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November 5, 2013

InfyTalk: How IT Creates An Enterprise Road Warrior

Posted by Puneet Gupta (View Profile | View All Posts) at 5:39 AM

A Lesson from Star Trek [Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0beiXmlp_A]

Last week I was thrilled to learn that the Voyager spacecraft had traveled farther than any man-made object in history. After an 11 billion-mile, 36-year journey, it had passed out of our solar system and into interstellar space. Star Trek fans would say that Voyager is boldly going where no one has gone before.

The spacecraft's transmissions, which now take 17 hours to reach Earth, have given scientists valuable insights on our solar system. What's most amazing to many of us in the digital age is that the computer onboard Voyager was the finest of its kind when the probe left Earth in 1977, yet it's less powerful and makes fewer calculations than your average smartphone.

Voyager's latest feat got me to thinking about another kind of traveler. He or she is what I like to call the "enterprise road warrior." Like a spacecraft whose mission it is to provide scientific data, the road warrior is a corporate satellite of sorts. He provides valuable insights and data on the global markets to the organizations with which he partners. And he does so by using mobility to his advantage.

Monday is when our road warrior is at a defense & aerospace company. This particular firm needs to transition its physical server to a virtual one. On Tuesday, he goes to a retail company that wants to get a leg up on its competition. The solution? Our warrior suggests building a new data center with a full range of analytics that can gauge consumer attitudes about new offerings and retail trends.

Next up on Wednesday is a financial services firm. Besides a check of the computer system's security, he installs new software that manages the bank's growing roster of clients. All roads lead to a hospital system on Thursday. There's a good chance that hospital administrators have a laundry list of questions about the new healthcare act that's going to change the way they do business. Finally, on Friday, the trip involves a visit to a large government office. Our warrior consults with the agency on an ERP package that streamlines the way it processes and sends pension checks to elderly citizens.

Our road warrior is a composite character, of course. Chances are that no one person within an enterprise fulfills all these roles. The point, however, is that an enterprise road warrior is only as good as the Information Technology around him. When those IT solutions are mobile, a business has more capabilities to respond to existing and potential clients. It can offer solutions more rapidly and efficiently. That leaves more time for the company to innovate and plan ahead.

The technology that surrounds us becomes more mobile by the day. That's why our business models must keep up with those changes. The more nimble the employee, the greater the chance a company will find success.

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