Tag Archives: Future

BYOD – Fall In Love with IT All Over Again

Chris PerretI originally intended to have my discussion with Chris Perret, CEO of Nukona, only be a two part series. However, based upon the overwhelmingly positive feedback of Part I and Part II, it seemed almost criminal to move on to another topic without first getting his thoughts on the future. Fortunately, I was able to grab some more of Chris’ time for a follow-up discussion. I (and by your feedback many of you as well) was really interested to hear his take on what’s to come in a world of devices in the enterprise. I was anxious to skip the conversation ahead 10 years into the future but Chris first fittingly fashioned a starting point of ‘why’ as the beginning of our conversation of peering over the horizon.

“Why does mobility matter? Why does this notion of app-centric computing matter?” he started off. “The reason we love these devices, besides being elegant and beautiful pieces of engineering, is that it takes little to no effort to find an app to do what I want to do.” For Perret, mobility ultimately matters because of the efficiency and shared cost of services it can provide. He equates this “crowdsourcing of productivity” with mobility’s importance in the future of the enterprise. “Instead of starting from scratch to create an app that may only be useful to me and my organization I can now spend a few thousand for an entire ecosystem.” This, he also added, requires little to no training and allows for frictionless updates. Perret views this model as an irreversible trend. ‘Crowdsourcing for productivity’ will ultimately reduce the cost per user.  He believes there will still be app customization developed for line of business data and processes but it will be less than we see today in the enterprise.

BYOD Insight – Mobility matters in the long run because of the cost savings through ‘crowdsourcing productivity’.

Perret thinks that there is “an app for IT” (yes that is a play on words) that will emerge once the mobile ecosystem congeals and arrives at a point where people can find an app for anything they want to do. These enterprise apps will be delivered and managed through “an incredible app marketplace where further efficiencies will occur.” With apps that feature rich graphics, a new generation of workers will have apps they love and the ability to process data easier and faster.  As well, just as when the PC entered the workplace and it took some time to see the cost advantages, the same will be true in the mobile space. However, Perret says they are already seeing efficiencies with their “app for IT”. One of their larger enterprise customers leverages their enterprise marketplace for an intra-company competition, where the best apps compete for distribution. Development groups eagerly try to create the most efficient, best app for the company. Perret sees this as a win-win model for the future for business and IT. Perret states that “in the future, IT may not even be involved or responsible for app customization as different groups produce the apps required to do their job.”

BYOD Insight – The enterprise marketplace can be leveraged to bring continued incremental value.

When it comes to ITs future role in the company Perret has a very opportunistic outlook. “There was a period in time when IT was sexy, they had the coolest gadgets. However, in the last 10 years we have seen IT viewed as a cost-center and not critical to the line-of-business success.” Perret anticipates that a new golden age is approaching where IT has a chance to impact to the line-of-business by its willingness and ability. He envisions the problems to come as quite challenging. “IT is not going to be able to get by through performing simple checklists,” he stated. “The challenge is going to be figuring out how to make an app-centric world work for their respective communities.” Perret believes that IT is going to be an active partner again with line of business helping figure out ways to out-compete other organizations. “Dr. No (IT’s recent stereotype) isn’t going away, IT will still need to be thinking about security and compliance, but at the same time it is going to be fun – it’s going to be a blast!”

BYOD Insight – In the future, IT moves from being a cost-center to being a part of the critical-path to success!

Next we touched upon devices and what he sees in store for them. “I suspect there will be a new form of virtualization; virtualization of apps, platforms, and presence.” Perret thinks we need to get to where we have a virtual presence rather than a physical presence. This virtual presence will be “manifested on whatever ‘glass’ you are using at the moment.” Perret reasons that this presence, or persona, will be ubiquitous. “Picking up and putting down the ‘glass’ from one location to next – all the while maintaining your work persona, your personal persona, and perhaps other personals.” For Perret, it is critical that IT have the tools and services to manage these personas and the data they have access to. “It’s going to require more horsepower on the server-side, sophisticated information management, sophisticated security management, more data compression, and much better power management across the board for all devices.”

