When people think of IT mobility, the images most immediately conjured regard smartphones and tablets. In truth, however the mobile device landscape could be considered broader than this. The basic definition of a mobile device is simply “any computing device designed principally for portability.” By that definition, laptops should clearly be included in that scope. However, some definitions state that a mobile device must be “handheld” indicating size is a factor without actually specifying how small a device must be to achieve that designation. Regardless of size limitations, those definitions still favor inclusion of laptops since many are available with a form facture that is smaller than some of the larger tablets. Therefore, the defining descriptor for a mobile device must fall to its portability, which also happens to be the key differentiator between a laptop and a desktop PC. Logically, therefor, a laptop is, in fact, a mobile device.
IT operations managers are cringing all around the world – desperately trying to avoid those inevitable words from their executive management: “You need to support enterprise mobility.” Their concerns are understandable. After all, IT administrators are already overtaxed with supporting desktop, server, application, and infrastructure management requirements. Asking them to layer a whole new management discipline on top of that can be a daunting prospect. IT managers who find themselves in this predicament often recognize it as an opportunity to practice the fine art of procrastination. Particularly skilled procrastinators will employ one or more of the following excuses:
IT marketing hype has generated quite a few ridiculous and sometimes outright bizarre phrases to describe trends in technology adoption, but few on the list of the absurd top the insistence that we live in a “post-PC” era. The concept of “post-PC” derives from the (correct) fact that mobile device adoption has broadly accelerated, but makes the incorrect assumption that this is causing a substantial decrease in PC use. Nothing could be further from the truth – especially in relation to the business use of desktop and laptop PCs.
I was sitting in a plane recently, pulling out my iPad to enjoy one of my colleague's excellent publications. After clicking the Dropbox icon, I noticed that I forgot to bookmark the actual document, so it did not replicate to the iPad. This rather annoying experience made me think about how far we have come regarding replicated and shared storage. It made me also think about where we may go from here.