Review of iPad in the Enterprise, by Nathan Clevenger

Disclosure: I received a  free review copy of this book to use in preparing for this post.

At every client these days, mobility is a big deal, whether because increasing numbers of employees are demanding that the enterprise support their personal smart phones and tablets or because the organization is looking to gain competitive advantage through the strategic use of mobility in its core business processes.

And although most of my clients have been enabling mobility since the advent of laptops, just about every one of those clients is in more or less uncharted territory when it comes to the new wave of mobility ushered in by smartphones and tablets. increasing numbers of employees are demanding that the enterprise support their personal smart phones and tablets or because the organization is looking to gain competitive advantage through the strategic use of mobility in its core business processes.

This makes a certain amount of sense: after all, laptops are essentially portable desktop computers, while smartphones and tablets are radically new form factors that demand a reimagination of the entire end user experience. On top of which, these devices are often consumer devices, owned by employees, that therefore exist outside the reach of IT control.

Given all the urgency and uncertainty around the enterprise use of mobile devices, iPad for the Enterprise is a welcome addition to the literature available on the topic.

Nathan Clevenger has been involved in the development of mobile strategies and applications for over a decade, and the book reflects it. He begins with a consideration of iPad strategy that’s a wonderful primer for anyone involved in mobility at their organization, from developers in the trenches to executive leadership.

It sets the stage through a consideration of how we reached the current state of mobility and introduces the concept of the consumerization of IT, i.e., IT changes being driven in a decentralized way by the “consumers” in the enterprise (the employees) rather than in a centralized way by IT.

From there, it moves to more practical considerations and presents an overview of how to build an enterprise mobile strategy and application roadmap. Both are somewhat general—it’s difficult to generalize meaningfully about either of these activities—but nonetheless useful, especially for folks who’ve never participated in creating enterprise strategy before.

With the groundwork in place, Clevenger moves through all the phases of iPad app development: architecture, design, development, and deployment. And while none of this is not intended as a detailed ho- to guide or instructional manual for app development, he manages to get in enough technical detail and code samples to make this a valuable first-stop for technical folks looking to better understand what’s happening under the hood of the iPad.

All in all, the book is a strong offering. Non-technical readers will benefit greatly not only from the first section on strategy, but also from the more technical sections, which they can read selectively to gain a better preliminary understanding of concepts like sandbox security or iOS Human Interface Guidelines. Technical readers will not be disappointed in Clevenger’s treatment of app development and will also benefit from a better understanding of the context and strategy of iPad app development.

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Oblique influence

I just finished a long section of Getting Health Reform Right about the role of regulation in health care that was, to say the least, eye-opening. And as usual, I want to leave aside discussions of health reform and talk more about the implications for leadership generally.

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Centrifugal and centripetal leadership

I’m reading The Innovator’s Prescription, Clayton M. Christensen’s excellent analysis of the health care problem facing the United States. It’s a long book (almost 500 pages), and I’m only 30 or so pages into it, but it’s already turned out to be quite thought-provoking.

One concept in particular caught my attention so far: the idea of decentralizing versus centralizing product development. Christensen introduces it to sketch out where he thinks disruptive innovations in the medical device industry will come from.

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Speaking of Leadership – David DeLuna (part 2)

David DeLuna has 25 years of full business and technology solution implementation experience. In his current role as director of account management at ProspX, he and his team serve as the primary point-of-contact for all customers and leads day-to-day account management and customer satisfaction. Prior to joining ProspX, David managed high visibility, highly complex strategic projects for Doculabs, a leader in strategic consulting and market research. Prior to that, David served as CIO at Allied Worldwide, a $2+ Billion leading global relocation, moving services and logistics company. In this capacity, he managed a $14 million budget and 90 professionals and was responsible for implementing a claims management system that saved the company $1 million annually. David has held management level positions at leading organizations such as BSG, Trident, PerSe Technologies and Moveline. David is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and holds a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications.

I sat down with David recently to talk with him about his time as CIO at Allied Van Lines, technology, and leadership. Part one of this interview was posted here.

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Putting one foot in front of the other (part 6)

In a previous post, I suggested some of the fundamental, structural changes I think IT will have to undergo in the next 10-15 years. And to me, these changes are not optional: organizations will have to make them; the only question is who will risk the difficulties and step up to lead them (and reap the substantial rewards)?

With that done, I’ve come back to Earth a bit to kick off a series of more modest posts that look at some of the baby steps IT needs to take to evolve into a truly strategic capability.

To me, once an IT leader adopts the correct orientation of her department as a strategic asset primarily focused on delivering business value (rather than IT capabilities), she has  a number of very tactical areas to address:

  1. Demand pipeline
  2. Structured requirements
  3. Developer-heavy staffing
  4. Agile methods/approaches
  5. Service catalog
  6. Portfolio management (including rationalization)

In this post, we’ll take a look at the last, portfolio management.

Continue reading

Speaking of Leadership – David DeLuna

David DeLuna has 25 years of full business and technology solution implementation experience. In his current role as director of account management at ProspX, he and his team serve as the primary point-of-contact for all customers and leads day-to-day account management and customer satisfaction. Prior to joining ProspX, David managed high visibility, highly complex strategic projects for Doculabs, a leader in strategic consulting and market research. Prior to that, David served as CIO at Allied Worldwide, a $2+ Billion leading global relocation, moving services and logistics company. In this capacity, he managed a $14 million budget and 90 professionals and was responsible for implementing a claims management system that saved the company $1 million annually. David has held management level positions at leading organizations such as BSG, Trident, PerSe Technologies and Moveline. David is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and holds a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications.

I sat down with David recently to talk with him about his time as CIO at Allied Van Lines, technology, and leadership.

Continue reading

Putting one foot in front of the other (part 5)

In a previous post, I suggested some of the fundamental, structural changes I think IT will have to undergo in the next 10-15 years. And to me, these changes are not optional: organizations will have to make them; the only question is who will risk the difficulties and step up to lead them (and reap the substantial rewards)?

With that done, I’ve come back to Earth a bit to kick off a series of more modest posts that look at some of the baby steps IT needs to take to evolve into a truly strategic capability.

To me, once an IT leader adopts the correct orientation of her department as a strategic asset primarily focused on delivering business value (rather than IT capabilities), she has  a number of very tactical areas to address:

  1. Demand pipeline
  2. Structured requirements
  3. Developer-heavy staffing
  4. Agile methods/approaches
  5. Service catalog
  6. Portfolio management (including rationalization)

In this post, we’ll take a look at the fifth, service catalog.

Continue reading