In February this year two very astute Forrester analysts, Ted Schadler and John McCarthy, published a report entitled Mobile is the New Face of Engagement – a report that proclaimed:
…the first step in the mobile strategy is to create the office of the chief mobility officer and a supporting mobile architecture team. Why? Because without it, firms will waste too much time and money as marketing goes after a mobile loyalty app, sales builds tablet apps, the CFO implements mobile expense approvals, the CTO does his app in support of the new smart product line, and the head of Asia resellers builds a mobile dealer app.
While Schadler and McCarthy refer to this individual as the ‘Chief Mobility Officer,’ the role can have myriad handles, like Chief Wireless Officer, VP Mobile Architecture, Head of Mobile Strategy, or Director of Mobility. Here at Antenna, we generally refer to the role as the ‘mobile strategist,’ which is not intended to be a literal title, but rather a broad descriptor for the person that owns the Herculean responsibility of defining and driving a company’s mobile strategy.
More often than not, we observe that the role is situated in the IT department since the basic premise – as the Forrester analysts suggest – is for enterprises to get control over the growing number of mobile app projects, and construct a more holistic mobile vision, strategy and roadmap.
The job description often includes some, or all of the following responsibilities:
- Individual must build strong relationships between the IT organization and the various lines-of-business to gather requirements, inventory business needs and identify risks.
- Individual is responsible for establishing and expanding the company’s mobile application framework across the entire enterprise to ensure proper security, governance and reusability.
- Individual is responsible for building the business case and determining the proper investment priorities that will influence the broader IT roadmap.
- Individual must have a strong understanding of application development, infrastructure and backend middleware technologies, such as SOA, REST, JSON and HTML5.
So, you may be thinking, “Is this ‘mobile strategist’ thing real, or is it something that is manufactured for Forrester to sell more research and Antenna more software licenses. Fair question.