Seven Key Enterprise Mobility IT Trends for 2014

Seven Key Enterprise Mobility IT Trends for 2014

Seven Key Enterprise Mobility IT Trends for 2014

Its the time of the year when we take a look into our crystal ball and consider what will be the seven key enterprise mobility IT trends for 2014.

How many of these that we identified for 2013 did you see during the year?

We are looking for trends that are likely to prove key in helping you figure out if you can generate a return on investment for your Enterprise Mobility projects.

 1. Shorter Replacement Cycles

Traditional sales pitch for an enterprise grade rugged device involves a replacement cycle of 3- 5 years based on the premise of a superior TCO and being able to repair the unit long term.

This proposition will start to become outmoded for many buyers who are used to 24 month re-fresh and a faster moving product life. Out of contract cost of repair is not dropping as traditional device manufactures try and make up margin by selling repair services.

2. Tablets and iPads.

If you just landed on Earth you would be forgiven for thinking that Apple invented tablet computing in 2010. In fact whilst the iPad has shipped in the millions rugged enterprise grade tablets had been around for years before that. Apple continues to lose market share but is happy being the premium product especially for C Level types. Is the iPad a tablet or some sort of entertainment portal – who cares. Devices have become lighter and more manageable meaning that users in organisations of all sizes are now just as comfortable with 7″ to 10″ screen formats than with a handheld or PDA form factor. In the UK IDC estimates that 25% of tablets shipped between July and September were under £120 ($190) and it expects this part of the market to grow over the next few years.

Expect to see more people looking to use more larger format tablets and more apps more often for enterprise tasks whatever the brand or OS.

3. R.I.P. Windows Mobile

Is this the year more enterprise mobility deployments go out on Android rather than Windows Mobile? Android is attacking the space from all angles and according to IDC accounts for 81% of all Smartphone shipments. That is quite a wave for Enterprise Mobility to dodge even though Apple alone accounts for 56% of the profit in the sector.

Watch out for more Android and innovative products like the Intermec CN51 which can be “upgraded” to Android in the future.

4. Rugged Android Device Battles

It’s over before it started. More rugged enterprise mobile Android units will enter the market . At the moment they seem to be happy slugging it out on price. Clearly this cannot last and for some vendors this could be a quickly deflating bubble.

New players may well start to be become dominant amid the beginning of a shake out in traditional vendors as only the fittest and most innovative will survive this.

5. Bring Your Own Device

Yawn… I hear you think not another mention about BYOD.  Whatever the hype more companies have been organising their HR and security policies to suit a deployment. Perhaps they are spurred on by Gartner predicting that 38% of surveyed CIOs will cease to provide personal IT devices to their employees by 2016.  But is it worth it? Perhaps not, one piece of research by Nucleus explained how BYOD would actually increase costs without providng any tangible benefits.

No matter what the cost many will find the approach compelling enough to fudge the numbers to fit their scenario. More companies will be doing BYOD trials and one will surely try it to impose it on blue collar workers.  After all its far too hip to go away.

6. Even More Wi-Fi

An IDC report describes how in spite of its relative maturity the enterprise WLAN market continues to go up with revenues growing at a 20% rate in recent years. Reports indicate Cisco having a solid @55% market share primary loser seems to be Motorola Solutions.

Two factors continue to drive growth in WLAN deployments. The added oomph given by all those BYOD users hooking on to corporate Wi-Fi with their iPad’s and Android devices. Also cellular operators will be looking to add more enterprise grade Wi-Fi provision to their networks and value added offerings.

7. Secure Mobile File Sharing

By giving white collar users mobile access to secure collaboration and file sharing, enterprises can boost business productivity and organizational agility. However, IT departments need to ensure that mobile file sharing never puts at risk the security of an organisation’s data.

As Keith Hall of Accellion comments,  “While “anytime, anywhere” might sound like a pipe dream that can never truly be fulfilled, we really mean it. Users have to be able to securely access any enterprise content they need, whenever needed from any type of device. And then edit the data, share it, save it – whatever is required for the task at hand. That’s mobile productivity at its finest and secure file sharing solutions will be at the center of this trend to watch”.

