From the recent innovations in technology, one thing is certain: we’re all going mobile. From the various trends in the mobile phone sector, it is evident that mobile devices have a ubiquitous influence everywhere. And this isn’t just the case with the consumer sector, with BYOD policies and firms popularizing it, mobile devices are entering workplaces like never before.
This trend will definitely impact the way businesses are carried out, how employees conduct their work and how an organization reaches out to the end user.
But what does the future hold in this sector? Mobile devices in a workplace: a mere luxury to the employees, or an opportunity for other companies too? The Enterprise Mobility Market is the focal point of my article here.
BACK TO THE BASICS: ENTERPRISE MOBILITY EXPLAINED
Let’s rewind a little to what corporate patterns were like some years back. Cloud services were unheard of, and the work that was done in the office was done on specialized office hardware and computers. This was a very basic methodology, and with the rise in consumer needs, along with the development of technology, something more efficient was needed.
In fact, according to a survey conducted by Citrix, the total number of enterprise mobile devices increased by 72% in 2014 over 2013. Cisco has also made a couple of surveys in this regard, and a key finding was that 11% of users access their business applications from the corporate office, the other 89% access relevant tools from their own devices.
Ergo, enterprise mobility.
Enterprise mobility basically denotes a system wherein the employees can work from anywhere, on their devices, and store data on the cloud. The advantage would be more portability, increased efficiency, and more security in the form of cloud services. Win-win for everyone.
ENTERPRISE MOBILITY MANAGEMENT: KEY COMPONENTS
Now the good news is that enterprises are recognizing the need to implement more mobile systems, and that’s where Enterprise Mobility Management comes into the picture. It proves to be a boon in many aspects – which include mobile security, data protection and analytics.
The key aspects can be summarized as:
Mobile Device Management (MDM) Features
This is basically device level stuff; management and analytics within the device.
Mobile Security Features
Protection against data loss. This incorporates encryption, authentication and other security protocols.
Mobile Application Management (MAM) Features
This is the analytics wing for app usage and containerization.
Mobile Content Management
This includes the document management, software integration, secure email and calendar services.
Now all these solutions are available as on-premises systems within the workplace, cloud based or even hybrid systems. Among these solutions, the most popular is the cloud based services mainly due to the efficiency and portability offered.
And that being said, companies are now shifting to a more hybrid strategy. The number of employee owned devices in the enterprise are increasing, which will further improve upon the elasticity of cloud based services.
BLACKBERRY ENTERPRISE SERVICES: ONE OF THE PIONEERS
An article on Enterprise Mobility Management would be incomplete without a mention of BlackBerry. The firm has made its presence felt in this sector in the form of its BES12 platform – which is the only EMM solution that supports the full spectrum of business ownership models. Moreover, we at Emberify have always maintained that BlackBerry’s true prowess lies in its software solutions, and not in its mobile devices, as we’ve spoken about in our article on BlackBerry.
In fact, back in November 2014, BlackBerry announced a partnership with Samsung to bring the BES12 program to Android users. It is also interesting to note that just a month prior to the announcement of the Samsung-BlackBerry partnership, Forrester Research had made it to the top 10 leader list in enterprise mobility management. BlackBerry, as a matter of fact, competes with the likes of VMware’s AirWatch, Good Technology, MobileIron, Citrix and IBM and actually notches a win in this regard.
THE APPLE-IBM PRESENCE
A notable development in the field of Enterprise Mobility has been the recent tie up of IBM and Apple. It brings forth the power of data analytics, cloud services and mobile systems to radically change the way in which employees interact and learn within an organization.
How is this partnership relevant? Well let’s take some stats into account. For Q3 2014, iOS comprised 69% of smartphones and 89% of tablets sold to businesses in the United States (Source: Statista).
Also, according to a Citrix survey, out of the 72% increase in overall enterprise mobile devices, 64% were iOS devices.
The reason is simply because more employees prefer Apple devices, and that has been the thrust behind Apple partnering with an established player in the field such as IBM to develop new business apps and services to aid Enterprise Mobility systems.
• Here’s a statistic which shows the mobile phone shipments globally from 2009 – 2014. The numbers are increasing, which further proves my initial point of a trend towards a more mobile device oriented market.
• Continuing the above statistic, is the total number of mobile phones shipped. In 2013, the number stoof at over 1.82 billion units. In fact, in the United States, 76.8 percent of the population owned a mobile phone in 2012, and this figure is forecast to rise to 79 percent by 2016 (Source: Statista).
• Here’s a forecast of the number of smartphone users worldwide. It is estimated that in 2015, over 1.2 billion people will use a smartphone.
• Here’s the projection for the worldwide revenues for the EMM market. For 2015, the projection stands at $1.912 billion, and this figure is expected to grow to over $5.7 billion by 2018. This represents an average annual growth rate of 43% over the next few years. (Source: The Radicati Group)
SOME PREDICTIONS FOR THE EMM MARKET
Keeping the above stats and data in mind, we predict the following developments in this sector:
BYOD WILL EVOLVE
There has been a rise in security threats, which have prompted companies to move from a simple ‘Bring Your Own Device’ policy to ‘Choose Your Own Device’ (CYOD). What this indicates is that employees will be able to select from a roster of devices that have already been pre-installed with the necessary enterprise software.
IMPROVED SECURITY SERVICES
This was quite a no-brainer. Regulating access to information in the cloud, along with various encryption services and in-app permission schemes will be the norm in the coming days. There will be shift towards mobile apps with more build in security options.
HTML5 WILL GROW
In the enterprise sector, HTML5 presents a more viable solution for developing economically efficient applications. In fact, HTML5 is becoming popular owing to its favorable economics, as compared to consumer oriented Native stuff.
And this will also lead to a rise in cloud based services. With HTML5, browser based IDEs (that are conducive for enterprises) give a consistent user interface that has the power of the cloud backing it. Think of it like Google Docs: same applications, same data, and multiple platforms.
MOBILE APP DEVELOPERS WILL MONITOR THE B2B SECTOR CLOSELY
With the popularization of BYOD policies, and the growth in HTML5, there will be a shift in the app market too. Till now, the app market was mainly consumer oriented, but now there will be a need of mobile apps to enhance the productivity in the workplace, which will compel mobile app developers to shift their focus to the B2B sector.
MORE ANALYTICS AND DATA SERVICES
Speaking of app developers, there will now be better analytics and data gathering applications developed which will be accessible over the cloud. This will give companies valuable insights into their content and will enable them to tap into the mobile devices and gather relevant information which will in turn improve upon their throughput.
The Enterprise Mobility Market is a sector which is seeing quite a flurry of improvements lately. It will affect companies and big organisations, along with startups, like never before. The need of the hour is for mobile app developers, OEMs and other startups based in software and cloud services to realized the trend and produce products and services accordingly.
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