by Purushottam Darshankar
Demand in mobility solution is exploding in all industry segments as businesses have started leveraging the enhanced power, ability and reach of the mobile to come up with innovative user-friendly applications. Organizations are only now starting to see mobility as a strategic differentiator. Though diverse device technology landscape may present some challenges, technically savvy small and medium businesses will continue to go for business-on-the-go solutions supporting their mobile workforce.
Smartphone sale will continue to skyrocket and carriers are going to realize that their ARPU will be driven by data revenues. Both business and consumer users never expresses interest in surfing the web on their phone but the acceptance of social networks like Twitter, Facebook and Myspace have pushed the web as must-to-have feature and carriers will figure out the ways to generate revenue other than the data plan.
Apple’s iPhone first shook up the mobile industry in 2007, but Google is slowly starting to become a contender; there are already around 12 Android phones across 32 carriers in 26 countries. In US it will eventually be distributed by all four major U.S. wireless carriers, while Apple is exclusive with AT&T. So although the future for Android looks incredibly bright, let’s not forget there are about 10 million iPhones and growing on the market and over 100,000 applications in the App Store to compete with. Microsoft announcement of WM 6.5 at MWC created big hype only to realize that upgrade is superficial cosmetic overhaul and is incapable of handling the mobile market’s stiff competition. Windows mobile 7 is due next year, why not just wait?
As consumer applications in B2C surges, browser will become a dominant delivery mechanism for reach mobile applications. Though thin client solutions built on HTML5 are paving the way for richer mobile application, smart client applications are not going to go away anytime soon. The recent announcement of the Chrome OS by Google, which is basically a browser on a netbook, that is supposed to ship next year will inevitably put the companies in deeper competition.
2010 year will see the emergence of cloud or SaaS based enterprise mobility offerings. According to IDC report ““almost 40 percent of organizations plan to deploy a SaaS-based mobile solution in the next 12–18 months.” The OEM’s and Telco’s will give a serious look at hosting mobile middleware platforms for connecting enterprise application to mobile devices and offering such services as pay per use model. The platform needs to be multitenant, scalable, secure and flexible to cater to diverse needs of enterprise market. With security and performance enterprise-ready, the cloud is enabling businesses to be more agile, more productive and more flexible. Businesses also benefit from lower IT, energy and real estate costs through data center virtualization.
Companies will develop more innovative applications that get them closer to their customers, employees and partners. As business users have started using their personal devices for business use, Business intelligence (BI) will be increasingly mobilized. Executives will be glued to their mobile screens for the latest statistics on their business.
The focus will be on green, as organizations are sensitive and more aware of reducing their carbon footprint via different methods like reducing paper consumption, reduced power usage, reducing travel etc. Mobility has been well positioned in providing the underlying foundation for more eco-friendly society.
The adoption of mobility solution looks quite impressive but enterprise mobile application market has not yet reached the critical mass. , still plenty of work has to be done, gaps to be bridged, and problems to be solved. With much on the agenda, it's safe to say that 2010 promises to be an exciting year for enterprise mobility.