OK, so I can order a table at a restaurant and get a ticket on a plane and scan my boarding pass, blah blah blah. And it is not as though the technology does not exist, nor is it too expensive, to do great things. It is a failure of the will to greatness. Don’t even try to convince me otherwise. Well, please try. Has there ever been more corporate emphasis on hoarding cash, buying back stock, cutting IT budgets and forcing centralized project templates?
Greatness requires vision and commitment in equal measure, and what I observe is a commitment to bottom line costs and top line short-termism. We seem to be moving away from that classic product development grid developed long ago by the Boston Consulting Group that showed that, while we push the maturing product into market, and nurture the mature, we innovate new products for down the road.
Just look around you: why do the Technical Support departments from the companies whose products you own know so little about your devices? Why don’t they remotely troubleshoot your mobile gadgets, iPhones, tablets, set top boxes, remotes, automobiles? Why don’t they push videos to you that will solve your problems? Where is the proactive advice or business rule for you when you are in the pharmacy or at the mechanic or with a physician? Where is the targeted profile of your true account value when you are renting that car? Where is your grocery list as an App on your mobile device, and why does baggage handling not KNOW exactly where your luggage is?
And consumers / employees are doing their part. My company, for example, does not forbid the use of the iPad, but neither does it support it. Then why are several hundred detected on our network? When I was with a client two weeks ago, they showed me a report of 89 separate types of mobile device in the hands of their field service technicians. Why is that interesting? Because they support only four device types. Across the Globe employees and customers are way ahead of corporate IT – and this crowd rolls their (our) eyes at the glacial pace of innovation.
Wake up – this need be no dream: take small and meaningful bets on mobile. Where there is vision there is the chance for greatness. What does a CIO have to lose? Most stay in their jobs under five years anyway – might as well poke the status quo right in the eye.