Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Single Trick for Remembering Passwords

In both our personal and work life we are faced with remembering countless passwords - ATMs, Amazon account, iTunes, the LAN at work. I found this interesting tip for creating secure passwords that are complex to crack but easy for you to remember.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Identity Management meets Augmented Reality

Imagine pointing your mobile device/smart phone at a co-worker and seeing a holographic depiction of all the system access assigned to that person. Sound far-fetched? It may be a reality sooner than you think.

Although still experimental, the technology is available. Using face recognition technology to match the person's face with a picture stored on the server, any stored information tied to that profile picture can be sent back and displayed to the requestor.
Imagine an environment where authorized people could perform spot Access Certification checks by simply pointing a mobile device equipped with a camera at a co-worker's face. System access is looked up and displayed in a meaningful way as a holographic image/text floating around that person's face. Think of the possibilities and enterprise use cases this immediate access to information could serve. Read more about this technical capability here:

Sound like an interesting concept? Please comment below to let me know what you think.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

5 Best Practices for Developing a Mobile Strategy

Whether your company has already embraced mobile platforms as a business reality or just getting started, the "next big thing" is here. Here are some best practices to keep in mind when planning your approach to mobile.

1. Know "Why"
One of the first important questions to ask is "Why?" The mobile context is significantly different that the desktop world. What's driving your move to mobile? Simply porting your existing desktop content or creating miniature versions of existing websites for mobile is not a wise move. The content you are providing needs to be useful in the mobile setting. Your end consumer has different needs in the mobile context. As I outlined in previous blog, The 3 Cs of Mobile Website Design, visitor context is a huge factor when considering what to develop.

2. Decide what business functions should be mobilized

What functions will give you the biggest bang for your buck? When determining functionality to port into the mobile context, you want to pick something with a measurable ROI or something that gives your business a competitive advantage. Show value early to help build your business case for expanding into more mobile functionality.

Look at which applications are most important to your company, review your use cases, and re-define how those use cases look on the mobile context. How is the use case different for a mobile user? What's important in the mobile context? Keeping in mind that mobile users want to find not browse.

3. Deploy useful functionality incrementally
This isn't a 6 - 12 month initiative. You need to build and release quickly, solicit feedback, and refine. Think about how to chunk up functionality into small, agile releases. The sooner you get functionality out there the sooner you can start making it more useful. Consider piloting to a limited set of users on specific mobile devices. Start expanding audience and supported devices once it's been around the block a few times and you've had a chance to kick the tires.

4. Develop Standards
As an enterprise it's important to have technical standards in place before they get decided for you. Once the enterprise has momentum with mobile, it's not time to start figuring out what your standards are. Security standards, supported devices are all up for consideration when defining mobile guidelines.

Adopt and adhere to common body of knowledge development best practices. Organizations like the W3C have developed thought leadership and application development standards for mobile.

5. Decide How
App or Mobile website? The answer to this question is important and based on the device capabilities of your end users. If you are targeting an audience that will be using a common device than the robust offerings of a native device application may be the right answer. Native apps allow you to fully exploit the capabilities of the device for an optimal end-user experience. For supporting cross device compatibility a mobile website be the best approach. Although more testing time should be factored in, a mobile website offers widest range of possibilities for a broad user base.

In summary, Mobile is hot, but as with any emerging trend, don't implement technology for technologies sake. Know the audience you are serving, what they want, and what you expect to get out of it - your ROI. Strategic thinking and systematically rolling out mobile capabilities are the keys to success.