Mobile Consumers’ Effect on the Mobile Enterprise

10/31/12Follow @verivosoftware

Recently, we have seen a whole new wave of high-end smartphones announced. While Apple’s iPhone 5 was the undisputed star of the show, Samsung, Nokia, Motorola and RIM have all had big launches, each trying to grab market share in the phone industry’s most vibrant sector. Whether it’s bigger screens, better cameras or improved performance, these smarter-than-smart devices have had trade journals and fan boys (and girls) alike comparing features and trying to weigh up which is the device for them.

Does that mean another consumer tech feeding frenzy then? Well, not anymore, because while the iPhone 5 and its rivals are being predominantly marketed to a consumer audience, there’s a good chance that they’re going to end up in the workplace thanks to the proliferation of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). Who wouldn’t want to show off their latest piece of mobile bling to colleagues? And of course, their new device will invariably make their IT department-issued business phone look like something from the dark ages.

As Ted Schadler at Forrester Research points out, “CIOs need to tune into popular culture and define what’s happening in the consumer market. Because whither goeth the consumer market goeth the business market.”

Users want to take advantage of the superior features that their smartphone possesses, but while companies find themselves having to embrace a BYOD culture, CIOs must despair at the seemingly never-ending parade of mobile form factors and operating systems that employees want to integrate with back-office applications.

The rise of BYOD has created worries around deploying, rolling out, and managing mobile apps, and with new devices being launched so frequently, these issues are becoming ever more complex. However, as companies wrestle with the complexity of building, integrating, and managing enterprise mobile apps across a diversity of smartphones, smart CIOs will look to use mobile app platforms to simplify these complexities and keep pace with the meteoric advance of mobile technologies.

For a robust enterprise mobility strategy, the trick is to find a platform that will not only support rapid application deployment and device-driven iterations, but will also stand the test of time in the accelerated and super-competitive world of smartphones. Without the ability to effectively cater to multiple devices within the workforce, companies might quickly find themselves at odds with the way that people want to work in today’s connected, technology-led business environment.

Andrew Graham, director of AIIM UK, sums up the dangers of failing to embrace innovations such as BYOD when he says, “Many firms are either taking a wait-and-see approach to these technologies or are dismissing them entirely… such caution or ambivalence could set many organisations back in terms of competitiveness and, ultimately, have a knock-on effect on the UK economy.”

Christopher P. Willis is chief marketing officer for Verivo Software. Follow @verivosoftware

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