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Why CIOs actually think mobile tech was underhyped in 2013

by David Needle

December 30 2013

Smartphones, tablets, wearable technologies. Everywhere you look it seems there's another story about a new mobile device. How then could anyone say the technology is underhyped?

Well, to badly paraphrase Einstein, it's all relative.

Sierra Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on enterprise products and services, surveyed the network of CIOs in its portfolio companies to find out what they think are the most overhyped and underhyped technologies.

As reported by AllThingsD, the 40 CIOs surveyed placed social media tools designed for the enterprise at the top of their list of most overhyped technologies (this would include, for example, products like Jive, Microsoft’s Yammer,’s Chatter, Moxie, VMWare’s Socialcast and many others). 

Why? Short version is these CIOs don't think these kind of products really deliver a return on investment. Others, like Chief Marketing Officers, may be more gung ho on using social media to promote brands and products. 

So by comparison, mobile technology (smartphones, tablets, etc.) are underhyped because, these CIOs say, of the way it can change business processes that are specific to a given industry.

If you're a retail chain, for example, how you use smartphones and tablets is going to be different than how a manufacturing or logistics company uses those devices. Tim Guleri, a managing partner at Sierra Ventures, said the CIOs who took part in the survey agreed that understanding this “vertical context” is extremely important to their business. 

The second most underhyped technology 

But while mobile products have many great advantages, their distribution and adoption also raises a lot of security issues.

Which is why these CIOs listed security as the second most underhyped technology because its incredibly important to their operations.

“The perimeter that you used to be protected is gone,” said Guleri said. "There’s a lot of pain and potential for innovation around security."

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David Needle is Editor of TabTimes and based in Silicon Valley.
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