Users Are the First Priority for Enterprise Mobility in 2017
As organizations manage a growing amount of mobile traffic on their networks, they face challenges with logistics, capacity and security. Enterprise mobility is evolving to make IT’s job easier while improving security, providing employees with maximum flexibility and adjusting to the increasing presence of the Internet of Things (IoT). But the primary driver of mobile evolution in 2017 won’t be security or IoT — it will be user experience.
Better Mobile Apps
In 2017, mobile apps work better than they ever have before. As apps become increasingly integrated with mobile device operating systems, they’ll interact with cameras, microphones and other device components in even more innovative ways. They’ll also load faster and perform more automated functions — they’ll know when to download updates and when to wait based on remaining battery power, for example.
Although programming once for multiple platforms enables faster time to market, programming for each device’s native OS creates a better UX. Y Insights cites the experience of Facebook, which switched from cross-platform development to native programming in 2012 after complaints about its UX. Mobile development choices will continue to balance time-to-market concerns with UX quality. Even though cross-programming saves time on the front end, the advantages of tighter OS integration will make developers more likely to go native.
Converged Enterprise Mobility Management
Instead of having multiple strategies to manage different types of devices, IT will choose converged management strategies that let them oversee every device from a central location. For instance, as MOBI president Mitch Black points out in an IT Pro Portal article, MacBooks are technically laptops, but they’re managed using Apple’s Device Enrollment Program and depend on enterprise mobility management (EMM) for security.
Being able to manage these types of devices more efficiently saves precious time for stretched IT teams, and convergence will affect procurement decisions going forward. Even so, when it comes to the devices employees bring to the workplace, heterogeneity will be the rule.
BYOD: Here to Stay
Most organizations will give up their corporate-owned, personally enabled mobile device policies and surrender to the inevitability of bring-your-own-device (BYOD). Because employees use their devices for both business and personal tasks, they want to be the final arbiters of what brands they use.
Advances in EMM have made it easier for enterprises to adapt to an array of mobile device manufacturers. Business data can be separated and encrypted, preventing personal apps from accessing it. EMM also lets teams remotely wipe devices if they’re lost or stolen. But despite BYOD’s added security risks, its greatest advantage is the decrease in procurement cost and effort. Purchasing devices, maintaining inventory records and negotiating billing challenges is hardly worth the cost and time spent, especially when enterprises can’t guarantee business data will never end up on an employee’s personal device.
New Network Paradigms for IoT
Instead of looping IoT device traffic in with other mobile traffic, both enterprises and service providers will begin to see them as a separate submarket. Because IoT traffic isn’t subject to the same latency standards — no end user gets frustrated when a sensor transmission is a few seconds behind — and requires relatively little bandwidth, segregated IoT networks may make sense in terms of lowering costs, enabling edge processing and improving security.
With malware like Mirai turning IoT devices into bots for DDoS attacks, separating the IoT onto virtual local-area networks can make it easier to shut down cyberthreats in action. Placing sensors on their own networks, along with asynchronously used devices like wireless printers, can free up bandwidth for enterprise apps that users need, as well as improve security and deliver a better UX overall.
All Roads Lead to Better UX
Whether they’re using a personal or business app, users expect a great mobile experience. Trends like BYOD do create some added security problems, but these are offset by lower costs, improved EMM software and decreased temptation for shadow IT. As enterprises implement improved mobility services, the focal point must now be on the user, whether that means customers or internal teams.