The Wildcards

How could we leave out Near Field Communication – NFC? Does it have a future in the mainstream? With more Android based devices being used in Enterprise Mobility expect to see more of this in a number of apps starting with proof of delivery.

Optical Character Recognition – OCR. Reading text is a great alternative to reading barcodes or RFID tags. There are plenty of human readable applications that could benefit from this approach.

Seven Key Enterprise Mobility IT Trends for 2014

We can bring our crystal ball to your office to discuss the seven key enterprise mobility IT trends for 2014 that may impact your project.

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Seven Key Enterprise Mobility IT Trends for 2013

Seven Key Enterprise Mobility IT Trends for 2013

Seven Key Enterprise Mobility IT Trends for 2013

It’s that time of year again when industry pundits stick their neck out and predict what IT trends will be hot in the next twelve months. Our footprint is mobile computing in business so our seven key enterprise mobility IT trends for 2013 are a tad more prosaic than 3D printing foldable screens and High Def smart televisions. But this stuff is important as trying to balance the never ending march of technology with achieving a return on investment is where the rubber meets the road for a mobile deployment.

1. Mobility in the Enterprise

To paraphrase Bill Clinton “It’s Mobile, Stupid..” Smart companies in the enterprise have been enjoying the productivity benefits of enterprise mobility for years and many of them are on their second or third refresh. However not many expected the explosion of mobility driven apps that have come from the huge adoption of smart phones and the rise of Android and iOS.  In some cases employees are now more mobile savvy than their IT departments.

The message for Finance Operations and IT leaders in any industry vertical is simple, get with it or lose out to competitors who adopt enterprise mobility apps to streamline remote worker processes improve productivity and reduce admin cycle times.  We don’t expect all the new adopters to adopt a strategic to this but we can hope…

2. More, Not Less Hardware Choices

The rugged hardware device industry long tail will continue. Motorola and Honeywell have acquired companies to maintain their volume position in the enterprise mobility market. But a never ending supply of no name white label handheld and tablet devices will come out of China and Taiwan offering lower price points and non-conventional ways to market. Expect the products and service offerings to become better.

3. Security and Mobile Device Management

According to a report issued by Dark Reading 47 percent of enterprises are predicting a bigger budget for security in 2013.  This has become a key area so expect Mobile Device Management MDM products such as Soti and ways of securing the apps infrastructure to mop up more IT spend.

4. Integration

Will simply become more important than ever. More mobile apps means more integration with existing ERP CRM and decision management systems.

5. Mobile Payments

In the consumer space 2013 may well be the year that consumers in stores start using the mobile wallet and contact less payment seriously.

Products such as Square that enable payments for Android and iOS and the Motorola MPM-100 will allow payment to be transacted at the point of delivery rather than at the end of an invoice paper chase. Expect this to enable more field based customer service activities in many applications such as retail dining home delivery and field service areas such as pest control.

6. Multiple OS Platform Support

Windows .NET is not going away just yet but the advance of Android and iOS into the enterprise space will compel solution providers to support apps on various platforms. Expect the Native Vs Web app debate to become more partisan in tone.

“I see an accelerated entry of Android into the marketplace, especially among companies who are integrating “hard” and “soft” workforces and deploying BYOD solutions”  Said Michael Forbes, Vice President of Marketing at axxun

7. The Cloud means BYOD right ?

Well maybe… Enterprises must come to terms with the fact that according to Forrester in excess of 66% of employees bring two devices to work. For Bring Your Own Device to work the need to separate private and business data will become…interesting.

Even if BYOD is not the approach of choice more enterprises are adopting some sort of cloud computing which means the prospect of an app being hosted outside the traditional in house network and paid for on a per use basis vs a perpetual model may well start to become the norm in 2013.

