Back in 2005, I read some Gartner reports on something they were calling their “Infrastructure Maturity Model.” It’s a blueprint for the strategic plan for a company’s computing infrastructure. Higher levels of maturity equate to an IT organization that’s more agile and less reactive. Microsoft decided to embrace Garter’s model and called it “Infrastructure Optimization” or “IO.” In that same spirit, I decided to start building my own IO model in the Summer 2006. The difference is that mine is more narrowly scoped to the world of Windows Mobile devices and wireless technologies.
The contents of this model are based on my own experiences rolling out mobile and wireless technologies at small, medium and large Fortune 500-sized companies over the years. A company’s level of infrastructure maturity plays a direct role in it’s ability to roll out mobile line of business applications. For instance, a small store that ships products locally but has no network will find itself using batch-mode Windows Mobile devices that can only connect to desktop-based line of business applications when cradled via ActiveSync. On the other hand, a large company that utilizes 3G wireless WAN technologies can utilize wireless Windows Mobile devices to interface with enterprise packages like Navision and SAP in real-time making them much more agile.
The above picture gives you a 30,000 ft view of the maturity model I created. You go from less optimized on the left to more optimized on the right depending on the infrastructure you have in place. The model touches on things like your wired or wireless network, security, and device management. Greater levels of maturity facilitate more sophisticated mobile line of business scenarios. I’m excited to see my model being picked up and put to use in various groups within Microsoft. My hope is that it can be a blueprint and a roadmap to help organizations integrate Windows Mobile into their enterprise.
In forthcoming installments, I will take you on a deep dive of each of these four pillars to give you a better view of what this means for your enterprise.