Don't ignore your mobile-governance framework any longer, says Fletcher

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Chief information officers want to enable business units with mobile technology, but before rushing into something to satisfy an urgent technology demand, CIOs should make a plan, says CIO of the state of Utah Stephen Fletcher.

Don't just look at the business case; look at how that overall activity impacts the enterprise, he said during an April 3 panel discussion at the FOSE conference in Washington, D.C.

Of course, Fletcher said, asking components to make business justifications for mobile projects is helpful. It's just not enough. If a “business entity wants to go in this direction, and they have a justification for it, how do we then govern that? How do we manage that? How do we execute against that, within the confines of the entire enterprise?” he asked.

Even if a business unit makes a valid justification, the CIO may not want to implement something that's a “one-off strategy” that looks drastically different from what the rest of the enterprise is doing. For example, there are often efficiencies to be gained from greater standardization. CIOs will save themselves some headaches if they clarify that in a plan from the get-go.

You need a governance strategy, said Fletcher. It should say, "the CIO has got to be your strategic partner, how your standards are going to be put in place, how your guidelines are going to be put in place, and how you're going to look at those activities,” said Fletcher.

The expectations for mobile are incredibly high--both for mobile device deployments within the enterprise and for externally-facing mobile services. Utah has over 1,000 online applications, said Fletcher. In two to five years, citizens' expectations will be that “you'll provide the information that I want to the device that I have,” Fletcher added.

“How in the world do you accommodate that? How do you address that?” he asked.

“You better prepare for it. You better have some sort of architecture. You better have some sort of standards that you can operate within; otherwise, you may get overtaken with circumstances.”

For more:
- listen to the panel discussion

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Interview with Stephen Fletcher, CIO, State of Utah
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