Mobile Is Immediate
batch mode to
AROUND THE WORLD, the rapidly expanding use of smartphones and tablets is turning into a transformational trend — for enterprises and consumers alike. On the plus side, the rush to mobile is driving adoption of BYOD
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(bring your own device) policies, mobile-only
communications, unified communications and
powerful cloud-based services. But 2012 is also
likely to be the year when mobile gets away from
large enterprises. IT shops desperately need
mobile management, internal app libraries and
well-thought-out mobile security systems.
The mobile industry makes mobile management
for enterprises difficult by bedeviling consumers
with rampant device proliferation, frequent operating system upgrades, contract lock-ins and nearly
nonexistent customer service. Enterprises have
little choice but to let much of that mess through
the door as they agree to BYOD policies.
“BYO is a principle that most organizations
will adopt, and [they] must prepare for this
change,” said Gartner analyst Nick Jones. CIOs
must prepare BYOD programs “sooner than they
realize,” he said. Of course, when you allow three
or four mobile platforms and a never-ending
stream of smartphone and tablet models, your
management and security concerns multiply
significantly. And the tide of smartphones keeps
rising. Gartner predicts that sales of smartphones
to end users will hit 645 million in 2012, up from
461 million in 2011.
What’s driving adoption on such a large scale?
For one thing, communication habits are evolving
from batch mode to near real-time. And mobile
is immediate. It’s about communication right
now. People carry smartphones everywhere and
use them for everything. They often prefer their
phones to larger devices that idle nearby. It’s immediacy that’s making smartphones dominant.
I think we can expect the smartphone to
become the primary communication and comput-
ing device. Smartphone customers demand much
higher service levels than cellphone subscribers.
The successful mobile vendors are likely to be the
customer-focused ones. And companies that focus
on customers might want to consider these points: