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Citrix 2014 Predictions for Enterprise Mobility

VMblog 2014 Prediction Series

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2014.  Read them in this VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed article by Phillip Redman, VP Mobile Solutions & Strategy, Citrix

2014: Predictions for Enterprise Mobility

Every year, many of the mobile pundits publish their predictions for mobility for the next one to two years. The end of the year is a fun time to look back and see what occurred, but also a great opportunity to look forward to.

The year 2013 won't be known for any real technological or innovation breakthroughs in regards to mobility. New phone or tablet releases from the leaders were certainly a step forward, but more iterative versus groundbreaking as in previous years. In hardware, the biggest change would be that of "wearables," whether Google Glass, or Samsung Gear, which are just two examples. At the end of this year, there are at least half a dozen different watches out on the market. The next year promises even more, though wearables won't be mainstream for some time. If ever. Though many offer an extension of smartphone capabilities, the costs are high, the features not very valuable and the fashion design of both electronic glasses and electronic watches is still in development.

But those aren't my predictions for 2014! Some of the main things I expect to see are:

Prediction: In 2014, Bring-Your-Own (BYO) desktops and laptops will grow to 25%1.

Today, the various sorts of BYOD programs are mostly focused on smartphones and tablets, with over 70% of companies allowing users to bring their own device or choose a non-standard corporate one. Few companies are doing the same for PCs. And although next year the numbers are likely to increase, it still won't be as common as handhelds. This means the domination of PCs and laptops in the office will continue for a bit anyway, even as sales fall dramatically for personal usage. Tablets replacing laptops still isn't common, though more companies are providing these for their salesforce or mobile workers, especially in healthcare, education and the pharmaceutical industries. Users for the next couple years will also still continue to have three devices, PC/Mac, tablet and smartphone. Managing data across these three devices will also continue to be burdensome, potentially driving some to look at app or desktop virtualization as one solution.

Prediction: Over 70% of enterprises will support or have plans to support Android OS2

Apple iOS dominates as the enterprise device, generally brought in by individual users. But enterprise IT usually prefers Android because of its open-source origins. Many don't like the restrictions on apps, app stores and customizations that Apple enforces in its pursuit of user experience. But Apple still dominates mostly over security concerns. Many companies were also concerned over the number of viruses and malware found in Android stores. This was covered in a thorough piece recently called, "A clear-eyed guide to Android's actual security risks (http://www.networkworld.com/news/2013/120913-a-clear-eyed-guide-to-android39s-276724.html?page=1). In the end, while there is a risk to privacy and data integrity, modern security systems and MDM clients, which can offer a real-time monitoring agent, bring that risk down to the same as any PC. Companies have been and will continue to open their doors to Android devices, especially Samsung with its twin mobile security and management capabilities, SAFE and Knox, giving additional assurances.

Prediction: In 2014, enterprise computing and communications will increasingly be done on a mobile phone or tablet.

Mobile devices have dominated in recent years, and for mobile users have become the primary devices for communications. More email, texting, voice calls, Tweeting and social networking are done on smartphones and tablets than on PCs. True even for non-corporate users. But today, document or content creating, or what I call "computing functionality" is still primarily done on laptops or desktops. With bigger displays, more convenient entry tools (keyboards, mouse, etc.), the big work is generally being done there. In the past year, we've seen more document annotation on mobile devices though, especially on tablets. Though not perfect, mobile editing tools like Quick Office and Office Squared are leading the way. And the demand for more data creation is increasing too. So in the next year, I predict more than half of enterprise computing (data creation) and communications will originate on mobile devices-though the majority will still be communications-centric based around messaging and social networking.

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1 Source: Citrix Mobility Report: A Look A head, December, 2013

2 Source: Citrix, Mobility in Business Report, October, 2013

Published Thursday, December 19, 2013 9:00 AM by David Marshall
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