Being a Mobility Solution Designer I am often asked about how MSC can help improve the security of an organisation with a focus on the mobile fleet. Our standard answer runs the gamut of what any security conscious organisation would expect; a conversation about defence in depth for the mobile world and how we can enable that from many different aspects. Defence here focuses on the actual asset worth protecting, the organisation's data, ranging from both malicious attackers to the accidental security breach of a person just trying to do their job.
I find most management books written by so called ‘titans of industry’ to be largely a waste of time when it comes down to practicalities of running a business. Often these ‘best seller 2014’, ‘pure genius written by a brilliant leader’, ‘insert self-congratulatory awesomeness quote by your best friend here’ simply don’t address the brass tacks ‘what do I do on Monday’ challenges of running a start-up/mid-sized/fast-growing/constantly changing business.
Something terrifying has been happening for a while now and we only have ourselves to blame. A creeping cancer of shallowness has enveloped us and like frogs in a warming pot. We have been blissfully unaware, thinking that the pina colada could do with a little more zest but the water is just right. Nicholas Carr in his book, The Shallows, raises the alarm. The Internet is making us dumber as our ability to think deeply is eroded by our reliance on virtual memory in the form of cloud storage and wiki’s.
The pitches have fallen silent, the clean-up crew are sweeping out and the cocktails are finished, there goes another mobile world congress and it was... Ho hum. Nothing much new or innovative, nothing much exciting. Just like a visit to Vietnam… “same, same, different.” Everyone had a device on display, everyone talked up their IoT offerings or their mobile payments strategy but none differentiated from the pack. In reality however, the exhibition hall is the side show to the main game, creating new relationships, building on existing ones and doing deals.
Android has been one of the under performers in the enterprise, particularly in the Australian market. OEM’s and Carriers pile on bloatware that simply gets in the way of a smooth seamless user experience. This has been a bugbear of Google’s as it tries to manage it’s Android franchise which is largely fragmented across multiple OEM’s, however it is Samsung that is best placed currently to execute on the enterprise mobility space and displace Apple’s strength in this sector while Microsoft continues to get it’s house in order.
In the consulting game there are a lot of people that talk about strategy as though it is in itself the ultimate goal. I have also watched a lot of consultants purport to be strategists when in fact they are project managers that take the scope and then run the project to deliver on the strategic outcomes or as I prefer to put it, run the tactics.
With Mobile World Congress #MWC15 starting next week, all of the above will be on show with all the major and minor players posturing for the enterprise and consumer dollar. Digital disruption is the catch-phrase of the moment with established enterprises being pushed to transform or die. Although governments are moving to protect revenue streams by insulating legacy; slow, lazy, de-optimised industries are being massively disrupted. Examples include the taxi Industry with Uber, Hotels/Accomodation with AirBnB, and car dealers with Tesla.
As a consultant it is easy to get tied up in analysis and creating new tools to assist your clients. This often includes lots of internal conversations with people inside your own organisation, in your industry and with your partners. The MOST important conversation you can have however is with a client, existing or potential. As Aaron Levie CEO of Box put’s it;
“You'll learn more in a day talking to customers than a week of brainstorming, a month of watching competitors, or a year of market research."
A question I like to ask my technology clients when I consult with them is: “What is your marketing plan?” My question usually results in a look of confusion, after all, IT has a captive user audience, right? We don’t need to demonstrate unique value to our business teams – they have to use us? Perhaps in 2005 but not anymore. When external vendors leading value proposition is “we are not your internal IT team” every internal IT person should be concerned. Business units want to get to done as quickly as they can and often, right or wrong, IT is seen as the department of ‘no’ rather than the department of ‘let’s go’.
Mobile smart devices are disrupting the status quo across a number of industries in ways that incumbents have not fully appreciated or have not moved quickly enough to adjust their business models to withstand disruptive competitors leveraging mobility as a means to improve customer engagement, gain market share and/or improve operational excellence.