Connected All The Time

So there is a story on Mashable called The Latest Tool in Medicine? The iPhone which highlights some studies where iPhones are being used to collect data as part of medical studies.

Yes, carrying around a powerful compute device, that you can interface with, that is connected to the mother ship for two way communications might result in some powerful new medical studies, advances, options and ideas. Duh.

It is not really the iPhone, it is the mobile, connected, compute device that people have with them all the time (and won’t leave behind) that is the key here. I love my iPhone, but that is not the advance, it is the connected device connecting to the patient/subject.

There will be huge things coming from this as has been written about elsewhere. Immediate detection of crisis events, more frequent sampling of data in studies, ability to trigger something to happen to the patient (administer something), etc. etc. Lots of things can come from this.

2D) Mobile

I’ve not said a lot about mobile on this blog over the years. Frankly, I’ve not thought that much about it given some environmental reasons. However, I’ve reached the place where I’m agreeing with those who are saying ‘mobile first.’ I’m not a guru on this topic and I’ll defer to others who are better prepared and equipped to recommend strategies in this area. Here are some thoughts that come to mind based on my experiences:

  1. On mobile platforms, you must also make sure that you have some security components in place on the mobile devices to protect against theft or loss of the devices. You’ve got to enforce some policies on the device to require passwords and do remote wipes. If you don’t have these basic capabilities in place, then you need to start the mobile conversation here.
  2. Two-factor authentication or other forms of device password security need to be in place. Of course there are 3rd parties that will help with this for your organization. This part of a broader series of questions that you need to ask about mobile device security and roadmaps into the future.
  3. Once basic platform security is in place, you must enable basic mobile messaging, calendaring and chat features for your organization. Your people need to be able to connect reliably to the point of having no issues. These are table stakes. Related, we are past the time when IT can only offer Blackberry support.
  4. After 1-3, one needs to understand the applications strategy, if any, for your organization. Are you providing business applications for smart phones? If so, for which platforms (iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, etc.)? If you are limiting the platforms why? Is there demand for more platforms? What is your IT organization’s thinking about providing mobile applications for the workforce in general? Are you wanting to develop on mobile first? Is there a need for such? Is there a demand for such?
  5. Are you developing mobile applications on multiple different tools set and platforms? If so, why?
  6. Finally, does your organization have mobile policies in place that users must accept? If you are going to do a remote wipe on a device, it is best that they employee has heard of that possibility in advance.

It seems that the world is now going all mobile. We’ve all become addicted to doing transactions and tasks on our mobile phones when we can. For an IT organization to be successful in the future and for an IT leader to be successful now and in the future, you must have a mobile strategy and plan.

What mobile thoughts have I left out? And thank to those who follow along.

Mark