In this ESG Video Blog, ESG's Mark Bowker talks about his expectations for the Enterprise Mobility segment in 2017.
Announcer: The following is an ESG video blog.
Mark: Hi everyone. I'm Mark Bowker, senior analyst with the Enterprise Strategy Group, covering enterprise mobility. Looking back at 2016, there was a lot of activity in the mobility market, and I don't expect it to stop in the coming year. Today, I want to take a few minutes to share some of my observations about the following topics for 2017. Which include, cloud hosted workspaces, threat management enablement, and a new generation of IT decision makers. So let's start with cloud hosted workspaces. I've been watching this area pretty closely. The more I speak with IT professionals, the more I find the majority are leaning towards a cloud first approach, with file sharing and business applications in the form of SaaS models. And knowing this, has made me realize that unified management, security, and what I'll call common workspace components such as compute and storage, are all headed towards cloud consumption models.
Now, I don't want to lead people to think that migrating to the cloud is as easy as flipping a switch, but I can see the transition already starting. Configuring, maintaining, and securing desktops is a cumbersome and time consuming IT task, which can be eased by hosted workspaces in the cloud, and then securely delivering them to end-users. With that said, I'll be intently watching to see how this plays out in organizations, and what it means to vendors. For instance, I'm looking to see how businesses will adapt to an hourly or daily a consumption model, as opposed to a five year depreciation lifecycle. How much will improved networks such as 5G play a part, and the opportunities it may unleash for businesses. And lastly, how big a role security will play towards businesses ratcheting up the move to cloud hosted workspaces.
Talking about security, as businesses expand their mobility strategies, they're going to have a tough task in front of them, when it comes to thwarting malicious attacks and data compromises, especially when there's a major deficiency in IT skill sets today. It's not an easy dynamic for businesses to adjust to. And the risk can be extremely high. As companies look to balance end-user experience with security, they're likely to turn to solutions that will help automate and enable threat management. In 2016, ESG saw the writing on the wall as companies rang proactive threat detection as the number one influence on shaping the mobility strategy. The threat management market should prove to be electric in 2017. I would expect to see multiple acquisitions in the space, as the entrenched enterprise technology providers, look to enhance their existing platforms with threat detection, and prevention capabilities. I'd also closely watch how IT professionals wrestle with this dynamic. I've already spoken with folks who have turned on some of these capabilities, but then quickly realized the risk at hand. As a result, they chose to pump the brakes, until they could reevaluate their BYOD policy, mobile application plans, and data classification policies.
The final 2017 movement I wanted to share is the impact next generation decision makers, are going to have on mobile end point application strategies. The millennial workforce now holds influential roles inside of businesses, and have become key IT decision makers. The challenge then, is how vendors can effectively communicate with this audience, since the next generation decision makers have typically, completed their research, and are well along the decision path, before approaching a vendor, or they may not even contact the vendor at all. They do the research on mobile devices, and use online video to guide them down decision paths. I've observed multiple times that this audience will choose a technology, simply due to it being cool. I'm also still amazed to see how this audience is willing to patiently wait for new features, just simply knowing that a product iterations are going to happen at a faster pace than previously, and will included down the road. ESG consistently picked up buyer behavior differences in 2016, that point to prioritizing how vendors approach and influence this critical audience of next generation decision makers.
In 2017, when we speak to vendors that do not have specific plans to target this audience, it'll be interesting to say the least. Be on the lookout for a watershed moment here. The mobility market is fascinating, and continues to inspire new business ideas and disruptive technology, like augmented reality, machine learning, bots, and voice recognition. I'm excited for what we'll be seeing from the vendor community in 2017, and eager to observe what new business challenges will rise to the top.
So please tune into ESG's website for more information. Thank you for your time. And we'll be seeing more of you in 2017.