Notes from the IQPC Enterprise Mobility Exchange 21-23rd May, 2013 in Rotterdam:
Last week I chaired, presented and discussed the future of mobility with suppliers and IT leaders at this year’s Enterprise Mobility Exchange. During the event professionals representing many leading European MNCs emphasized themes including best-in-breed customer experience and workforce productivity. IT leaders giving account of their current mobility deployments included BAT, Procter & Gamble, Enel, the National Grid and Lafarge.
Summary: IT departments of European MNCs clearly see the writing on the wall
European decision makers focus on the second wave beyond device management and communication services. They look to balance the response to fundamental trends together with the need to support necessary business requests. The winner won’t necessarily be the one who supports the most devices and the most applications. Successful mobile deployment happens when the IT side understands and caters for the specific needs of the business.
BYOD is no single answer to taking mobile enterprise into the second wave
The discussion on BYOD remains complex. Many participants voiced reservations due to European data protection laws, compliance issues and acceptance of purchasing plans. Interestingly, security issues came second to a more fundamental requirement in the energy sector: safety. Electricians are expected to be on call when power is down, construction workers are on roads, and operations dealing with gas, electricity and water must remain fool proof and protected against unauthorized access to avoid life threatening situations.
Mobile devices have cut the mustard as the first tool of choice against the PC. Despite their deficits, they are now poised to become the universal device many people will chose to work with. This trend, driven by end users, was predicted some time ago. But the displacement is happening faster than many anticipated and is now catching the PC manufacturers. One quarter of the world population already has a smartphone and Forrester expects this number to rise to over 40% in 2017*. And they have an impact on the business world. One third of business leaders expect that more than 75% of their employees use a smartphone regularly for work today, only 18% of them believe that the same is true for laptops**.
The latest quarterly figures of manufacturers also speak a clear language. Classic PC and laptop producers like HP, Fujitsu and Dell face restructuring, even Microsoft numbers are down. Meanwhile, Samsung Electronics is generating € 6bn through consumer electronics, a large part of this is due to smartphones, in a single quarter. The numbers also suggest that Samsung is now challenging Apple in a two horse race. Between the two manufacturers, all three established mobile application platforms Android, Microsoft and i-Tunes are covered. But such developments could turn fast with new entrants. Remember, it’s not even a decade ago that Nokia was carefully observed by regulators for holding over 40% market share with mobile handsets. The likely scenario that smartphones and tablets take over is is posing challenges to many organisations. They need to embrace mobile devices as more than an extension for the classic desktop. Users will expect increasing capability to access corporate systems, UC, text and tabular programmes.