Weekly Update

2014: A sneak preview for mobile

What does Cormac Foster, the research director for Gigaom Research’s mobile coverage, see coming in 2014? He has offered me a few glimpses of what enterprise IT buyers can expect next year:

  1. More of the same security and management issues. That is, enterprises will continue to grapple with the security threat of more corporate data accessed and communicated across mobile devices. Data leakage and device loss will persist as challenges, while organizations will look to device and application management solutions to support their increasing dependence on the technology. Enterprise-specific policies for the widespread practice of BYOD are still being refined.
  2. A move to support more applications. Although basic email, contact and calendaring apps are still the focus for many organizations, an increasing number of firms will move beyond this basic functionality. They will support a broader range of capabilities and more critical enterprise applications on mobile devices, which will become more integral to their employees’ work. This enrichment of mobile applications will enable employees to be more productive with their devices.
  3. An increased use of mobile management services in the SMB market. Cormac expects that small and mid-sized businesses will be more receptive to handing the management of their mobile security and operations over to service firms in 2014. He believes larger enterprises will follow suit, but greater numbers of SMBs will take the plunge first, as they are less equipped for, and interested in, managing the mobile security challenge.
  4.  HTML5 gaining momentum. More mobile apps will be developed using HTML5. The use of native code is not going away and will continue to dominate into 2014, however. Cormac anticipates that hybrid applications will gain in popularity. In that situation, developers will write the portable core of the application in HTML5, but use native code to leverage device-specific capabilities that may otherwise not be exploited.
  5.  Acquisitions in the Enterprise Mobile Management (EMM) space. Cormac expects the usual larger suspects like Hewlett-Packard and IBM may make acquisitions from among the early, fragmented market of providers. (SAP  acquired a product from its Sybase acquisition in 2010.) Systems integrators will need a more robust portfolio of mobile management solutions than can well be developed internally. A slew of EMM startups offer only partial (e.g., aspects of application or device management) solutions, with AirWatch and MobileIron having compiled the most complete product suites.

Here’s more from Gigaom Research on BYOD management, HTML5 for mobile, and the EMM market.