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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.

Eric Schmidt may be gone as Google's CEO, but he's certainly not going to be forgotten any time soon. As the man who helped turn a search engine into a global information powerhouse, and a company name into a verb, steps out of day-to-day operations and assumes the advisory role of executive chairman, I recalled a particularly thoughtful talk he gave in April 2010 to an audience of 400 CIOs at a cloud-computing event at company headquarters.

One of his key subjects was mobility: its promise, its potential, and the new type of business mentality it both inspires and requires. I found Schmidt's perspectives to be so intriguing that I transcribed his talk and pulled out 10 specific points he made about that revolutionary mobile-centric business thinking.

Now, I realize that in this business a whole lot can change in nine months—recall that the iPad was just being introduced at the time of Schmidt's talk, and that in the 275 days since then, more than 40,000 iPad-specific apps have been developed.

But even with that time-is-fleeting caveat, I felt it would be good to reprise Schmidt's 10 mobile-related insights because for CIOs today, mobility has unquestionably become an indispensable element in their overall strategy—and in some cases, creating and powering the mobile enterprise has become the CIO's #1 priority.

Of course, not everyone agrees with Schmidt's perspectives, and Steve Jobs is certainly in that nonbeliever camp. In a stinging rebuke of Google's philosophy from Jobs a few months ago, the Apple CEO called Google's Android approach "disingenuous" and "fragmented" and deliberately picked a very public fight, as I analyzed at the time in a column called Global CIO: Steve Jobs Declares War On Google.

But, more broadly, Jobs and Schmidt found common ground on software's predominant role in this mobile revolution. You'll see that clearly in the 10 mobile-specific comments I've listed below from Schmidt's talk, and in a parallel fashion I analyzed Jobs' philosophies on software in a recent column called Global CIO: Inside Steve Jobs' Head: The Supremacy Of Software.

So I hope this review of Schmidt's thinking helps trigger some new ideas or confirm your current positions—and here's a replay of my April 14, 2010 column on the Top 10 reasons why Eric Schmidt believes mobility should also be the #1 priority:

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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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