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Wearable tech and IT consumerization rattle the enterprise

Facebook’s $19 billion purchase of mobile messaging app WhatsApp turned heads not just for the price tag, but also for its signal to CIOs of the reality of IT consumerization. In this week’s Data Mill, SearchCIO Senior News Writer Nicole Laskowski outlines takeaways from the Gartner Catalyst conference about how IT can ride on the wave of consumer messaging apps and how they’re impacting the enterprise.

From Samsung’s and Apple’s smartwatches to Ralph Lauren’s swanky smartshirt, wearable tech continues to make a splash in the consumer market. It won’t be long before employees start bringing these connective devices into the enterprise — so CIOs may as well start to work with business partners to identify and prepare for its pros and cons.

In a digital age where end users are now at the center of the enterprise, CIOs are finding that they must serve both internal and external customer bases — and the lines are blurring, according to CIO Andi Karaboutis. In part one of our video interview, she spills on the parallels between the two; in part two she talks about how, with some smart prioritization, it’s still possible to bring IT closer to the business.

The cost savings associated with cloud computing have long been lauded, but any discussion surrounding the cloud’s financial benefits is more complicated. In part one of this SearchCIO feature on cloud economics, Features Writer Kristen Lee explores how business drivers, cultural factors, provider transparency and other elements factor into calculating the economics of cloud. In part two, Lee delves deeper into how to analyze those various drivers to get the most out of your cloud investment.

Elsewhere on SearchCIO…

From the mobile-equipped audience at the Pope’s inauguration to Clinique’s point-of-sale mobile app, evidence of mobile disruption abounds, experts at the recent MassTLC Mobile Summit said. The clarion call for CIOs, Executive Editor Linda Tucci explains, is to prepare your business models for mobile computing or get left behind by competitors.

Despite the promises of mobile computing, however, many organizations are still leery of adopting bring your own device (BYOD) and bring your own apps (BYOA), mainly because of the risks they pose, but also because of its transformative impact on an enterprise’s culture and operating model. Read SearchCIO expert and contributor Harvey Koeppel’s advice on how to craft the safest and most effective BYOD policies.

With all that developing a mobile application entails, not to mention the deployment of that app, it’s no surprise that many CIOs are fearful of the possibility of failure. But as Forrester analyst Jeffrey Hammond advises, CIOs should embrace this failure — and learn to mitigate its costs. Get his tips on how to evolve a development culture around mobile app dev and advice on building a purpose-built mobile app.

Customization sometimes makes no business sense, as CTO Niel Nickolaisen well knows, but sometimes, it’s needed to meet changing customer demands. Get his thoughts on how today’s diversity of cloud offerings can help you approach customization.

And on SearchCompliance…

Half of respondents to a recent Gartner survey pointed to figuring out which data to keep and which to discard as the top issue their organizations struggle with, so it’s not surprising that data classification and data mapping are crucial to a data discovery strategy. In a tip by SearchCompliance Site Editor Ben Cole, learn how to take those first steps and reduce litigation costs and risks.

That’s all our news for this week, folks! Stay tuned for next week’s Symmetry roundup. In the meantime, enjoy the long holiday weekend and get updates by following @SearchCIO, @SearchCIOSMB and @ITCompliance.

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