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Cortado 2017 Predictions: Quo Vadis Enterprise Mobility?

VMblog Predictions 2017

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2017.  Read them in this 9th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Henning Volkmer, President and CEO of Cortado Inc.

Quo Vadis Enterprise Mobility?

Explaining where enterprise mobility is headed in 2017 isn't easy -- even for those of us with more than a decade of experience in the industry.

The reason: Enterprise mobility has always been a complex set of topics, trends, devices and platforms. In addition, solution providers have been exploring numerous different avenues over the last couple of years, making prognosticating on where this space is going a tough ask.

That said, looking over the recent landscape, some parts of a 2017 roadmap have been forming. For instance, native mobile applications have proved victorious over proprietary containers. In addition, we've seen a lot of maturing and consolidation in the industry. A number of companies have been scooped up by larger players in the IT industry and are more-or-less well-integrated with those bigger players' other offerings. At the same time, others have gone public and now have to answer much tougher questions from shareholders compared to those they faced from their VC investors during the time when everyone was simply gunning for market share. For customers, that often means higher prices for solutions from companies that may not have found a long-term viable business model yet.

As for products, mobility platforms have certainly matured significantly over the last couple of years - though fragmentation remains an issue especially on the Android side. Google has dropped "for Work" from its solution that separated personal and business data. This indicates a closer integration of these features into the OS. Some interesting features have been added like being able to temporarily disable the work content for a quiet weekend. But with updates slow to become available, organizations can't rely on older devices always being current, which is a problem when those devices are still a part of a company fleet or might be added a part of a BYOD initiative.

iOS has certainly reached a very usable state. It is more consistent in upgradability and implementation of features. However, with no major enterprise mobility features added in iOS 10, users and organizations remain anxious about what's next and how it will impact their strategies.

While those developments offer some insight into the future, numerous questions remain for 2017. Do we, as users, really want to allow our employer to manage our personal BYOD device? Access to personal content on the device should be next to impossible, but do we trust that it really is? And, as organizations, do we trust our users with their mobile devices or with devices we provide to them? Are we still too focused on security to truly reap the benefits of increased productivity? Would our users really embrace new possibilities and capabilities if we invested in them so they would pay off?

Beyond tackling those thorny issues, there are so many emerging trends that spark additional questions. For example, consider the Internet of Things (IoT). What kind of things do we have to prepare to secure, deploy and manage next? How are those choices going to impact our enterprise mobility strategy?

And, how is the digital transformation that is happening across most organizations going to impact our enterprise mobility strategies? Will our ability to run private cloud data centers more efficiently on infrastructures like Microsoft's Azure and Amazon's AWS or the ones provided by your Service Provider of choice impact our view of the cloud? Are we going to run more applications ourselves rather than try to find a public cloud replacement?

Answers in 2017 will be varied. Still, our customers tell us that they are primarily focusing on two key  points when addressing these questions: Enterprise mobility needs to seriously drive productivity to be worth the continued investment, and it needs to integrate more easily and more extensively than it often does today.

Both of these elements can be addressed far more easily in 2017 if your enterprise mobility solution is based on a private cloud approach.

You see, while the majority of your most complex and valuable applications are already there, public cloud applications can be managed just as well in private. That's not the case the other way around unless you want to grant the public cloud significant access to your private cloud. In addition, a private cloud enterprise mobility solution can more seamlessly integrate with your existing security and identity management solutions such as ICAP and Active Directory.

Being on the same network as your existing infrastructure (think, applications, databases, printers and file repositories) greatly simplifies the integration of mobile devices and allows these tools to provide their users with the same access to information and services as they would have from a traditional PC or laptop computer. Integrated mobile devices and mobile application management also provide both the necessary security on the device level and on any applications used to access your private cloud data, including those utilized to access sanctioned public cloud services, such as Salesforce.

Of course, your organization is not an island so Virtual Data Rooms allow your extended enterprise of contractors and freelancers to access a dedicated, secured space in your private cloud, which, in turn, allows them to exchange information with employees while working on specific projects.

There are still a lot of questions to answer for every organization in 2017, but with private cloud options increasingly more capable it is easier than ever for an organization to take just the steps they believe are necessary to add value and contribute to the business without having to completely re-think or re-invent their IT strategy. And that's certainly something to look forward to.


About the Author

Henning Volkmer is the president and CEO of ThinPrint Inc. and Cortado Inc. He drives the execution of ThinPrint's strategy as the leading provider of print management software and services for businesses and Cortado Mobile Solutions' business class of cloud desktop services across the Americas Volkmer has been at the forefront of technology trends for the past seventeen years, helping to shape both the virtual desktop as well as the enterprise mobility industry. In addition to holding various positions within the Cortado group, Volkmer served as part of a project team focused on reducing costs in the network infrastructure division with what is now Nokia Networks. Under Volkmer's direction, ThinPrint brand has increased its lead as the premier print management software, while Cortado brand has become recognized as a pioneer business solution, shaping the future of the cloud desktop. Originally from Berlin, Germany, Henning currently resides in Denver, CO.

CT Volkmer 

Published Tuesday, January 03, 2017 9:01 AM by David Marshall
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