Always on the Move: 2016 will See More Evolution in Enterprise Mobility


By Israel Lifshitz - Dec-23-2015

This past year saw businesses keep up with the torrid pace of both new and developing technologies in the enterprise mobility space. And if you thought this frenetic activity might subside in 2016, then think again and fasten your proverbial seatbelt. As markets and use cases continue to grow, here’s a look at the trends that seem poised to leave their mark on the industry in the coming year.

Holes in the EMM umbrella will demand redefined BYOD strategy yet again

Looking back at the enterprise data security landscape over the past few years, you can see clearly the determined mission by industry vendors to label and define different endpoint security solutions and declare them as a complete and holistic remedy for the mobile working environment. Enterprise Mobility Management is the latest buzzword to claim this mantle, having added Mobile Application Management (MAM) and Mobile Information Management (MIM) tools to solutions which were largely based on Mobile Device Management (MDM).

But just how well can this patchwork of systems support the needs of mobile enterprises today, and more importantly in the future? Those solutions undoubtedly must focus on the needs of users, who you can expect will be adopting an more diverse roster of devices that can touch the enterprise ecosystem and will demand access to robust, data-rich apps. This will also demand much greater assurances on the privacy of their personal environments than we’ve seen in EMM suites to date. Managing all of these needs under the EMM umbrella actually results in significant inefficiencies that span app development and deployment, device and OS compatibility, patch management, integration and scalability. And we haven’t even mentioned security, with MDM-based techniques still prone to the constant stream of device and application threats that attack consumer devices with increasing sophistication.

As a consequence, expect EMM vendors to raise their security ceiling by embracing emerging approaches, and watch for MDM’s relative importance in this space to fade. Solutions focused on data at the heart of their product will gain a larger slice of the EMM pie. The need for a truly comprehensive framework that cuts through these complexities and improves all facets of mobility will become much more recognized in 2016 and disruptive technologies like Virtual Mobile Infrastructure (VMI) will become more mature, proven ways forward for CIOs evaluating their mobile security strategy.

Better options will mean a hotter BYOD market for SMBs

Quite understandably, implementation and maintenance costs have been a barrier for SMBs in taking on BYOD solutions that could help yield them the same benefits as for larger organizations. That’s not to say they haven’t already embraced BYOD as a practice, with a recent study revealing that 61% of American SMBs allow employees to bring devices to work. And a recent survey by analyst firm 451 Research shows that security is easily the top obstacle to supporting mobile and remote workers. But you can expect those walls to come down for many of these businesses in 2016. Virtualized technologies and cloud-based SaaS solutions have penetrated the market with products that offer a higher layer of security and can be installed and operational within a matter of hours. These cost-effective solutions will also address budgetary shackles that have deterred many SMBs until now.

It will be an M&A buffet again in 2016

In 2015 we saw giants such as IBM, VMware, Blackberry and Red Hat gobble up MDM and EMM vendors. All of this activity validates the growth and maturity of BYOD. As more proven emerging technologies ascend in the mobility space, you can be sure that the software behemoths will be hungry for more as they jostle for market dominance. Software vendors with strong integration capabilities will feel like the belles of the ball in the coming year.

Healthcare will further screen IoT use cases:

For all the hype surrounding IoT devices, proven mobile use cases in the enterprise remain sparse. Don’t expect that to change dramatically in 2016. However, one vertical in particular seems set to be an exception. The rising demand for improved healthcare, reduced cost of care, and evolution of high speed networking technologies is forecasted to grow from $32.47 Billion to $163.24 Billion by 2020. Mature use cases exist for applications in remote patient monitoring and chronic disease management, and how the IoT market progresses in healthcare could be a fascinating story to watch in the New Year and beyond.