Mobile First – the hope not yet a reality

It’s tough to re-visit a topic that I’ve cared so much about over the past few years. But, after a brief hiatus I’m back to leading our efforts to infuse mobile into our enterprise.

The beauty of taking a bit of a break (due to other priorities) is that the general marketplace exploded, refined, and simplified some of the areas that we were so worried about. Responsive design became popular and pre-defined templates for apps and websites are abundantly available. Mobile is here to stay.

Yet, we struggle. Older systems with non-mobile optimized interfaces, worries about security risks, carving out time from our other responsibilities to discuss the design implications of mobile friendly tools, and determining who “owns” certain capabilities is all part of the change management we must plow through.

In the beginning (around 2010) we spent time convincing non-smartphone owners of the full potential of mobile. Now, they all have devices. They expect to have everything at their fingertips. We all expect it because we can. We have these solutions on our personal devices. But, making it happen in the enterprise is an entirely different story. I’m not so sure that we can get there from here unless big changes take place. Changes like extreme budget cuts, massive amounts of feedback from our customer base or the willingness to “burn some ships.”

There is a point where we can only influence, but influence we shall. Or, perhaps the natural systems life cycle will allow us to conveniently discard the old and embrace the new with little fanfare. Regardless, our thoughts are geared toward mobile first and we’ll keep slogging along until it can become a reality. Let’s just hope some of us can have enough patience to get there. Or, perhaps find an opportunity that is already on that path.

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