11/30/11

Infrastructure Goes Mobile

Infrastructure Series (Part 13)


When I think of all of the science fiction that I have seen, there were elements of the mobile world that we live in from the personal communicators and data warehouses available on StarTrek to the video communications employed by the Jetsons. Science fiction often offers insight to the future, as it is the dream for opportunity, functionality and streamlining business and life. Thinking back through everything I have read or seen, I do not think that the writers really thought about how it was going to impact the infrastructure of business or what would be required to make the transitions necessary. It is kind of like raising kids, no manual, lots of advice, experts everywhere and lots to buy to help you in the process.


This was really brought to mind with Google’s tool to help companies assess how mobile friendly their web site is. You can go to GoMo and test any URL to find some basic information on how mobile friendly the site is currently. What is most interesting is that they will eliminate sites from smart phone browser searches that are not mobile friendly. This could have significant impact for many sites that have been developed primarily with desktop tools. This is just one example of an impact that has cost, time, effort and accessibility issues to companies.

Not only must the websites be able to communicate with different devices, but most back office and communications functions require mobile access. Most companies can now interface via the Internet with vendors, staff, banking and governmental regulation and taxing authorities. The infrastructure changes are far reaching with security and compliance issues related to communicated and shared data to archived information.

The cost was not in the budget for most companies, the internal expertise was not readily available and the transition plans were not in place when the maelstrom of requirements and competitive initiatives really began to build.

The end result is that this is a change in not only the infrastructure of the company but also the dynamics of the company’s operations and in many cases decisions for future viability. It is also a change that has really become a line of demarcation for many management and leadership teams, between those unwilling to leave a comfort zone in the way that they are used to working and those who are eager to dump anything old and go full steam ahead with the new without considerations of transition.

As you build and review your business plans, is there a budget for running dual systems during transition, the training that will be necessary and the management of a process to ensure that you do not convert that which will not be needed and prioritize any systems, tools and marketing items that will be immediately impacted and may also offer opportunities with the new infrastructure. You have a lot of dots out there and now need to connect them into a workable format that you can integrate to your company.

Mobile accessibility is not going away. Devices may change and utility morph but the reality is that business will never again be chained to a location.

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