With an increased focus on wearables, the IoT, machine learning and virtual reality, CIOs will need to ensure their enterprise mobility management (EMM) strategies can scale. Mobile devices aren't going away, and they're only getting more difficult to manage. Whether it's employees or customers, the number of potential hardware and software exchanging corporate data day in and day out can be staggering.
"If EMM is managing millions of devices today it will manage billions of other assets in the future," says Clare Grant, general manager of Red Hat Mobile.
The coming year will see a number of changes in how businesses approach EMM, moving from a device-focused approach to a more comprehensive strategy. These are six of the most significant predictions from experts about how EMM will change in 2017.
Companies will embrace Android
Will 2017 be Android's year in the enterprise? Chris Silva, research director at Gartner, who worked on Gartner's 2016 Magic Quadrant for EMM report, thinks Android will finally have its time to shine. He points to tools like Android for Work and the latest Pixel devices as two signs that businesses will start bringing in more Android devices.
It's already started, says Silva, with an increase in enterprise-ready Android devices, like those from Samsung. Although, he acknowledges that iOS "remains the preference of most enterprises for corporate-owned mobile devices," he to sees corporations embrace Android devices as well.
EMM suites will only make it easier for IT departments to support multiple types of hardware and software, while maintaining a streamlined approach to security.
Wearables will find their place in the enterprise
In addition to an increase of Android devices, Grant says 2017 will see more wearables at work, especially as they grow in consumer popularity. "As enterprises start extending wearables for B2E workflows and find more use cases targeting consumers, we expect that concerns over their management and data access will arise as it did in the early days of smartphones. Evidence of this is seen in Samsung announcing their EMM for wearables," she says.
Each new device and applicatoin can bring efficiencies and boost productivity, but they also increase complexities around security and mobile management. "Whether it's a smartphone, a tablet, an IoT sensor, a personal digital assistant, or a wearable, every organization needs to consider connected devices as part of their EMM strategy," says Grant.
Moving forward, EMM strategies not only need to consider current hardware, but also make room for hardware that is on the horizon. Any device that has the potential to become "connected," will require some level of management on IT's end.
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