As a former Principal Analyst with Forrester Research, I have an inside perspective on how rare it is that analyst firms agree on big ideas. But the stars have aligned when it comes to CIO responses to the demand for bring your own device (BYOD) programs and transformative application experiences.
Gartner Research Director Darryl Carlton explains:
“The community of users has expanded to include suppliers, customers, employees and a very broad range of stakeholders. We are no longer developing applications for deployment to an exclusive user base over which we exert standards and control.”
Forrester Vice President and Principal Analyst Ted Schadler agrees:
“The mobile mind shift that people are experiencing at home – to expect everything on a mobile device – drives their mobile expectations at work as well. IT is slow to respond with mobile business apps, so employees plug the “app gap” on their own. Some bring in productivity apps like Dropbox or Evernote, and others focus on process apps like Smartsheet or TripIt.”
Creating an effective BYOD program has massive ramifications throughout IT organizations. So what are the key takeaways for four enterprise roles?
CIOs must establish a chief mobility officer and a supporting mobile architecture team.
The position of the chief mobility officer must create an architecture team to manage mobile investments. CIOs should look across their entire business to find energetic and experienced people to support the new mobile architecture team. Some members may be permanent, while others may rotate every 6 to 12 months. The team will bring together a diverse collection of skills, including experience design, financial planning, policy development, program management, supplier oversight, platform development and, of course, QA and testing.
Business leaders must understand the scope of mobility projects underway.
Business leaders must engage more effectively with their IT organizations before determining investment priorities. The first step is to take an inventory of the mobile business and technology projects in flight: what they are, who owns them, how they’re funded, whom they serve and which internal and external systems they touch.
Developers must operate under a “design for mobile first” mantra.
Mobile apps demand a rapid response to business requirements and feedback. As such, mobile product owners set the schedule and the pace of improvement, often weekly for HTML5 and quarterly for native apps Agile or other fast-moving processes. FedEx moved from waterfall to Agile in order to build its mobile package status notification app. The result: Cycle time shrank from 1.5 years to 3 months.
QA and testers must re-think testing and app quality entirely.
Apps are everywhere and on every device, from smartphones, tablets and PCs to fridges, TVs and cars. Apps have changed the way we consume content, conduct commerce and connect with companies – and each other. Testing and technical leaders responsible for app development, testing, deployment and analytics must adapt to this new reality.