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Impact of Mobility

Posted By Jim Boomer, CIO & Shareholder, Boomer Consulting, Inc., Thursday, February 27, 2014

The below blog post is a segment of the 2013 Boomer Technology Circles fall letter. This letter highlights the latest strategies, directions and resources discussed at the Fall round of Circle meetings. To learn more about the Boomer Technology Circles, please visit

We live in a mobile world and the opportunities and challenges presented by mobility are constantly changing and increasing.  With the proliferation of mobile devices many firms are focusing on getting their policies and security in order.  They are addressing things like Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and Mobile Device Management (MDM).  We had a presentation and lengthy discussion in Boomer Technology Circles 4 on development of mobile applications (both internal and client facing).  There are a growing number of firms that are currently building out their mobile offerings or plan to do so soon.  It’s important that you do proper up-front planning to ensure that the app development doesn’t turn into an endless time and money pit.  Identifying the pain your app will address, the audience, budget, timeline and measures of success will set you up for success and reduce the investment required.

The state of today’s technology in many firms has created an environment where it doesn’t really matter where you do your work (in the office, at home office, at client site, etc.).  As such, managing remote workers has become a real focus of firms as they try to adjust to a new way of communicating and collaborating with employees.   And multi-office firms are leveraging new technologies (Microsoft Lync, Cisco Jabber, etc.) to enhance remote/online training capabilities.  The capabilities technology can offer a distributed workforce have advanced tremendously to the point that firms should all be offering flexible work arrangements to their deserving (and capable employees).

Additionally, as more and more employees work remotely and spend significantly less time in the physical office, many firms are starting to rethink the amount of space required.  Some are starting to look into hoteling models where employees don’t have a permanently assigned workspace but instead select from a pool of available offices/cubicles and check-in for the day, week or month.  Steve Perkins, CIO at HoganTaylor (Boomer Technology Circles 1), shared the cutting edge technology they put into their new offices including a hoteling system that allows employees to identify where their friends are sitting before checking in for the day.  In the spring, Peter Henley, Senior Director of IT (Boomer Technology Circles 2), reported Clark Nuber is moving from 220 square feet/employee to 180 square feet based upon new office designs and trends.  They researched Silicon Valley companies and found the lowest at Facebook with 125 square feet/per employ.  As a point of clarification, this is gross square footage divided by employees and not actual space.  This is certainly a trend you’ll want to pay attention to as there were numerous discussions during the fall meetings.  

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