Mobile communication can become a tangle of misunderstandings and misplaced expectations. This leads to big headaches for CIOs and vendors alike.
At last week’s AIIA Canberra Managers’ Forum, Gartner’s Research Director for Mobile and Wireless, Robin Simpson, presented a systematic approach to untangle competing technologies and user expectations.
His approach defines sets of work styles, business system needs and location requirements. These can be mapped against various job roles. The objective is to synthesize this map into a small number of clusters of similar requirements. Each of these clusters can then be used in specifying particular technology requirements when going to the market to purchase new equipment.
He also recommends using these clusters to set up a three tier system support profile that can be written into Service Level Agreements:
- Trusted devices receive the highest level of support and would be the preferred platform for any new corporate applications. Most clusters of requirements should fall into this category.
- Tolerated devices are limited to named safe interactions with corporate infrastructure. They are only supported on a best efforts basis.
- Despised devices are uncontrolled, unmanaged and unsupported. They can be used in standalone mode only but are not permitted to be connected to any critical infrastructure.
Simpson recommends that any chosen technologies should have a payback period of less than two years, since generational change can reasonably be expected beyond that period.