Enterprise mobility briefing in Montreal, Canada

Last week, I was in Montreal, Canada for a customer briefing on enterprise mobility focusing on smartphones and tablets.  The briefing went extremely well and since I deliver these briefings regularly, I wanted to share a few common themes:

  • Don't try to boil the ocean.  While there is a temptation to try to leverage smartphones and tablets for all enterprise applications and ditch the PC/Mac entirely, it's best to start small and set attainable, short term goals (e.g. e-mail, contacts and calendar access for starters).  While some claim we're in the post PC/Mac era, I still need mine to create content (e.g. documents, spreadsheets, presentations).  In addition, a new iPad out of the box still needs a PC/Mac to be activated, update the OS and and to sync files and media (via a USB cord no less!)
  • Embrace the consumerization of IT.  More and more employees have personally owned smartphones and tablets and will use them for business purposes without or without permission.  This has the potential of putting enterprise data at risk.  I recommended that enterprises establish a policy for the use of personally-owned devices and put IT controls in place to reduce risk.
  • Security is a big concern.  Security of smartphones and tablets is a big concern for many enterprises but it can be challenging to define a policy let alone implement one.  I make extensive use of IBM's internal deployment of smartphones and tablets which we freely share with customers on how we approached the problem and our solution to start the discussion with the customer. 
  • Walk the talk.  If you're giving a presentation on mobility in the enterprise, use what you preach.  For me, that means delivering my presentation from a mobile device (e.g. iPad).  See my previous blog post on approaches

In addition to the "business" aspects of the briefing, I have a few comments from a business travel perspective.  I've been using a Samsonite garment bag for business travel for the better part of 17 years with good success.  However, it's heavy, cumbersome and too big for the overhead compartment (yet I always manage to cram it in).  I've used my Olympia Rolling Computer Tote a few times for short trips but it's far too small.   I decided to purchase a Ricardo Beverly Hills Dart 20" spinner hardside carry on  ($49.99 on sale from eBags) and I'm thrilled I did.  This bag is awesome.  The spinner feature (four wheels) makes it easy to wheel around, especially when waiting in line (e.g. customs, airport security etc.).  The bag has plenty of pockets to keep my things organized, is roomy, fits easily in the overhead compartment and meets the airline's size regulations.  My next trip is to Orlando, Florida from May 3-5 to attend BlackBerry World and I'll looking forward to using my new bag again.  I got a new BlackBerry PlayBook tablet yesterday and I'll reviewing it soon on this blog.