The substantial growth in demand for enterprise mobility solutions throughout 2014 has caught the specific attention of research companies such as Gartner or Ridicati, which produced predictions on how this still ‘fresh’ sector will further develop during the following few years.
The aim of this article is to present the recent findings of various research papers produced by Gartner and Ridicati describing the trends and predictions for the enterprise mobility market. In addition to that, we would like to share our experience on most common challenges company face while trying to utilize enterprise mobility solutions. However, before we go to numbers and charts, we’d like to provide a breakdown of the market.
Enterprise Mobility – sector breakdown
EMM (a.k.a. Enterprise Mobility Management, a.k.a. “Enterprise Mobility”) is a term that describes solutions which allow organisations to manage, support and secure mobile technologies utilised by their operatives (Ridicati, 04.2015, Gartner, 02.2014).
Within EMM, a number of branches have been identified and named, among which of Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Mobile Application Management (MAM) seem to be the most widely represented. In regards to MDM, Gartner identified 160 tools on the market in 02.2014, but states that by 2019 many of those will vanish, giving market space to only a few “mature” solutions. (Gartner, 02.2014). As far as MAM goes, research is rather scarce on the matter. My personal observation here is that the nature of individual enterprise mobile applications and underlying distribution systems is still not 100% defined – most of the enterprise mobility software tends to be tailor made to a huge degree, serving only one or few organization-specific cases. However, there seem to be a demand for out-of-the-box solutions and ‘fit for all’ tools that are prepared to address a set of predefined challenges with additional operational-level customization possibility.
A complete breakdown of EEM branches by Ridicati (04.2015):
- Mobile Device Management (MDM) – which includes device level management features and device level analytics.
- Mobile Security – such as encryption, authentication, single sign-on, data loss prevention, and more.
- Mobile Application Management (MAM) – such as containerization, app wrapping, and app usage analytics.
- Mobile Content Management – such as secure email, calendar, document management software integration, and more.
Gartner (02.2014) identifies one more branch – Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing (EFSS).
The near future…
Ridicati (04.2015) estimates the EMM market will grow by an average of 30% each coming year until 2019. According to their predictions, by the end of 2015 global revenues will reach $1.495 billion and go above $4.4 billion in 2019.
We’ve created a collection of challenges that companies Nomtek came in contact with are facing currently, and we assume many other enterprises will have to deal with the same questions and doubts during the following years. Please find it listed below:
- The most apparent problem almost any company faces in EMM is security, inseparably followed by stability.
- Security – questions we found revolve around e.g. whether remote data deletion would be a factor. What further implications would BYOD pose in such case, if the company had access to their employee’s device? How to find consensus between security and usability? Should we use Cloud or On-Premise solution? In my opinion, currently each of those questions has to be analysed in direct light of each specific case.
- Stability – the concerns we met with are mainly focused on connectivity, rather than on the actual software optimisation. Notably, companies that operate in remote regions are trying to find solutions that would allow their technology to seamlessly operate with and without internet connection. The real problem is, whether their goal isn’t too complex to disallow for such a transition, i.e. How and what data needs to be processed? Should it be processed and transferred in real-time? Etc.
- There is still quite a number of enterprises that have not yet made significant inroads into encompassing mobility solutions both on the strategic organizational level and on infrastructural level. A variety of challenges are applicable here. It may be about the choice between BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and CYOD (Choose Your Own Device) strategy. Quite frequently it is also about proper infrastructural device migration choices (e.g.. “Do we leave Blackberry and switch to native iOS or rather go hybrid Xamarin to cater for bigger OS coverage”?). We may further narrow down those issues into the following large categories:
- Change Management – companies are searching for solutions to embrace the switch in their IT policy to utilize enterprise mobility solutions. They search for appropriate software and infrastructural solutions but, equally so, they look for advice on how to seamlessly embed the change into organizational processes as well as how to make it the inherent part of corporate culture.
- Community platforms – the challenge here is how to create community solutions allowing the employees to help each other with their company’s software and hardware.
- Complementary internal marketing efforts – most of EMM solutions call for appropriate personnel preparation to make the appropriate use of new technology. Many organizations realize that it is not only about periodic training but also about complex internal marketing measures aiming at motivating people to make the most of the new technology and empowering them to actively look for fields of optimization.
- Device and OS fragmentation creates additional set of obstacles to deal with. The common challenge here is how to develop a piece of software that work in an identical manner on the widest range of hardware, which specifically calls for:
- Managing content and apps on multiple devices (MDM) – enterprises strive to find solutions which should allow their users to seamlessly operate across all possessed or required devices, including desktop-to-mobile transitions.
- Consumer side dependencies – when customers come into play, device fragmentation cases become even more complex, as consumers basically represent the unknown factors, i.e. the enterprise has no influence on the device or cannot fully predict how it will be used. The problem faced here, is how to integrate the consumer side into corporate systems and the existing infrastructure.
- Mobile Business Intelligence plays another key role. From my observation, challenges regarding transferring the gathered data into corporate knowledge can be loosely divided into “general” and “specific”.
- General – a “general” challenge is represented by trying to make the strategic switch in BI policy to make the most of new data brought about by a variety of mobility solutions.
- Specific – “specific” challenges touch the premise of the actual execution of the newly defined BI policy, such as whether data gathered should be interpreted and streamlined on the gathering device, e.g. smartphone, or sent in raw format. Should the said data be buffered on the gathering device? What if the content is intimate? Should the data be gathered by the customer side as well? In such case, what about privacy factors? A natural comment we can provide here, is that when addressing BI challenges with the use of mobility, companies should equally focus on researching the security challenges, as they are closely tied together.
- Mobile Application Management (MAM) challenges can either be touching upon the issue of implementing solutions allowing for provisioning, updating, monitoring and removal of a set of mobile applications within an organization or they may be narrowed down to an individual application that is about to be created. In the latter case, the following factors play a major role:
- Process improvement – before “going mobile” some companies ask the most obvious of questions – “How will this improve our process?”. The answer to that is usually found by mapping existing processes and looking for bottlenecks and field for improvement brought about by mobility as well as looking at sector-specific best practices.
- Scalability – another key concern enterprises put forward is whether mobility can prove to be a long term investment. Questions about when a particular app will reach its capability limits or simply expire due to increasing or changing dependencies should be (and are) asked when tackling MAM.
- Engagement – this issue shows how change management is intertwining with every other aspect of EMM. Many companies worry whether the end-users, regardless of being employees or customers, become engaged in the said mobile software and what are the key factors that can bolster this engagement, e.g. marketing, usability, functionality, etc.
The market already is saturated with numerous tools that can aid in particular challenges, however complete out-of-the-box solutions that can fill an “A to Z” role in terms of EMM may be hard to find. We also believe the spectrum of challenges will expand or alternate throughout the coming years, producing unexpected and unknown opportunities as of this time.
Although Nomtek is a mobile development agency, which in fact focuses on the small part of what EMM is, we aim at going the extra mile and have diversified our field of expertise to encompass problems from a broader angle. What it means in practice is that we put huge emphasis on being able to be a valuable partner in discussing general EMM issues and sharing our sector-specific expertise, which ultimately leads to creating clever mobile software that truly serves its purpose and generates multi-dimensional return on investment.
The Future of Enterprise Applications Is Mobility, Michael Maoz, Robert P. Desisto (Gartner Inc, 09.07.2014)
Top 10 Mobile Technologies and Capabilities for 2015 and 2016, Nick Jones (Gartner Inc, 12.02.2014)
Enterprise Mobility Management Market, 2015-2019 – Executive Summary, (THE RADICATI GROUP, INC., 05.2015)