What about a chief mobility officer?
Rinaldi, who is system architect for service management and mobility at ThyssenKrupp, works on innovations for 15,000 workers and sees the need for companies to have corporate chief mobility officers or positions like his. "There needs to be more focus on what is the next best thing in wireless, from a productivity standpoint," he said. "There's a need for a knowledge position that has the forward-thinking to manage change, whether it's a CMO or a group. "
IT leaders and analysts interviewed for this article are divided as to whether organizations need chief mobility officers.
"I don't think organizations want to add more management layers like a CMO [in these] economic times, but mobility needs to be an adjective on every IT noun today," said Ken Dulaney, an analyst at Gartner. "Every part of the IT infrastructure team has to be aware of mobile, just like they have to aware of things like green technology."
Hemmer said that the most striking change coming with wireless technology in the enterprise may be the move toward building consumer-facing mobile applications that give wireless customers the ability to buy a company's products and services or make financial transactions via smartphones and other devices.
Traditionally, corporations have deployed wireless applications to cut costs and improve productivity for sales and field service workers. Now, enterprises are expected to shift to writing business-to-consumer applications to bring in top-line revenues, Hemmer said. "Suddenly the CEO is going to be directly involved saying, 'This is our brand' on a mobile consumer-facing application."
Because the economy is expected to grow slowly for some time, Dulaney said corporations will work steadily to gradually adapt their wireless infrastructures as more Wi-Fi equipment is installed, as more 3G and 4G networks are built out by carriers, and as smartphones proliferate.
"The challenge now is in shaping the networks, the security and the software to enable a common set of capabilities," Dulaney said. "Networks are becoming borderless, but their capabilities are not homogeneous and the applications are not forgiving of the transitions. That is where the work is. But, bottom line, mobility in enterprises is being adapted in a gradual way due to economics."
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His e-mail address is email@example.com.