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Will IT Miss The Digital Wave?
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Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
8/21/2014 | 12:29:00 PM
BT the new IT?
I like Forrester's idea of business technology, or BT, where developers, designers, marketing pros, IT, and anyone who works on technology-related projects are under the same umbrella. It's easier said than done. It will call for some restructuring. Turf battles will ensue. But blending is necessary for digital businesses. The silo mentality is leaving IT out in the cold.
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
8/21/2014 | 12:58:33 PM
Re: BT the new IT?
I'm still laughing at the idea marketing is creating mobile apps all by themselves. Most of marketing guys I ever knew couldn't find the power button on their computers.

I'm sure Chris means marketing is directly engaging some outside IT to develop the app without involing internal development team. I could see that. There is a transition going on in skill sets, internal IT more geared to keep ERP running. Only the biggest companies are going to build their own internal mobile development teams. And only certain types of companies will ever have to worry about it. By that I mean consumer facing versus B2B. We still send faxes to some of the businesses who are our customers.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
8/21/2014 | 1:53:29 PM
Mobile dev
Customer-facing mobile dev is a power seat in the digital business. Plenty of marketing teams have acquired dev teams who in another time would have worked for IT. IT has two choices at many large companies -- become a true partner with marketing, or get shoved aside.
GAProgrammer
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GAProgrammer,
User Rank: Ninja
8/22/2014 | 9:52:58 AM
Re: Mobile dev
Laurianne, I keep hearing this, but never see this in the real world? Can you name anyone outside of the Fortune 500 that this applies to? While they may be the biggest companies, they are only 500 out of thousands of companies. Maybe some new tech startups?

I certainly agree that 500 is "many", but definitely not "Most". A common theme used by tech journalists and editors is "if you aren't doing this, you are getting left behind the times." I think it's more hyperbole than reality.

While I could certainly be wrong, it has never been my experience that 80%+ of tech "trends" don't apply to MOST companies, especially mid-size ones.
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
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8/22/2014 | 9:55:15 AM
Re: BT the new IT?
You're right Terry, I was thinking of marketing teams hiring outside developers without involving IT. I'm not so sure I buy the image of marketing not being very tech savvy, I think that has changed at many companies. But I am sure that marketing is very comfortable turning to third parties to do their creative/development work, they've done that forever. 

Do you think B2B skips the mobile movement? I've seen some very creative multi-channel digital work by B2B companies. Might faxes just continue to co-exist alongside mobile channels?
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
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8/22/2014 | 10:06:05 AM
Re: Mobile dev
Here's an example, GAProgrammer. Vail Resorts is a ~$1 billion a year revenue, so a good-sized business but far from Fortune 500 ranks. It developed a customer-facing web & mobile app (EpicMix) a couple of years ago using contract talent. The app was a hit, it became clear this would be an important channel, so the company started hiring a few in-house developers to nurture and maintain that app. Now, this was an app very much created with a CIO-CMO partnership, so the resources are part of the IT team. But I think it's an example of how even mid-sized companies are looking to add new mobile/digital skills, and those people will land with whomever owns that channel.  
GAProgrammer
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GAProgrammer,
User Rank: Ninja
8/22/2014 | 10:10:36 AM
Re: Mobile dev
Thanks for the example, Chris. Maybe I just need to upgrade my employer to a bigger company....

TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
8/22/2014 | 12:47:21 PM
Re: BT the new IT?
Think about the transactions that take place between businesses, Chris. Then think about the kind of apps you see on mobile devices. Yeah, it's slick as heck you can go to Starbucks and pay for your stuff with your phone. Same thing at retail stores. Slick that small businesses can put device on phone/tablet to swipe credit cards instead of PoS systems. Slick that you can unlock hotel doors or book activities on a cruise.

But just exactly what processes between *most* businesses are you going to make more efficient by using a mobile device? I'm not a guy who believes ERP is going to run on mobile phone or Touch devices?  Could you do it? Sure! But is your A/P or A/R clerk really going to use Touch for that job? Very few functions, outside of dashboards/metrics, make sense for B2B manufacturing companies. If you have a warehouse and pick from stock to ship, mobile can be applied to that. But after that ideas get tougher to come by.

I mentioned faxes just to point out we haven't even successfully migrated everyone to EMAIL yet, some still not positioned to use that to receive electronic Order Acks, PO RFQs, shipping paperwork and invoices, etc. If they do that, they can get that on mobile phone. But I currently still have to run software allowing me to use fax service if customer requests it.
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
8/22/2014 | 12:53:38 PM
Re: Mobile dev
I certainly think ANY size company who deals with consumers needs to look at Touch/mobile as a channel. It's really not that difficult anymore, assuming you understand how to design UI on a small form factor. And you need that graphic designer expertise so it looks and feels slick and cool, very much like when Web 1.0 took off. It was an arms race to see who could have the slickest looking sites.

But there is a transition here. The guy who has been running/developing your back end systems all these years may want no part of this new paradigm in mobile/Touch. And you may not be able to afford/justify bringing someone else on board for this. I think outside IT will rule here for quite awhile in the mid size companies.
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
8/23/2014 | 2:30:58 PM
IT problems
Mostly IT is there to do the hardwork that requires little to no brain and that is why most of the IT work is outsourced to India, China, Japan etc. It is true that most managers would argue that IT still has some value in the marketing and developing department, but in reality, there is no such thing. Where there are dedicated skillful teams on these wings, why would managers want an average IT guy?
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