Chief information officers are the authority when it comes to matters of technology in the enterprise. However, CIOs still need to answer to the chief executive and members of the board who will need to know how sound the CIO’s plans are.

A recent article by Mark Scott, CEO of mobile app company Northern Pixels, in the business publication listed five questions about mobile apps that board members should ask their CIO in order to gauge his or her mobile strategy.

In think the list can similarly be used by CIOs to make sure that their mobile app initiatives cover all the bases:

Which business processes rank highest for moving to mobile apps and devices?

Board members want to know the CIO’s plan and what business data the CIO is basing the prioritizing of business process that will be moved to mobile apps and devices. CIO should make sure they are business process that may have already been turned to mobile solutions by their owners. The CIO needs to know the impact to future company decisions of these factors.

Where is the CIO sourcing custom or mobile solutions from and why?

Today, a lot of off-the-shelf mobile solutions are capable of handling field business processes that were previously done by custom apps. Board members want to know the CIOs business case for picking the mobile solutions he deploys. Questions the CIO needs to be prepared to answer are: What is the rationale behind using a custom app when off-the-shelf solutions are available? What are the costs associated with custom app development? Is there a history of employees adopting and using these custom apps?

How are SaaS solutions being used to help mobile employees?

Board members need to be informed about what software-as-a-service tools are commonly used by enterprise organizations today. The CIO need to explain how the company’s SaaS solutions are able to enhance the performance and capability of the firm’s mobile workforce. CIOs should be prepared to provide answers questions around the impact of shadow IT SaaS deployments as well.

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