Mobility technology surplus frustrates information technology decision-makers

mobility optionsThe swift pace of change in the enterprise mobility market is a positive sign for the industry, but it’s also leading to frustrating times for the information technology decision maker (ITDM). The existing technology surplus is great to see (from a choice perspective) and is clearly mapping to many of the challenges that we find in our research. These challenges include: endpoint security, threat detection, and improving collaboration and communication.

However, as IT professionals advance their mobility strategies, they ultimately need to answer these basic questions:

  • How to control managed and unmanaged devices? (This includes corporate and personal devices.)
  • How to enable application access to new applications and legacy business systems?
  • How to protect data that lands on, or is projected to, a mobile device?
  • How to  integrate mobility strategies with existing desktop and application delivery strategies?

ESG recently asked respondents about which technologies their organization plans to deploy over the next 24 months, specifically in support of mobility strategies. We asked this question bearing in mind that mobility strategies have the potential to impact multiple facets of the business.

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The first response that stands out is that VDI is considered a valuable piece of technology and a means to project a desktop environment out to an end-user, while controlling and securing access. It is also worth noting that the hosted version of VDI, DaaS, offers some benefit for businesses that are looking for a cost-effective solution where billing is driving towards a dollar per hour model, or even per minute.

Though other technologies have roles to play when it comes to mobility strategies, applications are a critical area of focus for IT, and one in which the market is currently experiencing the most saturation. Businesses need to consider existing applications designed for mobile platforms, as well as new ones. They also need to consider the full application lifecycle, from development, testing, and staging to delivering, maintaining and supporting applications in order to be inclusive of mobility at each phase.

Disparate groups and domains inside organizations (business unit executives, security teams, IT operations, desktop support, application owners, and development) all need to work together on a cohesive strategy. Unfortunately, few organizations have mastered how to overcome organizational barriers, and the abundance of technology choices are further complicating the matter for these folks.

To help address the variety of technologies required for an end-to-end mobility strategy, a number of leading vendors are taking a platform approach. For businesses who don’t already have a comprehensive mobility strategy in place, the platform approach is worth researching.

If I was responsible for my company’s mobility strategy, I would be talking to Cisco, Citrix, Dell, HP, IBM, Microsoft, and VMware. I would also want to quickly get up to speed on how Amazon and Google could impact my decisions. Once I developed a fair amount of comfort with these vendors, I would turn to a trusted security partner to gain some perspective on what I learned, and how it applies to my current business situation and mobility strategy.

So, while the mobility market is experiencing considerable development, ITDMs should anticipate challenging times ahead. If technology solutions continue to flourish, this will just add to existing complexity. I would expect to see vendors that are taking a platform approach continue to hone their value propositions and fill in portfolio gaps. I’d also expect to see some market acquisitions centered on application deployment and management as companies enhance their mobility strategies and take advantage of the innovation in the market.

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Topics: Enterprise Mobility