Although one in four smartphones in 2009 were bought for use in small, medium and enterprise businesses, the consumer remains the target audience driving the rapid growth of these next-generation, web-centric devices.
This is a shift from 2002, when RIM released the first smartphone optimized for wireless email and practically all of those devices were bought for business use. Even as of last year, it was rare for a user to have the corporate-issued device and data plan canceled in order to connect his “rogue” personal device to the company network.
Today’s end-users, however, are more vocal about the freedom they experience with their iPhones as consumers versus the frustration they feel in the workplace with limited device choices and a lack of apps. This research brief (the first in a two-part series) addresses the first commonly asked question stemming from such consumerization: “I’m paying for my own mobile device and data plan. Why can’t I just connect it to the company network?”
The question is becoming more frequent and increasingly difficult to answer, given the trade- offs of security and management with shift in costs, boosts in productivity and potential improvement in overall compliance. With 80 percent of the Fortune 100 companies “deploying or piloting” the iPhone, organizations should be asking themselves if they have reached a critical mass of users to pursue a strategy of converting “rogue” personal devices to a managed platform for collaborative mobile enterprise apps.
Enterprise IT cannot put its head in the sand and ignore this issue either. Despite a shortage of resources to meet requirements for enterprise-grade security, systems integration and cost containment by the business, the necessary step is to think through a strategy. A set of policies is needed that will enable today’s enterprise to operate in an increasingly mixed-device environment, much resembling the diversity of the broader consumer world. There is no better time than now to consider consumerization strategies that convert “rogue” to “BYOD,” “app backlogs” to “Do-it-Yourself” and “support” to “self-service.”
Why a Two-Part Series?
There are two sides to the coin of consumer influence on enterprise mobility. On one side, the superphone provides unprecedented processing power, connectivity and context. On the other, mobile native apps and mobile web apps leverage the unique characteristics of the device. Although the sum of the parts is greater than the whole, which is more responsible for the success of, say, Apple, in mobile? The iPhone or the apps?
The two sides are not mutually exclusive but are symbiotic. The topic of consumer influence in enterprise mobility is best addressed in two separate-but-related research notes:
- Part 1 of 2: Managing employee-owned mobile devices on secure corporate networks: setting the stage for embracing enterprise apps in a mixed device environment
- Part 2 of 2: Collaborative Mobile Enterprise Apps: strategies to embrace an enterprise-app deluge
This series makes the case for why businesses should take the time now to develop a mobility strategy emerging from experience. It starts first with the capability to manage a rising tide of mixed personal and corporate devices throughout their life cycles.
The resulting “platform” is managed at a fraction of historical costs by implementing centralized mobile management technology combined with decentralized user-centric approaches long- established in consumer culture: bring your own device (BYOD), do it yourself (DIY) and self- service.
IT can then play a pivotal role in harvesting internal experience gained through early mover B2C initiatives, and take a proactive posture to usher in an enterprise-app deluge.