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CIO - A mobile power shift is happening right now.
Everyone from chief marketing officers to business managers to citizen developers is seizing mobile app and content controls away from the CIO in the enterprise. Mobile software vendors, too, are lining up to deliver simple-to-use tools in the cloud that cater to this new less-technical customer.
All of this is breaking open the floodgates to rogue IT.
The power-shifting trend was hammered home this week when mobile device management software developer MobileIron trotted out a new offering called Anywhere, a cloud-based mobile management service that lets businesspeople manage and use iOS and Android apps in minutes.
Anywhere has already received rave reviews for its end-user simplicity. The critical point, though, is that it was designed for nontechie admins to manage mobile apps and data. MobileIron's Anywhere effectively allows a sales manager to decide what documents and apps a salesperson should have without getting IT approval, prompting technology writer Ryan Faas at CITEworld to proclaim: No IT department required.
All Signs Point to Renegade Tech Buyers
"LOB [line-of-business] is increasingly taking the reins to move projects forward and acting as small businesses in themselves," says Stacy Crook, program manager of mobile enterprise research at IDC.
Last spring, Forrester came out with a somewhat unnerving report-at least to CIOs-entitled, Tracking the Renegade Technology Buyer. The report sheds light on the growth of tech spending outside the formal IT budget.
Forrester found that business leaders who already make a lot of renegade tech purchases are 50 percent more likely to increase their spending than low-spending business peers and IT.
There are many reasons behind the emergence of the business-leader-turned-tech-buyer, among them:
Salesforce.com Leads Mobility-as-a-Service Charge
One of the best-known tech companies in the business community, Salesforce.com, is leading the way to put mobile control in the enterprise into the hands of businesspeople.
MobileIron's Anywhere, for instance, is integrated with Salesforce.com and available on AppExchange, Salesforce.com's business apps marketplace. Salesforce.com admins can use Anywhere to distribute, manage and secure employees' mobile apps directly from the Salesforce.com administration console.
The partnership empowers Salesforce.com users to go mobile without taxing IT resources, says MobileIron. In other words, it's a workaround for mobile app management.
In the same spirit as the MobileIron Anywhere integration, Salesforce.com also struck a pact with Exadel, a professional services company specializing in mobile. Exadel will offer Salesforce.com customers its cloud-based mobile app development tool, called Appery.io, that lets nontechnical people build mobile apps.