The explosive growth in mobile computing has reinvented the way businesses work across platforms. As companies in all sectors continue to develop and improve their mobile strategies, the need for a bridge between IT and the corporate side has become apparent.
Enter the chief mobile officer, the technologist-manager who oversees the direction and interaction of all mobile processes and supervises the mobile architecture team. While it’s a relatively new position, organizations that are betting on the mobile marketplace are increasingly making space for a CMO.
Jim Angleton, president and CEO of AEGIS FinServ Corp., a Miami, Fla., firm that provides financial services and debt resolution, just hired a CMO.
“We expanded our technology to mobile banking and cash conveyance products, so we needed a mobile technology professional,” he says. From his perch in finance, he sees a not-too-distant future where smartphones will be able to essentially become private mobile bank branches where users can pay bills, access cash and send and receive money as they do from brick and mortar banks.
AEGIS FinServ’s CMO comes from the cellular technology sector. “We retrained him in skills that meet our needs,” says Angleton, who’s invested in both a substantial salary and stock options for the new hire because he predicts the company’s mobile processes will increase by 100 percent within the next five years.
In New York, LionCage CTO Moti Mitteldorf had been wrestling with the idea of hiring a CMO for the data security solutions provider. After much discussion with investors, Mitteldorf considered that he needed someone to stay on top of cross-product formatting, conversions and cross-market online marketing and affiliates. “We were debating whether to hire someone dedicated for this position,” he says, “and with our mobile clicks on the rise and our upcoming mobile products, we decided a CMO makes a lot of sense.”
Meanwhile, Kira Makagon, executive vice president of innovation at RingCentral, a San Mateo, Calif., provider of cloud-based phone systems, works closely with her company’s CMO and CTO. She believes having a CMO is essential to the health of a business. “I believe we’ll continue to see a rise in the number of chief mobile officers,” she says. “Mobile phones and tablets have the potential to expose valuable, confidential data and that poses a risk. Chief mobile officers will be the ambassadors for new technologies and processes that properly manage and separate business and personal identity for business communication.”
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