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Following up our previous post, our next set of predictions and expectations are...
4. Mobile ecosystem shakeup impacting points of decision making influence
Consolidation in high growth markets is not only typical, but predictable. While we saw significant M&A activity in mobile segments in 2010, we believe that activity in the coming year will continue to increase. One of the more interesting developments to follow will be the activity among wireless carriers. Recent acquisitions by carriers of enterprise mobility professional service organizations have not gone unnoticed and are a trend that should continue into 2011. Carriers are eager to control a larger share of the enterprise mobility market and are furiously trying to shed their image of “dumb pipe” vendors. Beyond expanding their internal professional services capabilities, carriers will continue to build out their partner eco-systems to support a wide variety of application development, device and security management and integrated billing capabilities. Although carriers continue to suggest that they are open to working with the existing VARs and SIs delivering enterprise mobility solutions, the expectation is that their scope of influence over the coming years will be compromised.
5. Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock: The individual liable device as a security time bomb
Despite the continuous investments in mobile computing and data security, external threats remain a significant concern. The swell of individual liable devices being used by employees—driven by organizations’ desires to cut mobile costs and avoid the tax compliance tracking requirements associated with corporate-liable devices – is creating a potentially serious security issue for organizations. VDC estimates that as much as 45% of US enterprises are supporting some level of individual-liable devices, and many have rushed to adopt an individual-liable approach without being adequately prepared in terms of a technology and security management strategy. While the gap amongst leading smartphone platforms in terms of their device management and security capabilities has shrunk considerably, the fact remains that not all devices and services are created equally.
Many of the potential issues are a factor of mismanagement of these devices from an IT perspective and the lack of adequate and enforceable security policies. However, of equal importance is the lack of appropriate education for employees on mobile security policies. If not properly addressed, these vulnerabilities will expose them and mobile security breaches will become a critical issue in 2011. VDC anticipates that mobile device virtualization could play a role in addressing this issue by providing more seamless separation between the enterprise experience and personal applications and content. However, to date, device ODMs have been reluctant to integrate virtualization into their design strategies.
Stay tuned for the final post...