Mobility

Enterprise mobility hits and misses: 2014

The enterprise mobility market had its fair share of hits and misses in 2014. The Apple/IBM partnership. The launch of Android L. Acquisitions in the mobile device management (MDM) market. Samsung KNOX. Blackberry Passport.

I went back to some of my past TechRepublic interview subjects to hear about their enterprise mobility hits and misses for 2014:

Alastair Mitchell, CEO, Huddle

Hits

"I'd say one of the biggest mobility hits in 2014 was Apple and IBM joining forces," Mitchell states. "By doing so, Apple instantly made itself more enterprise-friendly and IBM has gained the cool factor." He also cites the IBM/Apple partnership being set to deliver more than 100 industry-specific iPhone and iPad apps for verticals, including banking, healthcare and retail, and IBM's MobileFirst Supply and Management program, the offering for enterprise as promising.

Misses

"One of the biggest enterprise mobility misses of the year is the fact that Coca-Cola is facing a class-action lawsuit as a former employee claims he's been the victim of identity fraud following the theft of 55 unencrypted laptops," Mitchell offers. "The devices contained the records of 74,000 current and former employees, including 18,000 social security numbers. The loss or theft of organizations' devices - laptops, phones, and USB drives - regularly makes the news, and it's clear that companies are still failing to roll-out sufficient, multi-layer security strategies."

Avinoam Nowogrodski, CEO and founder, Clarizen

Hits

Nowogrodski sees the historically tenuous history that enterprises have had with Android change in 2014 with the launch of new Android devices, Android L, and more mobile independent software vendors (ISVs) as enterprise mobility hits in 2014.

Misses

Nowogrodski ties together National Security Agency (NSA) eavesdropping allegations, large tech company data centers as a fear in Europe, and employees accessing corporate data residing in the cloud via mobile devices as a negative for enterprise mobility in 2014. BYOD only adds to this concern according to him.

David Applebaum, senior vice president of marketing, Moka5

Hits

"In general I would say the 2014 was really a 'wait and see' year in general for the BYOD/Mobility space," said Applebaum. He has a bit more cautious tone than some others I've spoken with do, but it makes sense considering some marketing rumblings I've heard throughout this year

He adds, "Large enterprises are still in POC evaluation mode as far as large scale deployments go with small and medium sized being slightly more aggressive due more to a lack of legacy endpoint management technology and management resources than strategy."

Misses

Applebaum saw a few misses in 2014 including the MobileIron IPO coming and going with the stock trading only marginally higher than its current offer price today. He also points to the Good IPO not happening a miss. He also mentions

Samsung KNOX as a sound idea - an OS level container - that was marred by flawed execution and deployment.

Jason Frye, CTO, support, BMC Software

Hits

"One of the biggest hits of 2014 is the main stream emergence of mobile app experience and performance management technology from companies like App Dynamics, Crittercism, Compuware, and Aternity," Frye offers. "The emergence of these technologies validates the continued importance of main-stream mobile enterprise applications being viewed with the same level of importance as web- based applications — in fact one might argue that experience and availability are even more important in this space as companies battle for app-screen real-estate on devices."

Misses

Frye points to the Apple iCloud hack, Blackberry Passport, and Google Glass as his mobility misses for 2014.

Jonathan Dale, director of marketing, MaaS360, an IBM Company

Hits

Dale sees the increased adoption of containerization and services that create a separate and secure environment on a mobile device as a hit in 2014. He added that many MaaS 360 customers are switching over to dual persona mobile solutions than in years past. Key factors contributing to this include the happiness among early adopters, the need to keep corporate and personal data separate, and users overall confidence in IT to protect their privacy.

Misses

"BYOD is still a very hot topic in the enterprise mobility community, and a lot of progress has been made," Dale said.

"However, IT and organizations could be doing much more to enable access to content on their employees' mobile devices. Access to email is a good start, but we're finding that users are really starting to crave access to more corporate resources and data on their devices," according to Dale. "As a result, users are still looking for their own way to solve these challenges versus adopting IT's preferred method."

Yaacov Cohen, co-founder and CEO, harmon.ie

Hits

Cohen points to the IBM/Apple partnership as a hit for 2014. He also sees Microsoft slowly and quietly become a mobile and BYOD leader going into 2015.

"Microsoft isn't solely focused on the Windows phone," says Cohen. He points to advances including Office on the iPad developments this year and the Enterprise Mobility Suite beefing up also positioning Microsoft as a main BYOD player going into 2015.

In Cohen's eyes, Microsoft is now going mobile first with iOS and Android playing huge roles.

"It's a little bit like 'Back to the Future' with Microsoft and IBM owning enterprise mobility. Cohen muses, "Back to the eighties!"

Misses

"I would say the deployment of MDM platforms has been going slower than expected. These are difficult platforms to implement," Cohen cites.

He also cites the missed Good IPO, and the VMware acquisition of AirWatch is going slower than expected as misses.

Final thoughts

Looking at the hits and misses that these industry leaders cite, 2014 has truly been an evolutionary year for enterprise mobility and BYOD. Looking into 2014, we should see more news about the MDM acquisitions of 2014 good and bad. Mobile security concerns shall certainly remain in the headline. Wearables, Internet of Things (IoT), and mobile apps should be objects of market attention in 2015.

About

Will Kelly is a freelance technical writer and analyst currently focusing on enterprise mobility, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and the consumerization of IT. He has also written about cloud computing, Big Data, virtualization, project management ap...

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