Mobility in the Enterprise: Past, Present and Future

1 - Mobility in the Enterprise: Past, Present and Future
2 - 1980s: Introduction of Laptops
3 - 1990s: The "Smart" Phase Begins
4 - Early 2000s: Company-Issued Cell Phones Penetrate the Workplace
5 - 2005: The Term 'Bring Your Own Device' Is Coined
6 - 2012: BYO Becomes the Norm
7 - 2016: CIOs Adopt a Mobile-First Mindset
8 - 2020 and Beyond: Wearables/IoT in the Enterprise
9 - Inflection Point
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Mobility in the Enterprise: Past, Present and Future

From the beginning, mobile devices in the workplace have demanded management by IT and will continue to do so far into the IoT future.

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1980s: Introduction of Laptops

Laptops are introduced, initiating and empowering the modern workforce we live in today. The laptop spurred the mobile revolution by allowing people to envision, and eventually create, a world where apps and data can be safe and accessible any place, any time, and on any device or network—freeing people and organizations from business complexity and IT constraints.

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1990s: The "Smart" Phase Begins

The smartphone was introduced by IBM and BellSouth in 1993. The phone was named "Simon" and had a touch-screen capable of accessing email and sending faxes. Then, in 1999, the term "Internet of things" (IoT) was coined by British entrepreneur Kevin Ashton, who first referred to it in a presentation he made at Procter & Gamble.

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Early 2000s: Company-Issued Cell Phones Penetrate the Workplace

In 2002, BlackBerry added voice to its portable email device to become one of the earliest smartphones. Around this same time (2003), some of today's major mobile-device management (MDM) providers, including XenMobile (then called Zenprise), were founded to help businesses manage large-scale BlackBerry phone deployments by enabling IT full access and control to manage employee mobile devices.

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2005: The Term 'Bring Your Own Device' Is Coined

Also around this time, devices based on Microsoft's Windows Mobile started to gain popularity among business users in the U.S.

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2012: BYO Becomes the Norm

By May 2012, more than half of American mobile customers owned a smartphone. Of those, about two-thirds used their personal devices for enterprise-related activities. Thus, enterprise mobility management (EMM) entered into the mainstream. In 2013, EMM really began enabling the next-gen secure workspace of the future by removing barriers commonly associated with device choice, application choice and physical location.

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2016: CIOs Adopt a Mobile-First Mindset

Mobile phones have become essential to business, which means managing them is a major IT responsibility. According to Gartner, CIOs say mobility is one of their top three priorities for the coming year, and it's already paying off. In 2015, 38 percent of companies reported improved user productivity and 33 percent reduced their cost of managing mobile devices and apps after implementing an EMM solution. At the same time, mobile-app management (MAM) is beginning to take hold, slowly replacing MDM solutions in order to provide more flexibility and security, while optimizing the user experience for employees.

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2020 and Beyond: Wearables/IoT in the Enterprise

IoT and the "integration of everything" will be used to solve complex business problems, especially in key industries such as health care. IoT also will transform the office as we know it to become cool new shared workplaces that increase occupancy and collaboration by enabling things such as meeting room automation, workflow orchestration and facilities optimization.

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Inflection Point

We are currently at another inflection point, where EMM technologies are beginning to expand beyond serving only a mobile audience to managing the entire workspace of devices from a single platform. Citrix calls this "unified workspace management," meaning that IT gets the flexibility to apply governance and compliance models to execute their companies' security requirements for all device types, and users have easy access to virtualized applications and desktops on any device in true flexible workspace solution fashion. Enterprises need to provide employees with secure mobile access to apps and data on any device across any network. Serving as the "invisible middleman," EMM gives IT and employees the tools and confidence they need to say yes to workforce mobility—and whatever comes next.

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