Prior to 2006, mobility had a very narrow landscape. Organizations that allowed their work force to have cell phones were usually restricted to one carrier, platform and equipment model. The majority of these phones were used for e-mail and conversations.
Fast-forward to January 9, 2007 and the introduction of the iPhone, which introduced users to a world of new mobile capabilities.
While users immediately wanted to start using the iPhone at work, IT, security and cost issues made it impossible for many to do so. And to compound the problem, additional devices continued to appear with exciting, productive new features.
Over the last few years, many organizations have caught on and begun to take advantage of these mobile work force capabilities. Such resources have introduced many intriguing possibilities for project managers as well.
But this also means that now project teams are working across multiple platforms with unique requirements and configurations, which can cause performance and compatibility issues.
Some organizations are taking such steps as implementing mobile application program interface (API) layers in their infrastructure, referred to as "Mobile Enterprise Application Platforms" (MEAPs). They allow users to run software shells on their devices and overcome platform differences while providing access to disparate tools.
Other organizations have simply decided to continue to limit their work force to one standard device, choosing to take advantage of some new device capabilities and sacrifice others. Because this challenge is in its infancy, we've yet to see a solution.
Can all of your mobile project team members effectively interact with conflicting mobile platforms? If not, do you have a plan to mitigate this? How is this situation affecting your project team?