Enterprise mobility has delivered solution providers with an abundance of new opportunities in areas like device management, the application layer, and back-end infrastructure. Many partners were, previously, unable to excel in these domains. But that is set to change.
Lucknow-based Acme Digitek Solutions was content with its growing SI business. That was until the mobile boom took over. This changed its focus. The company has now pinned its hope on enterprise mobile applications. Ajit Mittal, its managing director, has taken the big risk of investing significantly to bring in an additional focus on application development. He hasn't done this without having a fair idea of the outcome. "This is the year of mobility. Our focus is to cash in on the mobile workforce trend, which calls for remote access of corporate data in a secure way. Within this, the application story is quite strong. That alone is a huge opportunity for us," he says.
The idea and benefits of using mobility has struck a chord with large enterprises. According to a recent study by Zinnov, almost 50 percent of CIOs say enterprise mobility is one of the top five priorities for them in 2013.
"This year is going to be a turning point for enterprise mobility. Until now, we have not seen too many large deployments among enterprises. CIOs were just experimenting with horizontal deployments around e-mail and other smaller apps. However, this year, we can expect to see more maturity and better policies around mobility," says Praveen Bhadada, director, market expansion, Zinnov.
Sachin S. Rao, CEO of Bangalore-based Archon Consulting is planning to make the most of this development. He is focusing on building his access device business (laptops, tablets, etcetera) for enterprises in a big way. He believes that with mobility becoming prevalent among enterprises, the access device business is no more a volume game; rather, it's more of an "intelligence game".
"Though there is no consistent approach among our customers in terms of what kind of mobility solution they are looking for, we can see interest building up. They are looking at various types of services around mobility," he says.
Mobile device management (MDM) is another opportunity area for solution providers. Vilakshan Jakhu, managing director, Will Information Technologies, believed the opportunity was so significant that he quit his job as a CIO to start his own company. Within the first 100 days of forming Will Information, Jakhu says he came across at least 30 leads for enterprise mobility. While he doesn't expect to win all of them, he says it speaks volumes about how receptive enterprises are to the idea of mobility and BYOD.
But, there is a growing perception that BYOD needs to be addressed in a holistic manner to make it more effective. "A point solution will not address all the problems," Jakhu says. "In the last couple of years, there have been plenty of discussions around mobility and BYOD. There are early adopters, but at the same time some of them are facing issues with scalability. Our approach is to offer an end-to-end integrated solution that addresses concerns around BYOD, security, and data integrity." Some of the early adopters of mobility solutions are verticals like banking and finance, education, government, retail, travel and logistics.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.