Mobile technologies have been dubbed as 'game changers' as their move towards enterprise, government, and small business space goes untrammelled.

No industry is spared as mobile and related technologies create new services and even entire businesses, raise staff and customer expectations, and provide new channels both for communications and commerce.

At a recent CIO roundtable in Wellington, a panel of ICT executives noted how these technologies become definitive business enablers when internal and external users are included in policies around devices and apps.

Here are highlights of the discussion:

Know thy setting

Kathryn McInteer, Ministry of Justice:

Before deploying mobility, we need to need to fully understand the requirements for the business, and how it will drive our business forward.

Tina Sutton, Ministry of Justice:

What springs to mind for me is being device agnostic, basically taking the device out of the equation and just making sure that content and informational services work no matter what device you're on... You remove that problem from the customer so that they don't have to worry about what device, what kind of phone, what kind of tablet they're on; it just works.

Channa Jayasinha, Wellington City Council:

Two phrases come to mind. One is 'fit for purpose' and the second is 'strategy'.

Without a mobile strategy that whole channel becomes a disruptive channel. So you need to identify what are your key drivers. We are right in the middle of developing a mobile strategy for local government in the region, so we've been taking a regional perspective, rather than an individual council perspective.

'Information transformation'

Matt O'Mara, Treasury New Zealand:

A significant focus of today's ICT leaders is on mobile technologies. However what is often overlooked is the information these technologies deliver and the associated transformation opportunities that exist. I have coined the term 'information transformation' which is a paradigm that challenges people to think differently about information and consider the power of information as an agent of transformation. It is about helping people to learn to utilise information better and in different ways and realise how profoundly transformational this can be.

We live in the information age, yet we have not come close to realising the full potential of information and the way we use it not just in corporate settings or in government but in our day to day lives.

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On a daily basis numerous opportunities pass us by to utilise information in different ways to transform and improve what we do, address real world problems and to provide new insights.

While mobile technologies are a key enabler, it is the ability to look at business problems differently through what I call an information transformation lens. This new way of viewing the world around us has numerous advantages. A cogent example of this in the real world is the twittering sharks.

Scientists in Western Australia have attached transmitters to more than 320 sharks, including great whites, which monitor their movements up and down the coast. When a tagged shark swims within about a kilometre of a beach, it triggers an alert which is picked up by computer. That computer then instantly turns the shark's signal into a short message on Surf Life Saving Western Australia's (SLSWA) Twitter feed.

The unique project means beach goers can make an informed decision about whether to go in the water knowing a shark is nearby.

The tweet gives the size and breed of the shark, and its approximate location. Think of how many lives this could save or the millions of dollars saved in dealing with a shark victim's treatment and recovery not to mention the emotional trauma. This is just one information transformation example of many.

When we can combine mobile technologies with an information transformation mind-set, then we have a powerful proposition to not just enable the business but to be truly transformative as provided in the twittering sharks example.

In sync: Security awareness and training

Jon Cumming, Department of Corrections:

We have made a significant transition in our thinking. We used to closely control all aspects of how staff used their phones. We were risk-averse to the point of trying to completely eliminate any possibility of anything going wrong.

The result was that, whilst safe, we had significantly limited the usefulness of mobile devices by essentially marginalising them as just an email/calendar tool. They were just an extension of our internal network.

We've now moved to an approach that says, 'Actually we'll give you relative freedom on the internet with your mobile phone so that you can make the most of the wealth of applications and services available -- but anything to with corrections or offender data, we'll enforce high levels of control and security on that.'

Providing that freedom for staff has been quite a tough leadership journey - because we so are used to controlling everything.

The result is that staff have both power and responsibility in the way they work. They have a mobile device that empowers them professionally and engages them quite personally. The relationship with offenders changes too as our staff can get out in the field to work with them in the community rather than just saying, 'Come into the office and we'll talk to you' -- and with the mobile staff-safety application they can do that with confidence.

Lukasz Zawilski, Ministry for Primary Industries:

We've just had a review of where we have put in our efforts around mobility and security and a good 30 per cent of it went into awareness last year. Your key investment is in your people and their awareness; trusting them and equipping them to do the right things.

