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A role for IT in a mobile world?

by Jack Santos  |  April 8, 2013  |  Comments Off on A role for IT in a mobile world?

This is an interesting analysis of the potential impact of Facebook Home:

I think the subplot is whether consumers will value order and harmony over chaos and choice. IT can have a big say in influencing consumer choice to  “order and harmony”, especially if confusion reigns.

Either way, this kind of fragmentation can’t last for long (say 5 years?) and 2-3 leaders will emerge.  Apple already has one of those slots…after all, they have won the “order and harmony” crown when it comes to mobile app ecosystems.

I would disagree that consumers care less about fragmentation – gearheads call it that, consumers call it confusion and differences in how phones are used. We (I’m a consumer, too!) want something that works, and a choice that follows the herd with easy to share experiences.

Facebook phone, Samsung, Microsoft, Blackberry, are presenting all of us with a dizzying array of choices, and confusion on which one to choose, and how we work (especially when trying to convey a shared experience with others), what we can get on what device with what OS. This can’t last long…look at what happened with PCs – remember Amiga OS (which made a brief business push), all the variations of Unix, Windows, Os2, Be, yes even Wang OS, not to mention the proprietary hardware innovations (MicroChannel – where are you now?) – to name a few? Eventually it will get down to 2 or 3 (that’s how markets work) until there is a new disruptive innovation.

In my social circles I hear lots of frustration over UI and choice. And everyone is looking for advice. With mobile work usage in a personal setting (because of BYO) becoming a huge selection factor, IT is in a position where it could influence decisions, and influence the coming market fallout.

The fact is the market will fallout..the real question about IT’s role in a mobile world is how can IT influence that fallout.

It could be that the API and OS issues are becoming less of an issue for IT – they are doing more buying, less building, and if they follow our advice will follow a web-based HTML5 (not native) delivery regimen for the most part… but IT will be worried about whether key vendors can support all the choices, and which partner/vendor is in a better position to survive, and who in the mobile OS world has market share – all issues where the consumer would value IT’s advice, if delivered as advice and not “thou shalts…”

So in the end, IT’s role in a mobile world could be more about HOW we (IT) do what we do – not the technical comparisons, or the whats.

Those are just the kind of topics we’ll talk about at this year’s Catalyst conference in San Diego on July 29.


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Category: innovation  it-governance  management  managment  mobility  nexus  social-media  work-place  

Tags: consumerization  it-relevance  management  mobility  

Jack Santos
Research VP
7 years at Gartner
40 years IT industry

Jack Santos is a Research Vice President with Gartner, part of the Enterprise Architecture and Technology Innovation team within the Gartner for IT Leaders product. He focuses on enterprise architecture and technology trends. Mr. Santos' specific area of research covers individual development, leadership and management practices for enterprise architects, EA innovation, and collaboration approaches. Read Full Bio

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