The ultimate guide to mobile strategies that work

Businesses are finally waking up to the fact that tablets and smartphones are good for the bottom line

Go to any of the dozens of conferences on mobile technology, networking, IT management, and related topics, and you'll be assaulted with security fears brought on by employee adoption of smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. For several years, control issues have been the major IT focus.

Meanwhile, users and business departments are focused on a more important task: Doing their jobs better and increasing the success of their business. Mobile devices are a tool for such improvement, or they should be, and only now are IT organizations beginning to realize there's a reason the business is using these devices despite the security fearmongering.

[ Bob Violino and Robert Scheier show how businesses today are successfully taking advantage of mobile tech, in InfoWorld's Mobile Enablement Digital Spotlight PDF special report. | Keep up on key mobile developments and insights with the Mobilize newsletter. ]

Security is important, but it's not the end all, be all of IT. It turns out that mobile devices are much safer and less susceptible to attack than the workhorse user technology, the Windows PC. If security is that important, then IT should be replacing PCs with iPads.

Admittedly, that's not really possible. PCs can handle many important duties a tablet cannot, but mobile devices are becoming important in many business endeavors, sometimes instead of PCs but more often as a companion.

Mobile devices are essentially PCs running new operating systems. They share a common technology layer: Internet browsing and the email/contacts/calendar combo best represented by Microsoft Exchange. They run office productivity tools that do what most users need to do. And they have all sorts of uses in the field that are awkward to do on a computer, which is why they are quickly displacing PCs in hospital wards, client sales visits, logistics such as delivery, and other field services, from hospitality to retail checkout.

Mobile devices are different in both form and function, so they often puzzle IT departments used to a legacy environment and the tools and processes designed for that environment. By contrast, those organizations that view mobile constructively are seeing real competitive value as a result, just like those companies who viewed PCs in the 1980s and the Internet in the 1990s as a new platform to do more and better things.

It's time to reframe IT's approach to mobile from "how do we lock them down or isolate them?" to "how do we take advantage of them while ensuring they do no harm?" In InfoWorld's Mobile Enablement Digital Spotlight PDF special report, veteran technology journalists Bob Violino and Robert Scheier show how large companies are benefiting today from this mental transition. You'll learn about some of the new enabling technologies that help make this possible and some of the opportunities mobile brings that the PC-only environment doesn't, along with compelling case studies of those pioneers who point the way for others.

I strongly suggest you download and read it.

This article, "The ultimate guide to mobile strategies that work," was originally published at Read more of Galen Gruman's Mobile Edge blog and follow the latest developments in mobile technology at Follow Galen's mobile musings on Twitter at MobileGalen. For the latest business technology news, follow on Twitter.