BYOD Insight – In the mobile future your ‘presence’ will proliferate from ‘glass’ to ‘glass’.

The future is never certain and Chris was careful to point out several times that his crystal ball is hazy for things further than 3 to 4 years out. Whatever hesitation he may have projecting the future, he more than overcomes with excitement and zeal that Nukona is “just starting to push the boundaries in mobility.” If the present vision is any indication, Nukona will surely help give enterprise a reason to love IT again!

 

 

NukonaAbout Nukona – Nukona has designed a unique enterprise-grade mobile management solution that delivers an outstanding, intuitive consumer-like app store user experience for employees, while also providing the level of management, control and security that IT requires to support data loss prevention and compliance on both personal and corporate devices. To learn more visit http://www.nukona.com

 

Benjamin Robbins is one of the founders of AdminBridge – providing IT Administration from mobile devices. For more information visit http://adminbridge.com

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Filed under Future, Mobile, Strategy

The Future of BYOD

Ojas RegeThis post is the last in a series on industry insights gleaned from my conversation with MobileIron’s Ojas Rege, Vice President of Products and Marketing. In the first post we looked at the past of BYOD, the second examined how to implement BYOD today. We now turn our focus to the future of BYOD and the role IT.

For the last 20 to 30 years the enterprise productivity mind-set has been in a rut guided toward a fixed point; the desktop PC. That rut is slowly being washed away.  Yet in this, the twilight days of PCs era, the future is looking bright for mobile devices and IT professionals.  But, before we can shift away from the box under our desks to enterprise productivity via mobile devices and the cloud there are some gaps that need to be closed.

Specifically, there exist gaps in the current device capabilities that are holding back the future of enterprise mobility. Rege was emphatic that there are some must-haves, such as encryption, that are not uniformly supported on device platforms outside of iOS. For example, encryption on a Windows Phone is currently non-existent.  He was clear to point out that “this isn’t a knock against Windows Phone, they [Windows Phone] just aren’t there yet.” He went on to say that “both iOS and Android waited until version 3 to add encryption.” Android needs to mature in this area as well. While encryption exists in newer OS versions of Android it is still in the process of being rolled out to the entire device ecosystem. Rege mentioned that when it comes to the latest release of Android “it will take 6-9 months for all the devices to be upgraded.”  That doesn’t mean Android is out of the mix from an enterprise perspective though. Encryption can be handled by the MDM platform. As Rege noted, “MobileIron handles encryption for Android in the meantime.” Android would be greatly improved as an enterprise option when a unified security mechanism exists across all flavors of Android. The irony of the “Consumerization of IT” is that, though the consumer is the driving factor in introducing mobile devices in to the workplace, the consumer perspective will have to take a back seat to enterprise needs in order to make the evolution complete.

Key BYOD/MDM insight –To be relevant in the future of enterprise mobility, device OS’s must evolve beyond consumer requirements.

In a future dominated by a range of mobile devices as the primary means for enterprise productivity, where does IT fit in? IT personnel who want to stay on top of their game they will need to find their way in a mobile and app-centric world. “IT needs to provide a value add” and for Rege this means figuring out device specifications, enterprise apps, and how to manage them. “Those who figure it out will be the expert and will find it to have been a very good career move.” Rege also sees IT doing more with fewer resources.  He provided a great example of this with one of MobileIron’s customers who had 7 iPhones under management when they began using MobileIron 2 years ago. Now that same customer has 3000 devices being managed – and all by the same, single individual.  This individual is the point-person for the entire organization for all things mobile and has become an invaluable resource to that organization. 

Key BYOD/MDM insight – Want to secure a future in IT? Make yourself a mobile ecosystem expert.

