7 Mobile Enterprise Predictions for 2014

by / Tuesday, 07 January 2014 / Published in Blog
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Looking forward to another exciting year in the enterprise mobility space our crystal ball comes down to seven key predictions that we see shaping up as follows:

1. Market, Customer and Analyst Validation Further Demonstrate the Need for enterprise-grade MBaaS (Mobile Backend-as-a-service) as MEAPs Struggle and Continue to be Devalued

At the end of 2013, the sale of Antenna Software demonstrated the devaluing of legacy MEAP solutions.  This sale foreshadows what we expect to continue in 2014 as the market, customers and analysts have spoken that proprietary, difficult to work with and expensive legacy models are effectively dead.  Expect additional MEAP players to go by the wayside for short sales like Antenna while real growth will be coming from viable next-gen enterprise Mobile Application Platform providers whose platforms include MBaaS as well as other functionality such as app development, deployment and management.

2. Major Software and IT Providers such as Oracle, Red Hat, HP, VMWare Take on Bigger Roles in Enterprise Mobility

As companies like SAP struggle with moving toward a more open, cloud-based mobile app platform environment and deal with management exodus, large, entrenched enterprise software and IT providers will expect to take a bigger step in moving towards mobile.  The likes of Oracle, Red Hat, HP, VMware, etc. have seen some of the early missteps from SAP and IBM and are looking to capitalize on its large customer-base requirements for viable mobile solutions that fit the requirements for more modern, open development environments and cloud infrastructure.  Partnerships and M&A get these large suppliers to market faster as customer demand increases with a need to mobilize major processes and large internal and external base of mobile users within the organization.

3. BlackBerry Rises as a Cross-Platform Mobile Enterprise Software Provider

Most will conclude – including BlackBerry itself – that they are at best severely challenged as a supplier of BlackBerry devices.  However, where BlackBerry recognizes its strength and value is in cross-platform mobile enterprise software solutions, starting with security, MDM and in the future mobile applications.  BlackBerry has approximately 100,000 BES across the globe in major organizations.  The company is focused on retaining those customers with cross-platform offerings that have begun with an MDM solution and will include more complete mobile enterprise offerings for iOS and Android.  Current interim CEO John Chen is one who understands mobile enterprise software and produced a turnaround with Sybase in the late 90’s to a powerhouse MEAP and MDM company.  BlackBerry is getting smaller and focused and such software offerings are core to its new direction.

4. Samsung Gets Serious About Mobile Enterprise

Samsung took a bold step in 2013 with its KNOX announcement addressing key security gaps within Android and taking a major leap to enhance Android as a secure business offering with critical container, policies and FIPS 140-2 certification.  Samsung as the major driver of Android seeks a bigger position with enterprise customers and owning any BYOD or corporate-liable Android story.  And the numbers are staggering.  IDC reports that in 2017, 75% (nearly 1.3 billion) of all smartphones shipped globally will be Android and further evidence that this is an increasing business play.  Android will represent 63.4% of all employee-liable smartphone shipments and 30% of corporate-liable smartphones worldwide.  However, in 2014, we expect Samsung to go beyond security and BYOD and enter into key relationships with enterprise customers providing a broader portfolio of software and services including advanced application enablement.  Its initial work with key MDM players sets itself up to be an important provider of true business applications among the Samsung/Android ecosystem.

5. Mobile Application Platforms Play an Increasing Role in the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) which includes intelligent systems/devices, connectivity/service enablement, device, network and application platforms, analytics and social business solutions and applications and vertical industry solutions is said to have an ecosystem in the multiple trillions of dollars today and expected to grow further in the next 10 years.  IoT provides an interesting opportunity for organizations and providers alike, especially as it relates to the mobile enterprise.  In the past most mobile enterprise deployments had been focused on enablement of employees and customer for specific applications, however, and starting in 2014, the expectation is that organizations will look further in its mobile enablement to advanced mobilization of a broader set of assets and back-end data sets.  Key mobile application platforms and MDM will play an important role in this enablement.

6.  Microsoft’s Influence Grows in the Mobile Enterprise

Microsoft has shown some signs of success with Windows Phone and the company has cemented themselves worldwide as the third most popular mobile OS, albeit, a distant third.  From a business perspective, however, Windows Phone is actually faring better.  According to IDC, in 2017 Windows Phone will represent 11.7% of all employee-liable smartphones and 11.4% of corporate liable smartphones.  In addition, mobile operators, ISVs and businesses themselves are beginning to embrace Windows Phone as a viable alternative in the enterprise and an additional option.  The acquisition of Nokia devices and services by Microsoft should also help shore up Microsoft’s position and provide better marketing muscle that Nokia couldn’t deliver.  And unlike Apple, Google and for that matter BlackBerry, Microsoft has business assets already in the enterprise that they can leverage as sticky offerings to be moved towards mobile.  Exchange was one of the earlier ones and increasingly SharePoint, Office, Lync, BPOS, SkyDrive, etc. are important to mobile.  We believe in 2014 this begins to take shape and a combination of steady mobile OS growth and mindshare in business offerings provides an opportunity for Microsoft’s presence to grow in the mobile enterprise.

7. Largest EMM Rollout is Deployed with Mobile Application Platform Offering

To date most of the largest EMM (Enterprise Mobility Management) deployments have been independent of a similarly large Mobile Application Platform deployment and a roll out of mobile apps.  While some companies are providing both EMM and app enablement, the market was not typically ready to deploy both in large volume. Typically companies that were looking to deploy 30,000-40,000 apps for field service workers were not necessarily looking to deploy EMM at that same volume. Similarly large EMM deployments were often the first step for an organization to manage devices and control applications.  However, in 2014 given the market maturity, education and the technology advancement of more tightly coupled/best of breed offerings of both key mobile enterprise software solutions we expect to see larger combined deployments of EMM and more advanced mobile app enablement.

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