The Year in Enterprise Mobility: A Review of 2013

 

We strive to keep you informed of the challenges, benefits, and ever-changing trends in the rapidly evolving world of enterprise mobility. Let’s take a moment to recap of some of the most important and exciting trends that we noted in 2013.

Enterprise Mobility Is Still a High Priority

The biggest trend we saw in 2013 was that enterprise mobility continued to be a high priority for business. In a 2013 survey of 200 IT executives, 82 percent identified enterprise mobility as very important. On the other hand, only 8 percent of survey respondents have a well-defined mobility strategy. Obstacles include cost, lack of in-house expertise, and especially security (less than 50 percent of respondents have a mobile security solution). The survey suggests that many IT executives recognize the need for outside help, and half of the respondents say that they are considering mobility-as-a-service solutions.

It’s clear that businesses and industry leaders want to take enterprise mobility to the next level, and they understand that in a world of proliferating mobility devices, apps, and support options, planning and strategy matter. We saw more evidence of this approach in some of the milestones that we crossed at Enterprise Mobile in 2013. We now manage more than 500,000 mobile devices across more than 70 countries, and we were recognized in Gartner’s very first Magic Quadrant for Managed Mobility Services for offering comprehensive services across a broad range of software and devices.

The Mobile Landscape Is Changing

It may be cliché to say “the only constant is change,” but when it comes to the mobile landscape, it’s true. 2013 was no exception, and many businesses scrambled to take the guesswork out of choosing among the latest devices and platforms reaching the market. The next wave of mobile devices is arriving and enterprise mobility is rapidly moving beyond tablets and smartphones.

Wearable technology isn’t science fiction anymore. Most of us have heard about Google Glass, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The UK research company Visiongain found that wearable technology generated US$4.6 billion of business in 2013, and it predicts “explosive growth” in the sector over the next five years. All this rapid innovation might make it daunting to find and choose the best devices for your business, but with the right support and guidance, it’s an exciting challenge.

Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs remained a big force in enterprise mobility in 2013. Allowing employees to use their own devices for work can be a double-edged sword, but as companies develop coherent BYOD policies, they are avoiding potential chaos and opening the door to increased productivity and greater employee satisfaction. As businesses determined the real costs of BYOD—such as management, support, security, stipend practices, and legal considerations—they have started to gather requirements, set goals, define budgets, and optimize their BYOD strategies and execution.

 Mobile Security Is a Top Concern

BYOD or not, dozens of devices, or just a few, security is always a top concern in enterprise mobility. Securing any network is hard, and savvy IT executives know that safeguarding disparate devices, connections, and applications takes a well-planned mobile security strategy.

In 2013, we saw organizations develop policies that address a range of issues, such as regulation compliance, information privacy, device and application inventory, and data storage. Organizations that manage mobile security in-house often find it limiting—not to mention a time-sink for the IT staff. Others find that a trusted service provider can help them meet current threats, stay on top of industry trends, and optimize their mobile environment. By combining mobile device management, mobile application management, and mobile content management software, businesses can build an effective overall mobile management and security infrastructure that gives employees the agility they need without putting devices, apps, or data at risk. The upshot is that effective organizations use rigorous security planning to determine their mobile security path.

2013 is almost over, but it’s not too late to get in on the hottest enterprise mobility trends of 2014. Check out our 2014 Enterprise Mobility Predictions, and learn what you can expect in the new year.

Image source: Forbes

 

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