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”.
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.
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.