Our first round of awareness really was around the types of attacks, what to look out for and what's out there and how to respond to them. We have also invested in how we manage and respond to security incidents -- knowing that sooner or later you're probably going to encounter one -- to make sure we're as ready as we can be.

Jon Cumming, Department of Corrections:

Education on information security has to reach everyone -- right the way from basic users, to top executives. It is often not the job of IT within the organisational to provide such training and awareness.

However, I have found that whilst training groups are well intentioned, they are not that well-equipped to convey the key messages and education. In this situation, the ICT groups probably just need to bite the bullet, go out there and get on with it -- regardless of the more general training and educational lines of accountability.

Before deploying mobility, we need to need to fully understand the requirements for the business, and how it will drive our business forward.

Murray Wills, Maxsys:

One of the things I do is I train directors in IT Governance. It is vital to ensure that the board and in a government agency without a board, the chief executive,understand that they are responsible for the governance of IT strategy and for risk and security.This includes mobility. You'll see a change in business enablement when people realise that.

The governance of intellectual property is also a board responsibility. Mobility imposes some potential risks to IP retention if not assessed and managed correctly. A good thing to do in an organisation is an IP audit, which means actively thinking about it at board, chief executive and at all tiers. What is the organisation's IP? What is its value? How long does it have value for? And, vitally for mobility, where is it? Who has access to it? What happens if an employee leaves?A lot of organisations haven't done that.

It is vital to ensure that the board the chief executive understand that they are responsible for the governance of IT strategy and for risk and security.This includes mobility.

Frontline access -- and success

Channa Jayasinha, Wellington City Council:

Around the app space, our view is that we should build it once. It doesn't matter what channel it is, whether it's a direct channel or a mobile channel, we should build it once.

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We have created an app called FIXiT that people can download free from their Android phone or iPhone. It allows you to take a picture of a pothole or a broken light or anything and with a GPS location, send it back to the council.

And we have a service there where within 48 hours we we'll fix, find out what the problem is. So that's a whole new kind of channel that's created by itself. And it's self-service. It just happens.

Around the app space, our view is that we should build it once. It doesn't matter what channel it is, whether it's a direct channel or a mobile channel, we should build it once.

Channa Jayasinha, Wellington City Council

We looked at some of the service request coming into the contact centre and we said if we do something like this we could actually take away a lot of the call handling that was happening around people reporting false [reports].

Our team came up with the FIXiT App and we got a third-party to build it for us. It cost about $40,000 to do [and was] built in four weeks. We got thousands and thousands of downloads and about 600 service request a month.

That shows how many things are broken, as well. That's the downside. But that's helped us learn a lot of things about the consuming traction with the council, how we can manage the service desk better by doing these sorts of things.

We have also implemented a fully automated mobility platform for running council meetings. So there's no paper anymore at council meetings; it's all run on iPads using a particular software solution

An eye for design

Stephen Crombie, NZ Police:

You can see the rise of a new way of thinking, which is in design thinking, which is all about simplification and dealing with the human informational interface and how people use [these devices] -- everything is designed around the user.

Nick Rowney, The Imaginairium:

Quite often, you have people who have second knowledge or experts in a certain area that tend to see things through their lens. Whereas, with design thinking it's around actually not having an opinion at all, and maybe not even knowing anything about what it is, in fact it's better not to know anything about the police or anything about observation. It's how do people interact? How do they use it [the device]?

David Kester, former chief executive of the UK Design Council, was brought to New Zealand by Massey University. One of the things that he worked on in the UK was alcohol-related violence towards hospital staff.

So they sent people out to observe and at Christmas they went out to NHS (the National Health Service) hospitals and they just sat in the waiting room. And then they came back and they said the problem isn't that they're drunk, the problem is that they sit there for four hours and no one's even told them where they are in the queue and what's going to happen.

They introduced a $65,000 policy around educating people how to tell people where they were in the queue, and if there has been a bad accident, they will be dropped down the queue. It dropped the violence in the hospitals by 80 per cent.

Related: Photo gallery: CIO roundtable on 'the next phase of mobility': Innovation, collaboration, transformation

This is the third of a series of CIO roundtable discussions on 'the next phase of mobility' held in conjunction with Samsung.

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Follow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinap

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