 

The future of BYOD is anything but completely defined. The boundaries are being tested every day – from corporate policy, to devices, to the app ecosystem, to security – there is an ever-changing environment to be navigated. There is a fantastic opportunity ahead for enterprising IT personnel who are not afraid to sail through these uncharted waters and become a key resource. To be successful, organizations will need to leverage a strong partner, like MobileIron, who has the depth and breadth to provide the platform and people to execute now and into the future of BYOD.

 

MobileIronMobileIron, founded in 2007, simplifies the chaos of workplace smart devices and mobile apps. These devices and apps are today’s employee business computing solution of choice. More than 1,400 firms use MobileIron’s mobile device management software to reduce cost, risk, and usability challenges that traditional mobile device management strategies fail to address.

Benjamin Robbins is one of the founders of AdminBridge – providing IT Administration from mobile devices. For more information visit http://adminbridge.com

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Filed under Management, Mobile

Mobile Productivity – Size Matters

Mobile devices today are, by and large, content consumption devices. They are great for reading the New York Times, watching a YouTube  clip, or playing a mind distracting game. But trying to do anything that requires more typing than Twitter’s  140 character limit on a mobile device is not time well spent. Ever tried to type a thoughtful email on your phone?

When it comes to mobile productivity size matters. Our fingers, hands, and eyes just need larger.  Between fat-fingering the on-screen keyboard and all the pinching, squeezing, and flicking to get to the right place on the screen negates any gain in being able to work remotely on the phone. It isn’t impossible to work this way but it is a severely limiting experience. Data intensive interactions just require a larger form factor.

Yet just because the current state of mobile productivity has limits doesn’t mean we can’t look to the next step. Here’s what I want. I want the portability of my phone but I want my keyboard, mouse, and monitor too. If you could throw in the ability to access what I am currently working on you’d have a new working paradigm. Make that a reality and we’re all walking around with pocket productivity.

So what will that take? Do I have to wait for a distant time in the future when our devices can project a holographic display with corresponding virtual keyboard and Kinect type gestures for the mouse? No, we shouldn’t have to wait at all. This is well within grasp of current technology. We just need the following pieces combined into a unified experience and brought to market:

  1. Wireless Displays
  2. Bluetooth keyboard
  3. Bluetooth mouse
  4. Near Field Communication (NFC) pairing

Wireless display technology exists today. Intel’s WiDi and WISAIR  have limited offerings but it is available. As well, most anyone in the realm of IT is familiar with the host of available products for Bluetooth Keyboards and Mice. The last piece that is needed to bring it all together is Near Field Communication. NFC is the technology that is making such applications like PayPal and Google Wallet  work.

Smartphones that are NFC enabled have the ability to leverage the NFC technology to pair with other Bluetooth devices, which in our scenario could be the keyboard, mouse, and monitor.  You could just bump your phone to the devices that you want to pair with the way Bump Technologies works to share contacts and you could be off and working – really working.  Your phone’s usefulness as a productivity tool just bounded over a tall building.

Let’s call this of on-the-fly  assembling  of peripherals a ‘Touchdown’ – not only because you can walk up to any ‘Touchdown’ and, boom, you are ready to get to work, but also because it will be a real score for mobile productivity. Now add in device’s connectivity to the cloud and you have the ability to access your documents, collaboration workspaces, presentations, etc.

There are many use-cases in which a ‘Touchdown’ would be a viable scenario; conference rooms, open concept offices, presentations, team collaboration, visiting a client site, contractors, even airplanes with in-seat monitors. There is a plethora of possibilities. Gone would be the notion of a primary desktop.  Your office/desk would consist of a ‘Touchdown’ and your phone.

An added bonus for businesses is the exponentially expanding trend of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) whereby companies with effective MDM(Mobile Device Management) enforcement  won’t even need to purchase workstations for their employees. Employees would show up for work with whatever flavor of device they have, get the requisite apps downloaded to the corporate partition of their device, bump and sync with the nearest  ‘Touchdown’ and they’d be off and running to connect, and more importantly work, with the corporate cloud.

Far off? Doesn’t have to be.  Where do you see this kind of setup being most effective? How would you improve upon it?

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Filed under Mobile, Productivity