Altimeter’s Chris Silva: Empowering the Mobile Workforce
Tablets and smartphones are just part the equation when it comes to “mobilizing” the workforce. The other half? Choosing the right apps and other tools that can maximize their productivity, says Chris Silva, industry analyst at the Altimeter Group.
With the boom in BYOD programs, business managers (not IT bosses) are playing a bigger role in choosing the right apps and software. ”Once you’ve operationalized the tools and management capabilities [of a mobile program], IT should really be focusing on managing mobile as a best-practice, and letting the business people choose the best solution,” says Silva, who hosts a webinar Thursday, Sept. 27 — “Identifying and Empowering the Mobile Worker” — in which he’ll address the steps managers can take to get the most out of their mobile resources.
Right Apps for the Right Jobs
Which employees need what? Which apps are mission-critical, and which aren’t up to enterprise standards? That’s “the Dropbox problem,” as Silva calls it, referring to the rise of employees using unsanctioned apps for work. Finding the right mix means taking stock of which business units are going mobile first. Silva organizes them into three groups: Field staff and salespeople, tech workers and executives, and information workers.
Each group has its own needs: Field staff and salespeople are in constant collaboration, and require apps that let them collect, store, and share information on the go. IT staff and executives are more likely to actually ditch their desktop entirely in favor of mobile, which means settling on a set of computing apps and desktop virtualization tools. And finally, information workers — the largest group by far — typically “consume” information rather than produce it, and as such, have an entirely different set of mobile needs.
In July, Silva presented Part I of his research, which focused on back-end management issues facing companies going mobile. ”Security and management were Part I,” Silva says. “Part II is about the right things to make different groups of workers productive. So productivity is the big focus here.”