BYOD and Mobile Application Strategies
Author: Hadar Shafir
The Invasion of Mobile Devices
The average person in the United States will buy a new cell phone every 18 months, in Europe, every 15 months, and in Japan that stat drops to every 9 months. This is pretty amazing considering the fact that most mobile providers are enforcing rigid 24-month plans on their customers before they are eligible for an upgrade.
So let’s say you buy a new mobile phone every 18 months, or as often as every 9 months, and just as you are becoming comfortable using it, enjoying all those amazing new features (and bugs), your boss wants you to abandon your new phone and use a different one, a company phone. But you have all those cool new features! You’re just about to break the speed of light with your texting abilities on the new keyboard! A problem, right? Not necessarily.
Let’s look at some numbers: by the end of 2011, according to the ITU, there are close to 6 billion mobile subscribers–that’s 87% of the world population. There are more Android devices activated every day than babies are born. Same goes for iOS devices.
That’s a pretty great penetration rate, isn’t it? Considering the fact that there are 7 billion people in the world, and only 1.7 billion of them use credit cards, 2.4 billion are connected to the internet, 2.2 billion have a bank account. There are about 1 billion more mobile phone users than there are people using toothbrushes.
BYOD is Here
Considering all these numbers, it really does make sense to bring you own device (BYOD) to work, doesn’t it?
Other than saving our planet from over population by mobile devices, the BYOD trend is all about personalization – applying my personal preferences to work related activities. Are the consumer markets and the enterprise areas converging? We are still a long way from that, but there is definitely a shift in origins of innovation, from the businesses to the home consumers. Consumerization of IT departments has been long identified by Gartner as one of the most significant IT trends for the next 10 years.
Although corporate IT departments are struggling to accommodate the ‘ my device is now our device’ approach, it’s pretty safe to say that BYOD is no longer an emerging trend, it’s a reality.
As a recent ClickSoftware infographic shows, most employees expect to be allowed their personal devices and those that are allowed to do so show higher satisfaction rates.
Mobile Application Strategies
And so, moving forward with BYOD as the new emerging standard for the enterprise, the only question remaining is the mobile application strategy for the organization. When required to support both consumer devices of different types and flavors and company-issued ruggedized devices, the natural direction is to choose an HTML5-based cross-platform application that will support all. To manage a mobile workforce and manage a BYOD approach at the same time, it is critical to define a single set of business rules and workflows that sits at the base of the mobile application and serves as the anchor in terms of functionality, providing the same capabilities to all platforms.
An HTML5 based solution such as ClickMobile with its underlying, robust platform, its offline capabilities, its set of workforce management applications and the variety of additional apps that can be added on top of it, provides these capabilities for any device.
Mobile employees know what they want, and they want both their personal and work-related needs to be addressed using the same device. They want to be able to switch devices with no overhead. They don’t want to worry about connectivity issues. They want to have direct and easy access to the enterprise back-end systems. Only a cross-platform solution, such as ClickMobile, can serve as an enabler for the field workforce and not as a barrier.