Now that we’re a couple months into 2014, we would like to share our thoughts on what we have been seeing here at Apperian as the top trends for the year in enterprise mobility.
1. BYOD, or Not?
We've been hearing about BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)
for years, but the reality is that this movement has both plateaued (the adoption has settled at about 70%
of companies, with the other 30%
simply saying it doesn't make sense for them), and has begun to refer to a broader understanding of employee choice, such as BYOA (Bring Your Own App), CYOD (Choose Your Own Device) and COPE (Corporate-Owned, Personally Enabled).
App choice is driven by employees’ other lives as consumers, where they have learned to use specific enterprise apps
for their own purposes and wish to apply them to their work lives (e.g. productivity apps), while CYOD and COPE are the corporate world’s response to the increased mobile app security
risks and implementation difficulties that have arisen with BYOD.
In corporate ownership, it is easier for companies to deploy and monitor their own devices instead of struggling to keep up with and secure the plethora of devices and apps that are brought in by their workforce. What’s more, companies can negotiate bulk discounts which is not possible when reimbursing employees at their consumer rate. The jury is still out on how employees feel about COPE/COPD, however, as this seems reminiscent of the Blackberry days.
2. Cloud-Based Everything
Again driven by trends in the consumer market, employees everywhere are using cloud services developed for consumers such as Dropbox, SkyDrive, Evernote, and iCloud to make their lives more efficient. The drawback is that many of these systems do not have enterprise-grade security: a big problem when dealing with confidential data on a daily basis. Companies need to determine how they will keep their data secure without hampering their employees’ newfound efficiency. Furthermore, from the company perspective, cloud-based infrastructure is growing in appeal due to its easy scalability with capacity and pricing. Why buy and store more hardware than you need to?
3. True Focus on Enterprise Apps
Apps aren't just for brochure ware anymore. According to a recent survey
commissioned by CA Technologies, 61% of IT decision-makers surveyed stated that their top priority mobile projects were employee-focused, either related to BYOD or internal employee-facing enterprise mobile apps
. In fact, AppDeveloperMagazine
believes that 60-70% of field service
functions will be 100% dependent on a mobile app to do their jobs. This means that the apps better be tightly integrated with the companies’ enterprise systems, or else operations could be affected, and mobile security becomes an even larger issue as this level of integration increases. Enterprises will need to focus on customized apps that solve their specific problems instead of cobbling together off-the-shelf solutions and that provide a well thought-through user experience.
4. Increased Need for Security
With all of these changes, mobile app security
has become increasingly important. For one, malware has more opportunities to wreak havoc. McAfee (now Intel Security) research claims that the average employee uses three apps
that are not IT-approved, while Kaspersky Lab
has stated that 99% of mobile malware targets Android devices. Users themselves are a risk, as employees might unintentionally disclose information when co-mingled with personal activities, or may compromise security due to loss or theft of the device (remember when that Apple employee left the then next-gen iPhone at a bar
As a result of all these trends, companies are moving beyond limiting, point solutions for mobile management to focus on the entire picture. A good mobile app management platform
can help companies to manage the current mobile environment for their own specific needs. When data and access is managed at the application level (instead of securing each device), BYOD becomes much less of an issue, because it really doesn't matter which of the many devices an employee has, and employees don’t need to worry about their vacation photos being deleted if they leave their phone somewhere. A mobile application management
(MAM®) solution can also enable companies to distribute and manage their internal apps via an enterprise app store that is secure and provides role-based access: employees can only download what their job allows them to have. The app-based movement is not going to slow down.
Some time ago, IDC predicted that by 2015 (which is less than 11 months away), the global mobile worker population will increase to 1.3 billion
, which is 37% of the total workforce. These workers will all be using apps – are you ready to deploy them?