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Chief Mobile Officer: A job title now timely?

Matt Hamblen | Feb. 15, 2012
The idea of a Chief Mobile Officer inside corporations isn't a new one. But as companies scramble to establish corporate mobile strategies, having a CMO could be a key to success, according to Forrester Research.

Part of the subsequent role of the task force would be to blend social, mobile and business analytics technologies to better connect workers, customers and partners. In one example, Forrester found that such a mobile architecture team at an unnamed airline refined a mobile seat selector app and saw volume explode from 50,000 to 5 million seat selections a month in the first three months.

Forrester also recommended that estimates for the costs of mobile projects be set higher. The average amount spent on a typical customer mobile app -- $50,000 to $150,000 -- turns out to be just 35% of the true two-year cost, Forrester said.

As a way of measuring the success of the task force and a CMO, Forrester said businesses need to measure more than just Return on Investment. Factors that will matter in the mobile age are how mobile services and apps are adopted, the activity volume with them, the percentage of completion of mobile projects, ratings from users and the social viral influence of the project.

"If an app is highly used and rated, then it's valuable," Forrester said. "If it's unused and dissed, then it's not."

The idea of creating a CMO within organizations has been around for years. Nearly two years ago, some critics of the idea said the recession would prevent organizations from adding someone with that title .

Maybe times have now changed?

Schadler admitted that having all this corporate mobile coordination done by a single chief mobility officer "is perhaps still a little far-fetched." But there has been progress toward the mobile task force idea within business IT groups.

"This is the second inning, maybe, in the mobile baseball game," he said. "Business understands it, but doesn't yet know what to do about it."


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