Challenges and Opportunities In Enterprise Application Deployment

There are many challenges and opportunities when releasing a major application for the exclusive use of a corporate entity. The term exclusive itself is likely to strike a chord. It is hard to be exclusive when the application concerned is tailor-fit to the needs of all employees in an organization.

At the same time, the said software must remain relevant to the outside world where there could also be a major user base. One solution has been to deploy the application in the form of Smartphone apps for iPhones, Android, and BlackBerry devices. Vodafone has pioneered in this kind of deployment and shares the advantages and disadvantages of doing it this way.

No matter how far behind other technology firms may be, they will need to catch up fast. The approach has gained critical mass since May of 2012. One immediate advantage of such a technique is the tremendous goodwill it generates.

To illustrate, a biking executive can immediately download the application and use it on the fly. To the deployer, however, this is easier said than done. Just imagine having to break up the software into IOS, Android and BlackBerry.

Still, it improves employee productivity exponentially. Just imagine telling employees that the application now available on their computer terminal is also available for download on their Smartphones or tablets. These days, many people are taking home work if they are not already telecommuting.

Security, of course is a major concern, but just as it’s so easy to disable a lost phone, so it’s not impossible to buttress security for software access. If that is the good news, this is the bad news. Friction with co-workers in a software upgrade team is on the rise, or so suggests David Greenfield of Silver Peak Systems.

It’s not only gender issues, this time around. There is such a thing as bullying as well. For example, how is a software team partner to react when the server team is taking too long to bring the hardware over or have it installed? It is so easy to be a bully or a control freak in this scenario.

Nobody likes bullies or dragon ladies, especially not in a critical software overhaul with expectantly tight deadlines. Deployment veterans, however, are first to say that there is nothing new or that it happens all the time. This makes sense, because for as long as one is dealing with a group of people, human relations always manage to rise to the top of the occasion.

Now more than ever, deployment teams will be expected to have the requisite people skills to get things to move along. As always, survival will depend on a mixture of psychology, charisma and positive pressure. Of the three, the last is the most important as it is the most potent.

It is not the never-say-die attitude. It’s just the powerful statement that everyone is in it together, followed by a genuine wink, smile or laughter. One has to see it, to believe it. Nobody likes being pressured in an already boiler-room environment.

Nobody likes the serial shared-goals reminder, either. Or so it seems, good old human relations still gets the job done. As for the rise of Smartphones aficionados, enterprise application deployment has its work cut out.

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