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Mobile IT: Taming the unruly toddler. Futures Café, 2 nd December 2009. Image courtesy of vermininc @ flickr. Nick Skelton Why is mobile important?. Image courtesy of nicosmos @ flickr. Mobile IT is in its infancy.

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Mobile it taming the unruly toddler

Mobile IT: Taming the unruly toddler

Futures Café, 2nd December 2009

Image courtesy of vermininc @ flickr

Nick Skelton

Why is mobile important
Why is mobile important?

Image courtesy of nicosmos @ flickr

Mobile it is in its infancy
Mobile IT is in its infancy

IBM PC photo courtesy of mwichary @ flickr, Apple photo courtsey of spaceageboy @ flickr

Why do people care about their phones so much
Why do people care about their phones so much?

Images from flickr: 2CV courtesy of St3f4n, Rolls Royce gentleman_rook, smartcar yourdon, & Range Rover kenjonbro

How do we support mobile it users at bristol
How do we support mobile IT users at Bristol?

Photo courtesy of liquene @ flickr

Gartner managed diversity strategy
Gartner Managed Diversity Strategy

or alternatively restaurants…

Menu du jour
Menu du jour

Photo courtesy of nicolasbal @ flickr

Your choices from the menu
Your choices from the menu





Basic phone with calls & SMS


Messaging phone with email & calendar


Internet phone with web browser & app store


3G dongle

Secure encrypted USB stick

Menu du jour gartner platform model
Menu du jour (Gartner platform model)

  • Limited choice of devices, in exchange user gets support

  • Tested to work with university services

  • User breaks it and the university fixes it

  • Device can be managed (encryption, remote wipe)   

  • Applications can be specially written for the platform

Platform model suitable for
Platform model suitable for

People who

  • need guidance and don’t want to choose

  • want things to "just work" with someone else worrying about the details

  • use a paper diary or calendar to plan their personal life

  • aren’t necessarily tech-savvy

Pick and mix
Pick and Mix

Photo courtesy of sean_hickin @ flickr

Pick and mix gartner appliance model
Pick and mix (Gartner appliance model)

  • Typically employee owned and paid for

  • University provides self-support info

  • If it breaks, you fix it

  • If it doesn’t work, it is your problem

  • Limited to safe interactions with corporate systems

Appliance model suitable for
Appliance model suitable for

People who:

  • are tech-savvy

  • already make heavy use of mobiles and may have a personal favourite

  • think personal tech is more important than work tech

  • don't want to carry two mobiles

Which approach do we want
Which approach do we want?

  • set menu for UOB owned devices

  • pick and mix (for student and employee owned devices only)

Bolt ons are ugly
Bolt-ons are ugly

Image courtesy of David Wright @

Design in mobile from ground up
Design in mobile from ground up

  • Application and platform-independent

  • Avoid vendor lock-in

  • Interoperable

  • Adaptable

  • Accessible

    Good mobile services are good services in general

This is particularly important for mobile
This is particularly important for mobile

  • Market is segmented, no dominant platform

  • Native applications on each smartphone platform must understand the data

Checklist for a new service
Checklist for a new service

  • Does it use widely deployed open standards or industry standards?

  • Is the data accessible in the native applications on all major mobile platforms?

  • Does it work in any web browser? (IE, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Chrome)

  • Does it work without plugins? Without javascript?

  • Does the web interface resizes nicely for different resolutions?

  • Can it be built-in to the portal? (Use Single Sign On?)

  • Is it extensible? (Does it have well-defined APIs?)

  • Can the data be imported and exported easily?

Vision for mobile it
Vision for mobile IT

  • Staff and students can work anytime & anywhere

  • Services available as webapps within the portal, accessible from any web browser

  • Our data is in standard formats that can be accessed on any smartphone