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What Your Idea for a "Killer App" Might Actually Be Killing

by Dave Hannon

November 23, 2011

By Dave Hannon


Before those of you in the U.S. leave the office today and hit the highway on the worst day ever to hit the highway, you're probably going to want to check the traffic. And you'll pull out your mobile device of choice -- iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, etc. -- open up your favorite traffic app and check it out. Even if you don't have a traffic app (first tell me where you live so I can move to this magical place that has no traffic) you can download one in a minute and be on your way. Or not, depending on what the app says.

That's mobility. That's not ENTERPRISE mobility, it's mobility.

I raise the point because I hear from more and more IT organizations that consumer mobile apps are inspiring more enterprise users to rush down to their IT organizations and request new enterprise apps for their business units. And instead of improving the pace of mobility it may in fact be slowing the mobility projects underway.

Just because you can download an app in 53 seconds on your phone to help you navigate the drive home, it doesn't mean that your IT organization can develop an app in a day. Or a week. An enterprise mobility strategy involves a lot more than building a single standalone app.

According to this July study from IDC and Unisys, IT is being "overwhelmed" by consumerization trends, struggling to keep up with what their users are doing, never mind what they're asking for. As the study points out, there are a number of aspects to consider in an enterprise mobility strategy (security, resources, policies) that aren't required in a consumer scenario.

In fact, as the consumerization trend continues, more workers are using both consumer apps and enterprise apps on their personal devices, raising major security concerns in the IT organization. Viruses from Facebook or Twitter could affect enterprise systems in that situation. And nothing slows IT development like security concerns.

So if you're an end-user type reading this, please, think twice before harassing your IT department with what you think is the next latest and greatest mobile functionality.

Because your "killer app" might in fact be an "app killer."

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