of 451 Research
discusses mobile first.
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So I've been in the mobile industry for over 10 years. I spent over the last five years with 451 Research, focusing specifically on enterprise mobility. And prior to that, I was the smartphone analyst for IDC.
What is exciting about mobility, really, it's the nexus for everything that is changing for IT. You have movement of data from on prem to the cloud, and the best way to view and interact with that data is through mobile, so that you can access that data any time, anywhere on any device, and be able to have that information in front of you at the point of decision, where you're interacting with the customer or making a key decision that will have an impact on your business.
When we talk to end users, we find the biggest challenges that they have in managing mobility is applying consistent policies across
devices, operating systems, and applications. And with the growth of Android, this problem is only getting bigger. As you have different devices
with different screen sizes, you have different flavors of operating systems, you have the UI that device vendors put on top of Android, and then you have different carrier implementations of Android. And so we see this challenge of applying consistent management policies only getting more difficult if there continues to be a focus on the device. But if you're able to focus only on data and applications, that challenge becomes a little bit easier as you focus on how you're distributing those applications, focusing on which applications run on which devices, and then that way you're able to ease this challenge with applying consistency. So in previous years, and even today, there's a focus and concern about device and device ownership. Going forward, device ownership really doesn't matter. It's who owns the data, and how you control that data on the device. Here with mobile and mobile applications, mobile enterprise applications, companies are allowed to put almost all the data into an employee's hand at that point of decision, at that point of interaction with the customer. But there's a challenge there, and providing all that information, we then go back to that refining need, to refine that data. You know, what specific information do you need to interact with that customer. And thoughtfully designed mobile applications can provide that information to an employee at that point of decision with the customer. So mobile first is a design philosophy whereby developers focus on constrained environments, like smartphones and tablets first. And what that design philosophy forces developers to do is to focus and refine their message, and the tools that they want to provide to a user, meaning that the key data that a user needs for that application, and only that data is in that application. There is no extraneous, or noise in that application. And then from there, designers are able to build upon the additional capabilities that are available on web and on a desktop. And it may sound like semantics, but mobile first design philosophy ensures that mobile is not left out, so that when you build a service with no constraints, that when you do get to a constrained device, often later in the development stage, when you have less time, mobile is often seen as an afterthought. But with mobile first, it's the primary platform. Now, why does it need to be the primary platform? Because of the number of devices that are going into the organization. Nearly every employee in a developed market has a smartphone, or will have a smartphone over the next couple years. Also, your customers. Most of your customers will have a smartphone or a tablet, and that is the best way, and will be the best way to interact with them, given the number of sensors that are on that device, given the level of engagement with that device. That device is in their pocket, it's with them nearly 24/7. You also have a lot more information that can be derived from that application. Where is the application being used? What type of device is the user using? And also, you have new capabilities, such as media capture and positioning that can also be incorporated into a device. And with mobile first, if those capabilities and sensors are taken into account early on, then those capabilities can be baked into the app, and
the app becomes that much better for it.
When we talk to CIOs and organizations, likely mobile first is not something to be achievable within the next couple years. It's an end goal, and in reaching that end goal, mobile becomes much more of a priority for that organization. And as it should, given the number of devices that are out there. And the movement away from desktop as that primary use case, or use platform to tablets and smartphones. So we see with the market moving to mobile first, the market is moving away from reactive mobile IT to a more strategic use of mobility. And by strategic from reactive, we mean from just one or two business units focusing on mobile to the entire organization. And once you have that entire organization focusing on mobile and focusing on policies and strategy, you then get a greater consistency. And earlier we talked about some of the big challenges that IT has with mobile is consistency. And consistency in terms of policies and strategy for applications and security. And by having that consistent strategy across business units led by IT makes mobile easier, and makes that movement to mobile first much more likely.
How is next year going to be different from the last year in enterprise mobility? We're seeing a greater awareness of enterprise data moving to mobile devices by IT, and that awareness is also a concern. So we're seeing a lot more focus on controlling how data moves from email, from the cloud to applications on a mobile device. And we're seeing the word containerization being tossed around quite a bit, which is leading to some confusion between the use of what we call a secure container and mobile application management, which typically is leveraged by app wrapping. And so often it's called app containerization, but I think it's easier to call that just mobile application management to differentiate that from a secure container. And so this will really be a religious battle within IT organizations of whether they want to control the entire software stack, from email, applications, productivity applications and filed folder management systems to individual applications that reside natively on the device and sit side by side with personal applications. We see a greater adoption of the MAM approach, because this is the way that users interact with data today, where they have their corporate data sitting side by side with personal data. A good example of that are calendars, where you have your personal and family calendar sitting side by side with your corporate calendar, so that way you're able to decide when you're available for business and when you're available for your personal life, all on your mobile device.