What's driving enterprise mobility?

TRP: What is driving demand for enterprise mobility – are employees pushing to access corporate data from mobile devices?

MG: We see the greatest demand for mobility coming from within the organisation itself, as staff are looking for ways to make their job easier and improve their productivity. This is particularly evident with employees that spend the majority of their time on the road meeting with customers and prospects who want to better utilise the time between meetings and business days.

Interestingly, the demand for mobility schemes is so high that many employees are contravening corporate policies to access business information on personal devices, putting confidential business information at risk.

Many organisations that don't allow employees to access corporate data on their device are aware that this policy is being overlooked or ignored. 63 per cent are aware of employees accessing business emails on their devices, 15 per cent customer/ client information and 14 per cent company reports. A better approach is to invest in business apps, mobile devices fleets and BYOD schemes to enable secure access to the data employees are demanding.

We are witnessing two clear types of mobile users emerge: First, the casual user who uses their mobile device on the move to access corporate data as a complement to their laptop Second, the professional user where mobility has been critical to their role for the last 10 years but can now benefit from more advanced solutions and technologies

It's important that we factor in recent changes, such as new operating systems, GPS functionality, augmented reality and video content, to give businesses a competitive edge through smart use of mobile technologies

TRP: In which ways are companies implementing enterprise mobility? For example are they focusing on solutions internally for employees, or externally for customers?

MG: As we're seeing greater demand for mobility from employees, our report shows that organisations are investing accordingly; 71 per cent are investing in mobile applications for staff, compared to 59 per cent investing in mobile apps for customers.

Businesses are predominantly focused on rolling out personal productivity apps along with those that support job-specific functions, such as expenses, timesheets or document management, with a view to helping employees access corporate data and remain productive on the move.

The numbers of applications enabled by mobility is large and wide ranging. The highest proportion of respondents said that email and calendar was the most common application (57%), followed by sales support (52%) and personal business admin (45%).

TRP: How do you see mobility evolving in UK businesses in the next 12 months and beyond?

MG: Understanding people's behaviour in general is a must when you want to predict what impact mobility will continue to have on businesses. It's no doubt that mobility will have a big impact on UK businesses in the coming year. Today we see quite traditional ways for users to interact with the business software using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. But this will change and evolve.

Predicting for 2015 and beyond, mobile intelligence will be captured and consumed in new ways:

Interaction with mobile devices will be through less touchy interfaces but instead through non-physical interaction such as the eyes, voice, location and gestures. Display formats and form factors will also change. Mobile interfaces to both private and business information will be anywhere, anyhow and at any time, such as the mirror in the bathroom can hold a display, the head-up display in the car or the TV to mention a few places.

Data capture and consumption will be more me-centric as devices and user behaviour will know who and where you are, what type of information you might need in a particular situation. In the consumer business, you see wearable devices such as bracelets and wearable transponders to capture pulse and walking distance. As we get more used to these types of devices and services, they will be introduced in the business environment too.

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.