I Need a Mobile Application Strategy

The last cover story I edited for CIO magazine, Elisabeth Horwitt’s “How to Craft a Mobile Application Strategy,” is online. The story outlines the key issues IT leaders need to consider as they plunge ahead with mobile apps, including whether future development will be on mobile platforms only (free registration is required). A sidebar covers coping with mobile security threats

As Horwitt notes, the calculation for many CIOs isn’t if they should develop mobile only applications, but when: there will come a time, for many if not all workers, that there’s no need for a desktop or laptop. Though I’m using a laptop right now, I’m writing in a cloud-based word-processing application. The only thing stopping me from finishing it on my iPad is that I don’t have the right peripherals to do it comfortably, like a proper dock. I would probably get over that, though, if I had to write while I was travelling.

I brought the iPad on a recent vacation, and it served as a pretty decent laptop replacement for personal use.  I kept up with email and social media, posted photos, got directions, looked up restaurants and museum exhibits, even bought tickets to a water park (though I did need to print them out to use them, the only time I really needed a desktop. Fortunately, the office manager for the cabin where we were staying obliged me).

With the right apps and infrastructure, I can imagine using a tablet for all my work, too. None of what I do is very computing intensive. And I don’t have lots of legacy applications or data that would be hard to migrate. I might, however, need to find alternatives to some of my applications, and at least a few don’t have the same functionality on the iPad. Changing platforms completely now would be a nuisance, and I don’t really want to spend the time on it.

On the other hand, I don’t really want to be forced into it, which I might be if this middle-aged laptop of mine kicks the bucket. Guess I need a migration strategy, too. What’s yours?

8 thoughts on “I Need a Mobile Application Strategy

  1. I know of a local winery that has a cash register app on their iPad. They don’t have an official “tasting room” but don’t need one. They set up a tent outside their home office on the edge of the vineyard. The iPad uses a WiFi connection to get online. They have a small magnetic card reader attached to the iPad. All inventory is entered into the iPad app. When a customer wants to purchase a bottle of vino they just swipe their card, it comes out of inventory and they never had to set foot inside an actual brick and mortar winery. This is the way all businesses need to start thinking.

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