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Bob Evans
Bob Evans

Global CIO: Google's Eric Schmidt: Top 10 Reasons Mobile Is Always #1

"The answer should always be mobile first," outgoing Google CEO Eric Schmidt said last year—and his compelling arguments are even more persuasive today.

The mobile future has arrived. And if you think the changes it's causing so far have been crazy, just wait until later this year when it starts to really exert its influence. The big question: are you ready?

A few months ago, when we put together our Global CIO: The Top 10 CIO Issues For 2010 list, one of the 10 was "The Mobile Enterprise and the Mobile Mindset." And a column last month asked, "Global CIO: Will The Mobile Tipping Point Bury You?".

And on Monday, Google CEO Eric Schmidt articulated a very clear sense of why Google is so bullish on mobile computing not just among its enormous consumer base but also for its newly significant market of CIOs in the enterprise.

As you consider your own company's mobile strategy and evaluate whether you're putting enough muscle behind it to match the dynamics of your marketplace, it would be helpful to consider the mobile perspectives of Schmidt, who on Monday shared those with 400 of his closest CIO friends at the day-long Atmosphere 2010 cloud event at Google headquarters.

From Schmidt's comments, here are his top 10 reasons, in descending order, why "the answer should always be mobile first."

10) Google's jumping in with both feet. "If you go back and you look at history, the [IT] problems we all face today are the same problems we had 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 30 years ago, but the technology solutions are quite different and the industrial structure is quite different. . . . For example, Sun, when I joined in 1983, had a diskless computer—well, Google has announced a diskless computer for shipment later this year and I explain to people we announced this when you all were born (laughs)—I mean, you get no credit for this (laughs)! It worked then, and it helped build a great company. Of course, it was a 1 Mips computer, as opposed to a 1 Gigahertz computer, but it was a fine computer at the time."

9) The 2-second boot! "The promise of Chrome and Chrome OS is that the devices you give to your employees will have a 2-second boot time, and they'll be completely disposable."

8) All for $350. "So the price point that you-all should think about are the current netbook pricing, which is in the $300, $400 kinda price points—and those prices are completely determined by the cost of the glass, the cost of the processor—in our case, Chrome and Android are free, so there's no software tax associated with all of this."

7) The relentless march of technology. "But for example, much of the network computing discussion that was done now was really announced by Larry Ellison and others with the network computer in 1997. Now, they didn't work at all—didn't work at all—but that didn't mean that the argument wasn't right—it's just that the product didn't work. It was sort of embarrassing for those of us that participated in it, and so one of the questions you want to ask is, 'What has changed?' And the thing that has changed is this enormous march of technology—Moore's Law, all the things that all of you know—have made it possible to do the things now that we only dreamed of a few years ago."

Next up, here's Schimdt on how "that kind of technology to me is as close to magic as I can imagine":

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Google in the Enterprise Survey
Google in the Enterprise Survey
There's no doubt Google has made headway into businesses: Just 28 percent discourage or ban use of its productivity ­products, and 69 percent cite Google Apps' good or excellent ­mobility. But progress could still stall: 59 percent of nonusers ­distrust the security of Google's cloud. Its data privacy is an open question, and 37 percent worry about integration.
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