Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Enterprise Mobile is (Almost) a Ghetto

You'd think that natural selection would move faster than it actually does in practice, especially in the business world where margins can be razor-thin. You'd think that companies would be scrambling to upgrade their processes to maintain an edge, but you'd generally find that to be wrong. As someone who worked in several very large enterprise technology environments, I can tell you that even multi-billion dollar outfits are often shown up by their smaller rivals in outstanding fashion. While many mid-sized business were transitioning to mobile in the last 5 years, enterprise has tackled mobile technology adoption as they always have: in fits and starts.

We Shrink from Change

When I worked for a very very large oil company that shall not be herein named (maybe as a contractor, wouldn't you like to know), they were horrifyingly behind the adoption curve. Data entry people handled work-order entry, time sheets were often hand-entered in the plants, and the latest and greatest technology we had onboard was at least 5 years old (we were so proud of that old jalopy). I led one effort to migrate some inspection operations into a mobile workflow... and despite the fact that the goals of the company CLEARLY STATED that migrating to mobile was a TOP PRIORITY for the year I was working on the project, relatively few people were interested in taking on the risk of implementing a new system... and this was in an organization that prided itself in hiring entrepreneurial risk-takers. While many companies pay lip-services to this idea, the company I have in mind was hardcore on this. 

Worth Fighting Over

A friend, Aaron Francis of Mantis Time Tracking fame, (Mantis is a mobile time-tracking app that your company really needs to be using right now), bemoans the same problem. He relates a story of an enterprise firm torn in two by its managers who are so tentative in migrating to new technologies that they had a knockdown drag-out fight in front of them during their sales meeting. "We were shocked, my brother and I looked at each-other like 'What do we do now?' as the argument raged" Raged, in fact, over migrating from an ill fated and underperforming paper/pencil process to a web-app that would save that business so much money, its ridiculous.

Summon the Heroes

What typically happens in large companies when decisions are actually made to move forward with adopting new technologies is that very expensive consultants are brought in to help the migration process. This is normally due to the nature of the products they pick. No one gets fired for choosing IBM, but maybe that should change. This is because departments are afraid of looking bad, of missing targets, slipping schedules (at private companies too)... so they'd rather spend a lot of the business' money salving their fears. You can spend a lot less money salving fears than is typically tossed around on these projects by any mid-grade enterprise. 

Companies like to buy Gartner Magic-Quadrant solutions from expensive companies, because the white-paper says they're the best, and it is very much akin to buying an IBM solution. Where real money is saved is in avoiding enterprise bloatware and solving a problem with a simple, highly specialized SaaS solutions. Here's where I plug Mantis again: Aaron and his small team can run circles around the ROI of any Gartner Hocus Pocus company with overhead out the wazoo. But, we like to cower in fear and choose the expensive way, because that's what our C-level bosses would love: less profit...right? 

This post is sponsored by: my years of integrating complex enterprise bloatware into simple processes, and love for a friend who is building a business to help very scared corporate IT people solve pesky problems. You go Aaron!


  1. I Want to learn how do develop iOS applications? Are you offering any course.
    - Amna
    Software Developers Toronto

  2. Thank you for sharing this information.Excellently written article, if only all bloggers offered the same level of content as you, the internet would be a much better place. Password Generator

  3. Thank you so much for this useful information. looking more from your side to update us on more updates and advancements.
    Best software development company in Toronto

    Mobile App development company in Toronto

  4. The team possesses the technical expertise and web designers Bay Area creativity to create high-quality products.

  5. Their passion for the work was clear. Their efforts contributed to the app’s high retention rates.
    design and branding agencies

  6. The new website attracted valuable customers and conveyed a fresh, edgy image for the brand
    top app design consultancies

  7. The expert team took on all challenges in a professional manner
    branding design agency

  8. They turned my wireframes into a functional application that fit my budget.
    best UI UX design

  9. Your articles are very well written and unique.
    top company logo

  10. Nice written!! I have been a big fan of your blogs. thanks
    company designing logo

  11. The blog is good enough, keep up writing such type of posts.
    professional website design agency

  12. You have really selected the suitable topic; this is one of my favorite blogs.
    web design company

  13. It's not my very first time to visit this blog; I’m visiting this daily and acquire superb info from here day by day.
    top UX designers

  14. I'd like to take the power of thanking you for that specialized guidance I've constantly enjoyed viewing your blog.
    digital design agencies

  15. Although I read a lot, reading your articles and profiles has been helpful to me. Your work is much appreciated. I hope you continue to provide us with such useful information. It provides more information about the profile Spacebar Counter. Please take Spacebar Click Test and let me know what you think.


A Thousand Tiny Steps

One day, for good or ill, you may look up to find yourself in an altogether unexpected place. And in that moment, you might consider how you...