When it comes to mobility, IT and business execs don't see eye to eye


When it comes to mobility, IT and line of business executives are not necessarily on the same page.

According to a survey of 400 IT and LOB executives by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Red Hat, almost half of LOB execs see mobility as a means to automate existing business processes but only 26 percent cite mobility as changing the way they do business. On the other hand, 35 percent of IT execs view mobility as transformative for the business.

"It was interesting to see that LOB didn't think mobility was more transformative. I would have expected that result to be the other way around and to see IT as seeing it as automating business processes and line of business seeing it as transformative," said Cathal McGloin, vice president of moble platforms at Red Hat.

"The results point to two big uses cases for mobile apps: to automate existing processes and to transform the business," McGloin told me in an exclusive interview.

The survey also found that LOB execs see the current approach to mobile app development as primarily IT-led (38 percent) versus business-led (24 percent); however, they expect this will change to being business-led (36 percent) within the next two years.

"It's interesting that line of business think that IT is leading in mobile app development, whereas IT thinks that business is leading it…Maybe line-of-business folks don't see all of the different mobile projects going on in other parts of the organization," McGloin said. He noted that a CCS Insight survey last year found that 69 percent of spending on mobile apps was outside of IT.

"IT's role is shifting to an enabler, rather than doing all of the work. This would confirm what cloud and SaaS vendors are seeing with LOB spending money on apps out of their own budgets," McGloin observed.

In addition, the survey found that more than half of LOB execs expect Internet of Things projects to be initiated this year or next.

McGloin wasn't surprised that LOB execs are pushing IoT projects. "It requires a business decision to get those projects off the ground. IT is in a support role in that," he said.

McGloin thinks it is a good thing that LOB is taking a more active role in mobile app development because there is a backlog of projects that are stuck in IT because of lack of resources and manpower. - Fred, @FierceFred1