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The mobile enterprise: Killing IT's sacred cows

Tom Kaneshige | Jan. 20, 2012
It's shortly before 6 a.m. on a Saturday in Las Vegas. High-rollers and party-goers are sleeping off last night's thrill ride. Bright neon lights grow dim in the cold morning light. But an excited crowd is stirring at The Cosmopolitan.

Duchscher says this traditional IT practice needs to change. Starkey showcased Handshake at its expo in Las Vegas to rousing applause. "The reality is that some of these small companies are doing really cool, innovative things," he says. "We're going to give them a shot."

Of course, Duchscher does hedge his bets by architecting in such a way so that a startup's failure won't be too painful. His mobile app team is also prepared to swap a startup's code with homespun code if necessary. "I'm not ignorantly blissful."

New Sacred Cow?

Being forward-thinking and aggressive with new technologies such as the iPad and mobile apps might seem risky. But Duchscher contends it's riskier not to be aggressive.

Truth is, a conservative approach often leads to IT departments that do little more than maintenance. And it's never been easier to outsource maintenance work, Duchscher says. His IT department needs to compete with outsourcing models.

One way is to get on the leading edge of mobile, bring new apps into the enterprise, and help internal and external customers use them, Duchscher says. CIOs should follow the early morning Las Vegas crowd, and wake up and get excited about the future of technology in the enterprise.

This sure beats the alternative. "IT departments throwing up roadblocks like the old days are going to get outsourced if they're not careful," he says.


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