SmoothSpan Blog

For Executives, Entrepreneurs, and other Digerati who need to know about SaaS and Web 2.0.

CIO’s: Tablet or Smartphone?

Posted by Bob Warfield on January 5, 2011

The pundits are saying IT will need to support 3 mobile devices per user in 2011.  This week’s InfoBoom sponsored Blog post is all about how to think of your strategy for this disruptive trend.  For those that already have a desktop, a laptop, a smartphone, and a tablet, what have you learned about which ones you really use and need?

My iPhone was great and I used it constantly for the Smartphone features up until I got an iPad.  Now I suspect I’d be just as happy with a much dumber phone, because most of the time I use my iPhone for calls and the iPad for the “smart” features.

What about you?

3 Responses to “CIO’s: Tablet or Smartphone?”

  1. itorganization2017 said

    Why is it a given that CIO’s will have to support any “end user” devices? My CIO (if I had one!) would not be responsible for supporting my alarm clock, or television, and they are used for business purposes (e.g., getting me to work on time, participating in videoconferncing).

    It is time for CIO’s to get out of the personal computing support role. They need to provide a robust infrastructure, offer a reasonable set of clear and sensible standards for connecting devices, make known the expected employee behaviors (and come down really hard on those that don’t abide by those behaviors), and perhaps provide an annual allowance for technology (PC’s tablets, smart phones, etc.) and then leave the employee to take care of themselves.

    • smoothspan said

      “It is time for CIO’s to get out of the personal computing support role.”

      First thing is, what makes you think CIO’s were dragged kicking and screaming there versus deciding they wanted to take control? How much of their empire and turf is at risk if they lose that role? Are they willing to give it up?

      Second thing is, business provides computers and in a lot of cases phones. Enlightened businesses are just beginning to provide allowances complete with an outsource allowance to maintain the PC, but not too many do. Most require you to take the company standard for the computer to keep the support cost down, and expense the smartphone. The latter are dealing with the support burden of connecting the email, yada, yada. Guess what, it ain’t going away any time soon. When the top sales producer in a region tells the VP of Sales he didn’t get the memo because his smartphone didn’t talk to the corporate mail server, who is downhill from that rolling mass? Hint: nobody in sales, somebody in IT, and God help IT if the problem impacted revenue in any measurable way.

      Last thing is, IT is a service organization. If it can’t provide the service its customers desire, they go elsewhere. When the service organization loses customers, it loses budget. Guess how many CIO’s want to sign up for those economics?

      Cheers,

      BW

      PS Let’s not forget the great thumb drive panic of 2010. Between Wikileaks and Stuxnet, will IT organizations want more or less control of these devices that are connected to their information lifeblook? Bingo!

  2. itorganization2017 said

    I hear ya, but how can you control what is ultimately, uncontrollable? What CIO’s can control is the perimeter and the assets inside that perimeter. Personal devices should be outside the perimeter. IT, as a service organization, can die a painful death if it does not focus on higher value services, and get out of the lower value stuff. Most CIO’s are drowning in the day-to-day administrivia, while their business users are going around them, to cloud providers and consulting firms, to get the important stuff done that actually creates business value. I remember the days when IT organizations (we called them Data Processing, back then) had their programmers writing operating system and teleprocessing software. Thank heaven most of today’s IT shops are out of that business. It’s time they got out of the personal device support as well. IMHO!

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