobile devices and services, typically by not providing them. This approach is not about avoiding responsibility, but finding approaches that mean it's not necessary to take responsibility. It includes concepts such as employee-owned devices and BYO IT. Typically, IT has little or no support responsibility for devices, and may relinquish responsibility for many services (for example, by requiring users to provide their own mobile e-mail or by adopting hosted services). Any controls that are necessary will be applied in the cloud, in applications or by policies.

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