The Wildcards

Our seven key enterprise mobility IT trends for 2013 are factors we can already see at work. Both of our wildcards have generated a lot of press lately but are perhaps just over the horizon in terms of impact this year for enterprise mobility.

4G LTE

For sure more agile feature rich apps to increase data capture of  images videos and telemetry would be a great addition in many circumstances. How relevant this is to the typical enterprise mobility deployment will depend in part on the availability of a network and devices to exploit a super fast connection. Expect buyers to want to future-proof devices by specifying 4G LTE this year even if they don’t actually use it.

Ubuntu

Although the OS has been around a while the Ubuntu phone is a as Simon Phipps explains an intriguing addition to the mobility landscape.  It supports HTML5 so provides an alternative platform for existing web apps rather than creating another “native” approach.

We can help you wade through the options with your Enterprise Mobility project.

Seven Key Enterprise Mobility IT Trends for 2013 2

 

 

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Rugged PC Review MobileDemand xTablet T1200

Rugged PC Review MobileDemand xTablet T1200

Rugged PC Review MobileDemand xTablet T1200 4
Picture from ruggedpcreview.com

Rugged PC Review took a look at at the new MobileDemand xTablet T1200 that was offically introduced in October,. The T1200 is a fully Windows 8 rugged Tablet PC packing an Intel Ivy Bridge i5 chipset for professionals that don’t have the luxury of working in cozy office buildings. This tablet means business and packs a several features mobile users will appreciate.

To continue reading the full review and to see some great analysis of the T1200 please visit Rugged PC Review

Back here at MobileWorxs the xTablet T1200 offers a great return on investment ROI 3 year warranty, WWAN great screen and Intel i5 processor. Lease rates will be competitive get in touch for more details. The versatility of MobileDemand xTablet T1200 makes it ideal for users in any environment considering rugged tablet pc deployments including agriculture transport and logistics, field service, facilities management, van sales, retail supply chain management, manufacturing warehousing and the public sector.

Rugged PC Review MobileDemand xTablet T1200 5

New T1200 will be available in early 2013. Please contact us to pre-register your interest and arrange a demonstration.

 

Andrew Cahill

Andrew Cahill MobileWorxs MD has 20 years of experience in the use of enterprise mobility solutions and applications to improve the performance of real life business processes.

Andrew has worked on some of the largest Enterprise Mobility projects in the UK Eastern Europe the Middle East and Africa. He has user and project experience in helping companies think through and develop mobile strategies to get the most out of a deployment. He also likes old cars preferably with lots of chrome!

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Cloud Solution or Thick Client Platform 3G

Cloud solution or Thick Client Platform 3G

Android Smartphone
Android is gaining market share in Enterprise Mobility

Having defined the business requirements the next choice is deciding if the mobile application should run as a cloud solution or thick client platform 3G solution whilst considering the connectivity needed from device to server.

A cloud based thin client solution is an application accessed over a web browser. There is no application or data stored locally and all processing is performed on a central server just like a normal website. A thick client solution uses a locally installed application which sits on the device along with all data required. There are many pro’s and con’s with each and a number of questions need answering to decide which would suit. There is no ‘best’ option as all requirements are different.

Cost does play a factor in this for devices they will run on. Most people nowadays have a Smartphone, be it an iPhone, Android or Blackberry. These are all capable of running as a thin client. This means the business has no or little outlay for the devices if employees use their current units, BYOD. But tied to this comes issues with connectivity, speed of the application, and data costs. All major return on investment considerations.

If the application is used in areas of poor or no signal then a thin client solution would not be recommended. If there is no data connection a thin client application cannot work. A thick client would be recommended to enable the user to work offline as all the work orders would have been downloaded to the device over Wi-Fi or 3G prior to going on site.

A thick client can also connect to backend systems as standard to receive new work orders, send completed work orders back to a server, or request data in real-time. This is sometimes referred to as a ‘Smart Client’. Connecting to backend system when in the field depends on the quality of 3G signal. When the signal is good a thick client can synchronise data to receive an updated jobs list and send back all saved results.

