Enterprise Mobility continued to make the headlines in 2014, with more innovative mobile devices and security threats and vulnerabilities than ever before. The fallout from many of these events offer valuable lessons learned, and how BYOD organizations adapt their priorities accordingly will have a huge impact on the industry going forward. Here are five of the most significant developments you can expect to see play out in 2015.
1. Rise of the Phablets
Look for Phablets to become a disruptive technology and dominant force as BYOD devices of choice. The larger display size they offer will make these devices an attractive all-in-one solution for many smartphone and tablet users. They’re not an entirely new phenomenon, but the expected surge of the iPhone 6 Plus will launch them into the spotlight like never before. The buzz created by this device will almost certainly transcend their increased share of the retail market and as a result, Phablets are set to make a big splash on BYOD as the devices that can almost do it all. Expect their influence to trigger a notable decline in BYOD usage of Tablets especially in 2015 and beyond. BYOD employees will shift from using tablets to Phablets as a solution to their mobile needs. App developers will need to adapt quickly so that their apps run optimally for this new form factor.
2. Is the honeymoon over for MDM?
Many security vendors have added MAM (Mobile Application Management) and MIM (Mobile Information Management) tools to their existing Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution of choice. Together, these services are being packaged as EMM (Enterprise Mobility Management) and being promoted as an all-inclusive mobile security solution. There’s no doubt that together these approaches address several security concerns – but collectively they still do not add up to the comprehensive enterprise mobility solution that enterprises require. EMM implementation on the ground is still at a relatively early phase, so BYOD companies and EMM providers are still very much in the “honeymoon stage” with these services. Just like a young and developing romance, the security flaws will eventually be uncovered as EMM implementation becomes more mature. Since MDM is still the anchor steering this approach the limits to their effectiveness will become apparent as employee feedback will start cycling back to organizations. For IT, the costs of managing all of these on-device security requirements will also become an issue.
3. Mobile Apps – Security will Take Center Stage
In 2014 I said that mobile apps would graduate beyond standard apps and that we would see organizations investing in more robust and data-rich enterprise apps like CRMs and ERPs in order to enable employees in being more productive. With more complex apps and data being adopted into BYOD, securing these apps will be paramount. Many security tools such as MDM and MAM will be trialed but they require a lot of IT customization such as App Wrapping and Containerization. It will be interesting to see how successful they will be and whether they will be continue to be selected over time.
4. Vertical BYOD Solutions will become Bigger
Look for more vendors to target specific industries and tailor their security solutions for those that need higher-level security and are dealing with difficult challenges as a result of BYOD implementation. Healthcare for example sees doctors often working outside of the hospital or clinic, yet they need access to mobile apps more than ever before. Ensuring Protected Health Information (PHI) on these apps is an absolute must with the compliance and liability issues required under HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). Banks and financial institutions also have a heightened need to secure extremely sensitive customer and corporate information while putting BYOD into practice. Then you have both public and private defense agencies for which cybersecurity threats and their accompanying challenges are unique, and those stakes have never been higher. Their security specifications require them to use their own customized devices and adopt more of a COPE (Corporate Owned Personally Enabled) policy. These industries represent niche opportunities for vendors who will roll out mobile offerings in increasing numbers.
5. Virtualization Technology will Make a Splash
As organizations gather analytics and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of different ways to manage BYOD, the big picture will slowly but surely come into focus. Increasing reliance on mobile devices means mobile-first security solutions will take precedence. While we’ve heard the importance of “following the data” often in 2014, more organizations will shift philosophies on the best way to achieve that, with more CIOs looking to manage data security away from personal devices entirely. Both on-device (Multi-Persona) and off-device virtualization such as VMI (Virtual Mobile Infrastructure) will become a larger part of the BYOD landscape as a result.