Mobility – consumerised, commoditised, more important than ever
Growing user expectations, increasing reliance and security concerns are driving rapid development.
Hardly any medium or large-sized companies are not making extensive use of mobile.
Philip Harrison, our CTO, talks about enterprise mobility, how the market changed since 2010, advantages and risks that need to be considered and how security is major concern in a recent TechCentral.ie article.
The article also features Ojas Rege – chief strategy officer for MobileIron, who talks about their focus on mid-sized and large enterprises, the evolution of the mobile device and future developments.
When we first started at the end of 2010, companies were mainly using Blackberry devices, and iPhone's were only really starting to appear.
“Initially companies were trying to figure out how to prevent iOS devices ending up in enterprise, but there came a time when they realised that they had to allow them, and that is where the market for mobility management came from.”
Today, CWSI’s customers use mobile technology for a vast array of applications, ranging from e-mail and scheduling management to bespoke enterprise applications.
“It’s a mix really,” said Harrison. “The vast majority are using it for basic email contacts and calendars, and then there are others such as an airline we work with that uses its mobile devices to manage electronic flight bags, or a company that has a fleet of trucks all managed remotely.”
Harrison believes that the sector is likely to grow in Ireland through the commoditisation of mobile services.
“Organisations realise that they are going to have mobile applications for the long haul. When we first started applying mobile solutions, companies thought they’d try it for a year or two to see how it worked out and to see what standards would emerge,” he said. “Now they know it’s here for good, and they are looking to outsource the management and support of those solutions. As a result, we’re doing a lot of work in that managed service space.”
This de-risks mobility for some organisations, and many companies have sprung up to service this need as a result.
“Mobile device management (MDM) and enterprise mobility management (EMM) are the obvious services that will continue to become commoditised, and that is what there is most demand for right now,” Harrison said. “It’s a very fast-moving space and it is actually quite hard for organisations to have a huge amount of experience there.”
Mobile threat prevention is also a growing area, operating as an equivalent to anti-virus software for mobile devices.
“It doesn’t work in the same way—it looks for apps doing things that you wouldn’t want them doing on mobile devices. That is something that is beginning to take off, along with single sign on, as people start to do more on mobile devices,” said Harrison. “People want to just download their four or five apps that they need and be logged in immediately with their enterprise credentials. That’s being driven by the explosion in use of Office 365 and InTune.”
According to Harrison, security is a major concern for all customers. Facilitating mobile is all well and good, but if it is not secure than there can be major problems.
“Our speciality is working with those enterprises who are concerned about security. At the same time, there is a perceived view that Apple devices in particular are quite secure out of the box. It’s a bit like that old story that you will never get fired for buying IBM—there is definitely a feeling of that when it comes to Apple IOS devices.”
CWSI reports that up to 90% of the smart phones and tablets it supports for customers are made by Apple, largely because of this perception. Elsewhere in the market, security remains a key concern for mobility companies.