A strong 3G signal or over Wi-Fi will mean a Thin client can access the web service easily and quickly, but should this drop out the user cannot continue. Some thin client services can download temporary data so the user can continue to use a thin client to a point. But beyond the temporary data the user is stuck. A poor signal results in a slow lagging thin client application. This can be very frustrating for the user.

Location is another factor to be taken into consideration – Where will the application be used specifically? If the application is required to check boilers or air-con units in basements and cellars then again it is very doubtful there will be any signal. Likewise if going to rural areas away from towns and cities.

In a lot of built up areas signal is now generally very good although congestion can be the real problem. This is very good news for thin clients. Likewise when working in Wi-Fi hotspots or buildings/warehouses with very good Wi-Fi coverage. This is still not to say in this instance a thick client should be discounted.

When in the mobile application development phase it is worth thinking about where data needs to be stored. As a rule .NET thick clients are generally much quicker than thin clients. As all data is stored locally all business logic is performed on the device rather than a web server. Granted if there is a vast amount of logic to calculate a PDA may be slightly slow. This is where a rugged tablet PC with a much faster processor i5 can be used in place.

3G data costs are another area to consider, especially if the users are providing their own devices. A thin client will use much more data than a thick client. This is because a thin client requests everything to be displayed whereas a thick client only requests new data and sends results. A thick client solution can even do away with 3G connection all together in some cases. All the jobs could be downloaded in the morning or day before over Wi-Fi, removing the need to request new jobs through the day.

The key question is: In the Cloud Solution or Thick Client Platform 3G debate without guaranteeing a connection over 3G or Wi-Fi is a Thin Client solution really sustainable?

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MobileDemand Introduces World’s First Windows 8 Rugged Tablet PC

MobileDemand Introduces World’s First Windows 8 Rugged Tablet PC

MobileDemand Introduces World’s First Windows 8 Rugged Tablet PC 8
xTablet T1200 Windows 8 Rugged Tablet PC

MobileDemand have announced the launch of the high-performance, all-light readable xTablet T1200 Windows 8 Rugged Tablet PC. This best-in-class military grade rugged tablet was developed to bolster productivity for mobile users who work in demanding environments such as utilities, mining, oil and gas exploration, construction, facilities management, field service, mobile supply chain management and public safety.

Windows 8 Rugged Tablet PC get more done, faster !

The xTablet T1200 bolsters productivity for mobile users who work in demanding environments. This fully rugged tablet provides great total cost of ownership and long-term savings over non-rugged devices with near 100% up time in mission critical line of business applications.

xTablet T1200 Features

  • 10.4″ multi-touch resistive 10.4” LCD display.
  • Powered by the latest Ivy Bridge Intel Core i5-3427U processor and either the Windows 8 or Windows 7 Professional operating system.
  • Multi-touch, full drive encryption of Windows Bitlocker, the Windows Defender anti-virus application and VPN with Windows 8.
  • Mobile workers stay connected with the optional 4G LTE or 3G Gobi WWAN radios and wireless networks.
  • IP65, MIL-STD 810G/F certified. That means your information is safe even if dropped shocked or exposed to water and dust.
  • Two 6-cell 116 watt-hour hot swappable batteries last a full shift or longer – up to 10 hours.
  • Supports a 64 GB to 256 GB and beyond mSATA solid state drive with an option to add a second high capacity hard disk drive.
  • Two USB 3.0 ports and an integrated RS-232 serial port, plus 3G, 4G LTE and Bluetooth 4.0 communications.
  • Integrated bar code scanner and RFID reader, built-in numeric keypad.
  • High resolution font facing and 5 MP rear facing camera, integrated GPS, PCMCIA, SDHC and smart card reader.

Read the full launch press release on xTablet T1200

T1200 will come with the usual huge range of accessories that make a rugged tablet PC easier to use in the field.

How can a NEW xTablet T1200 rugged tablet PC help in your Enterprise Mobility deployment ? – T1200 will be available in January 2013 sign up to  try one FREE for 10 days.

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