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Home Page Editorial
(April 17, 2001)

From Publisher and Managing Editor's Desk... 

Should IT professionals postpone wireless projects under current economic climate?
"There is a lot of doom and gloom in the business newspapers. Even the giant corporations, except a handful of systems integration companies like IBM are forecasting lower profits, cutting jobs, and postponing new initiatives. On the other hand, trade journals like Information week are more objective and provide a balanced viewpoint. Here is MobileInfo.Com's viewpoint and our gut feel of the market in point form:

  1. What has happened in the market is good for the long-term health of the industry. You can neither sustain such virtual growth nor can you plan enterprise projects in such an artificial environment. The focus of the industry was more on the escalating P/E ratios than on creating products and building solutions in an efficient fashion.

  2. In the wireless space, we are in the early evolutionary stage of industry development. However, during the past one year, we have seen more hype than reality in certain sectors. Long term prospects are outstanding and fundamentals are strong.  However, in the short run, there are too many vendors chasing the same market.   They started creating almost the same product with little differentiation. Eager VCs did not have time to find out how many other ventures got funded in the same space. One such instance is in building application servers for the enterprise connectivity.  There are other instances of saturation of vendor activity, based on hundreds of press-releases that we receive.

  3. As vendor and economic rationalization takes place, weak vendors will get out of the market and the task of IT professionals will become easier. One of the toughest and relatively unproductive task that IT planners engage in is comparing tens of products to select the best for their enterprise. Unfortunately they do it in isolation of the enterprise architecture and strategy.

  4. Business case for introducing wireless technology is better today than ever before. In the current climate, you can not afford to let your customers go to your competition and for those who are loyal to you, you must provide high quality customer service. This dictates arming your field force with the latest mobile computing solutions. All three categories of customers - large, medium and small businesses can take advantage of mobile solutions. Go to our business case pages for some more insight. 

  5. Application development tools for building custom applications for large enterprises are getting better. Large organizations like IBM, EDS, Oracle, Stellcom, Brience, iAnywhere (a Sybase company) and W-Technologies are ready and experienced enough to give you the helping hand. go to a systems and application-integration company rather than to an infrastructure vendor to build your application solutions.

  6. Select the suite of business functionality that you must give to your users, including mission-critical business applications. Give your field force with wireless e-mail solutions so that they can stay in touch with the corporate or local office. 

  7. Develop a business and technology architecture. Out of this architecture, create an implementation strategy and migration plan for three time horizons - short term, medium term and long term. 

  8. Remember Rome was not built in one day. Nor was fixed line network for large enterprises built in one month. It is not a single task that you are undertaking. Wireless and mobile computing is a journey and not a destination where you can reach in a straight line traveling on a high-speed highway. Therefore, be prepared to stop and re-plan your route as new product solutions become available.

  9. Develop your wireless applications in the  same way as you folks did when fixed network speeds were 9600 and 19200 bps leased lines and Internet was not there. Many of us forget that it is the speed of the first hop from your handheld to the ISP that determines access time and transaction response time more than the speed of the long-haul Internet.

  10. Select a series of projects - break your teeth with the simpler ones. Start off in a planned fashion. After successful pilot and reengineering your business processes, develop a rollout strategy. Start with wireless e-mail for your very active workers and professionals.

  11. Then go to your second project, then the third one. By then, market would have turned around.

Chander Dhawan - Your Site's Principal Consultant and Publisher

Do you want to make any comments on this editorial? Send us an e-mail.

Related Resources:
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