People have been using mobile devices for personal purposes for years. Mobile data traffic has even started to exceed desktop in most cases. For example, Google recently reported that the number of wireless searches surpassed desktop for the first time. According to ComScore, in the United States the number of mobile only users is now greater than the number of PC users. Furthermore, Cisco predicts that by 2019, wireless data traffic worldwide will exceed wired traffic.
Now, the use of mobile devices has crossed over into the workplace with usage surging all over the world. From wireless presentation software to smartphones, many enterprises are looking for technology solutions that support mobility. As a result, more companies are adopting BYOD, mobile device management, and other mobile-focused programs and policies. As of yet, most of these companies have been small to mid-sized businesses or startups.
However, recent studies suggest that enterprises may soon join the mobile device bandwagon. What developments are influencing their usage in enterprises?
Almost everyone has a smartphone or tablet and more consumers expect companies to have their own application for it. Several enterprises are deploying their own mobile apps. In fact, some reports suggest that the demand may result in a shortage of mobile app developers. Gartner predicts that by 2017, the demand for services will grow nearly five times faster than many IT departments can handle. For IT leaders, this is one reason why the rising popularity of mobile in the workplace is at top of their list of priorities.
The multi-generational workforce plays a huge part in the rise of workplace mobility. This is especially true when it comes to the generation that now comprises over half of the workforce–Millennials. Many employees today value flexibility, collaboration, and work-life balance. They rely on mobile technology for all of these values. Now it is easier to foster collaboration by working in teams thanks to real-time collaboration tools, cloud computing, and smart devices.
For many enterprises, security concerns have been the greatest obstacle to widespread mobile adoption. Security concerns may have hindered some enterprises from incorporating mobile technology more heavily into their business. But, recent trends suggest it could be more widely accepted now. For example, advancements in cyber security and policies could make it more possible enterprises.
Many companies are developing mobile device management or (MDM) solutions that can help them control the use of devices for work and protect company data. If a device is lost or stolen, the IT team can wipe away critical data as soon as they are notified.
Cyber attacks, data breaches, and other security issues are still a big concern for IT departments, however. The demand for mobile in the workplace is so great that it leaves many enterprises with little choice but to embrace their usage.
The rise of mobile may be more common in small businesses or startup companies, but enterprise adoption is growing. Many CIOs and company leaders have realized that employees and customers are going to continue to use these devices in and outside of the workplace. The challenge for IT leaders now is to provide ways to accommodate the mobile demand while also balancing security and efficiency.