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Enterprise IT now competing with apps stores, mobile devices

Lucas Mearian | Oct. 11, 2012
Enterprises will either embrace a mobile device strategy that allows workers to do their job securely, or those workers will do an end-run around IT staffers, according to experts at a consumerization-of-IT conference.

"So, step one is at least be able to connect to it so you can do what you need to do. And then step two is be able to work your way off that platform...," he said. "I don't think VDI is the way to work your way off that platform."

Another issue Festo must handle is peripherals - which projectors, bar code scanners and external monitors will work with the tablet. Employees own more than one mobile device and not all of them work with the same peripherals.

"One of our biggest things we're targeting right now is voice over IP and video-conferencing capabilities," he said. "Let's say I have everything stored in the VDI. Fine. But what if I want to use the video capabilities for it. Is it going to use the one in my camera or is it going to try to connect to the thin client? I don't want to carry around separate devices."

Hinchliffe noted that there are now more than 400 social networks with one million or more users each. So the need for internal social networks to open up corporate communication and employee collaboration should be a top priority.

For example, Hinchliffe pointed to British clothier Burberry and its CEO, Angela Ahrendts, who recently said her company's supply chain was aging and inadequate. Burberry is now embracing social networking to connect the supply chain, drive sales and build the brand. The company has received millions of hits on its Art of the Trench social networking site.

"She said, 'We'll be fundamentally a social networking business. We'll connect the customer and suppliers together," Hinchliffe said. "They've seen a 21% increase to their bottom line."

Another major issue corporations face is the inability for workers to find information vital to do their jobs. Instead, legacy backend systems often silo corporate data. And in an age where a Google Search can sometimes produce inane information, users want an easy conduit to corporate information in the form of a simple and effective internal search engine.

From 80% to 90% of corporate information is not accessible because employees don't know where it is -- or if they do know where it is, they don't have authorization to access it, Hinchliffe said.

That's where big data and map reduce technologies such as Hadoop come in. They can be used to categorize data into usable information that can be accessed with simple search technology.

For Long Island University, embracing mobile apps and easy access to data meant deploying 16,000 iPads to students over the past two years. The University plans to deply another 4,000 iPads before next fall.

George Baroudi, CIO and chief business process improvement officer of Long Island University, said he sees student iPads in the same vein as banks that gave out toasters in the 1980s for opening a certificate of deposit.


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