James McNamee

The U.S. Army Deploys A Mobile Strategy Fit For Your Business

Back in 2010, the U.S. Army tested a variety of smartphones, including iPhones and Android devices, to identify the usefulness of mobile applications for soldiers in the categories of training, administrative, and operational or tactical. Initial apps allowed soldiers to call up interactive maps to intelligence materials with a tap of a finger.

The Connecting Soldiers to Digital Applications (CSDA) program was created to define best practices for arming soldiers with emerging technologies for educational purposes, while highlighting cost-effective development and secure deployment options. Role-based apps across targeted categories could include cultural training, distance learning, finance, two-way translation of speech and text, and biometric data and evidence.

After conducting pilots with several Army units, The Army Software Marketplace prototype (an internal app store) has been launched, and currently offers 12 iPhone and iPad apps, with Android-based apps coming soon. All apps are approved for use on the Army Network's Common Environment. This effort to carefully build a mobile strategy aims to radically reduce the time to deliver solutions to the force by adopting agile development practices, and involving the end user early and often in development cycles. The mobile plans are getting bigger as well. In fact, the Department of Defense is looking to build an Android-based battlefield network to support custom built applications that can be used by soldiers on the battlefield.

This is a serious use of mobile beyond sling shotting birds into bricks. Don't get me wrong, games are a lot of fun on your chosen mobile device, but what the story above outlines is a smart approach to developing a mobile strategy that offers value to your end users.


Here's how enterprises can lean on the vision above to shape their own mobile strategy:


Identify the devices and operating systems you will support

  • 49% of enterprises are supporting two or more operating systems*

Determine lines of business that would benefit from a mobile solution

  • 35% of enterprises are planning a comprehensive corporate mobile strategy*

Investigate Your Development Options and Costs

  • Mobile Website or Mobile App (web app, native app, or hybrid app)

Discuss Distribution

  • Roughly 5% of enterprises are using corporate app stores or managing internal app repositories*

Decide How To Manage The Mobile Madness

  • 32% of enterprises use mobility management solutions*
  • 28% utilize Help Desk support*


As of today, nearly half of American adults are smartphone owners, and there are over 1 billion mobile Web users worldwide. The lines have been blurred between work and home when using a smartphone, and mobile is dominating enterprise telecom trends. In fact, Forrester shared that over 65% of firms surveyed throughout North America and Europe planned to offer more mobile solutions in 2011 through 2012 which is a 16% increase from the previous year.

Will mobile be a priority for your business in 2012? It should be.


*Source: Forrester's Forrsights Networks And Telecommunications Survey, Q1 2011

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