business magazine on innovation, leadership, strategy and vision
From 2013, we will surf more on the smartphone than on the PC. Quite soon, up to ninety percent of the world’s population will have mobile access. Hendrik Deckers
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All this causes an upheaval in the ways we handle our mobile phone. “Take the iPhone”, says Ulrik Van Schepdael, founder of Mobco, a young business providing services in mobile fleet management. “We use the device for gaming, surfing, emailing, taking photos and so on. Now and again we even use it to make phone calls.” The fact that devices like the iPhone and iPad are popping up increasingly in the professional environment poses some great challenges for CIOs. “Employees themselves are more frequently choosing the device to use for their job. It is then down to the CIO to manage this new multi-OS environment efficiently.” It is therefore im-
portant for the CIO to develop a well-balanced mobile policy. Ulrik Van Schepdael says: “It is essential to define different user profiles and to decide who is to be given what mobile access to what applications and data.” Naturally, security is paramount here. The trick is to strike a happy medium. It is an illusion to try to seal off the corporate network hermetically. Nor should a business simply throw open its network.
Mobility offers differentiation Mobility increases the speed at which employees take decisions and allow information to flow through. In a strongly competitive sector, mobile applications repre-
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sent a significant differentiator. “That is indeed what we are working on”, says Kalman Tiboldi, CIO with TVH, supplier of parts for handling equipment among other things. “The demand for more mobility obliged us to make a few choices. Based on tests with various smartphones and tablets, we opted to support Android, BlackBerry and iOS.” Initially TVH brought in the iPad as a presentation tool for sales and marketing. Since then however, the tablet also runs an application for facilities management, which for instance enables TVH to operate its buildings’ lighting. Kalman Tiboldi says: “For business intelligence we use ClickView. We are pushing that application towards the different mobile platforms. Meanwhile, we have been looking at how to do the same for the CRM tool of Salesforce.” Security is an important point of attention for TVH too. The company is adjusting its policies as mobiles evolve. “Blocking everything is pointless, because people will simply look for ways to bypass the policies.” TVH is opting to respond in full to the demand for more mobility. Of course, the company is unable to support everything. Kalman Tiboldi compares the need for a mobile policy with that of the company car policy. “As a company you cannot offer employees any type of car, rather a selection, with options according to their profile. The mobile story follows the same line.”
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December 2011 - january 2012
business magazine on strategy, vision and leadership