Should Companies Add a Chief Mobility Officer to Their Executive Teams?
September 14, 2012
By Jacqueline Lee, Contributing Writer
While most companies toss bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and other mobile device policies under the CTO’s umbrella, some companies have decided to add a Chief Mobility Officer (CMO) to their executive teams.
Companies are taking mobile seriously, as they should. According to Curt Finch, founder and CEO of Journyx, employees today carry both their business and social lives in their pockets.
Xigo, a telecom expense management provider, hired a CMO named Randall De Lorenzo. De Lorenzo stated that a CMO’s main job is to stay connected to both prospects and employees within the organization. “A CMO is most effective in his/her role when they think of mobility as one facet of an entire network,” De Lorenzo said. “A CMO should support applications, with mobility devices and services as the ‘last mile’ between the end-user and the enterprise.
The CMO for Spanish bank BBVA, Luis Uguina, view connections as his primary responsibility. “One of the main of parts of my job is to ensure that there is global connectivity,” Uguina explained. “And we’re a big bank.”
Some CTOs argue that developing a separate position for mobility threatens the integration between mobile and desktop environments. Hiring a CMO also means regulation of personal mobile devices at a very high level in the company.
While many companies delegate mobile device management to IT departments, other companies place a much stronger emphasis on integrating mobile by creating an executive role to manage all levels of connectivity.
“It is a mistake for organizations to think of mobility as a silo apart from the remainder of the enterprise network,” said De Lorenzo.
Matt Hamblen of Computerworld cited a Forrester Research (News - Alert) report that suggested hiring a CMO and placing a 10- to 30-person task force to facilitate the relationships between business groups and IT. He points out that without that kind of interaction, most companies “waste time and money as marketing goes after a mobile loyalty app, sales builds tablet apps [and] the CFO implements mobile expense approvals.”
According to Forrester, smartphones and tablets are part of a much broader shift in customer engagement.
“Mobile,” said Forrester analyst Ted Schadler, “is one of those things that bites you from behind if you aren't paying attention.”
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Edited by Rachel Ramsey