Google’s Vision for Android in the Enterprise in 2017.
By Philip Harrison
Google hosted their Annual Global Android Enterprise event in King’s Cross, London, last week. CWSI were in attendance and thought we would share some of Google’s vision for Android in the enterprise in 2017.
In his keynote, David Still, Managing Director, Android Enterprise, noted that Android has just below 30% of Enterprise-managed mobile device market share; his task is to get that closer to Android’s global market share of 85% of shipments. The challenges to Google overcoming low market share are:
A challenge for Android has been the perception that it is not a secure platform or, more to the point, that Google are not focused on security and therefore Android is not focused on Enterprise. Events like the Android Enterprise summit are held specifically to try to address these misconceptions and encourage the various Android Enterprise partners (EMM vendors, ISVs, SIs and carriers) to convey this message to customers.
The event put a heavy emphasis on security and Enterprise-specific features.
The two most common reasons to avoid Android in the Enterprise are fragmentation and security of the operating system. The Android Enterprise teams’ key message is that a huge amount of effort has gone into improving the security of Android and think it is just a matter of conveying the message and challenging customer perceptions. Rather than going through all the security features of Android Enterprise, just click here for more details. Below is a summary of interesting points that stood out:
The Enterprise Android team’s message on fragmentation was that while they certainly see the challenges it poses, the openness of Android is what has allowed it expand so successfully into TVs, cars, Android compute sticks, set-top boxes, printers and various other applications. Their goal is to find the balance between diversity and fragmentation, which they are achieving with –
Android supported management via EMM solutions very early on (2.2?), however, I think Google would agree that until the release of Android for Work, it was not a major focus which is completely understandable because they decided to concentrate on improving the experience for the hundreds of millions of consumer users. This led to the ODMs, who did want to target enterprise, implementing their own management solutions to fill the gap – for example Samsung Approved for Enterprise (SAFE), Samsung KNOX, Sony Enterprise SDK, HTC API and many more.
Between different versions of the underlying Android OS, different ODM builds of the OS, different releases of the management APIs (some updating in-line with the OS, some not) and sporadic support from the EMM vendors, the management of Android was unpredictable and not for the faint-hearted.
Android for Work (now Android Enterprise) is set to solve all these issues – namely a single set of management controls and features across all Android devices. However, the Android Enterprise team are taking it further with the likes of -
The on-boarding of enterprise users is being tackled on a number of fronts -
Thanks to Google for running an excellent event and being very upfront and humble with all their enterprise partners. We all came away energised and empowered to drive adoption of Android in the enterprise. For more information on Android in the enterprise please see https://enterprise.google.com/android/.