The 2021 Olympic Games will be introducing five new sporting events including surfing and softball. Let’s hope that your business strategy for 2021 reflects new trends in the same way.
The survival of businesses relies on their ability to adapt. A recent survey of global companies found that 63% of respondents considered mobility to be the most important factor in gaining competitive advantage.
As the world gets more mobile, businesses that fail to adopt enterprise mobility will find themselves struggling to keep up. Therefore, in order to keep up with competitors, it is important to take enterprise mobility trends into consideration.
This blog post breaks down the top five enterprise mobility trends to adopt in 2021. Firstly, we’ll provide a background overview of enterprise mobility, enterprise mobility strategy and enterprise mobility management. We’ll then discuss the top five enterprise mobility trends in 2021.
What is enterprise mobility?
Enterprise mobility is a broad term that refers to any mobility solution launched by firms to increase profits, reduce costs, maximize shareholder wealth, or all of the above. It relies on applying contemporary forms of interaction, brought by miniaturised computing and mobile devices, into strategic models. Firms and organisations need to adapt to their environment to succeed & be sustainable.
Rapid advancements in mobile technology continue to challenge the traditional assumptions of what human interaction is and should be. Traditionally speaking, the appropriate way to interact with people is in-person. However, on the other hand, contemporary forms of interaction occur via both user-technology relationships and the Internet of Things. In short, the appropriateness of this as it becomes the norm is a conversation for another day.
As technology evolves, interaction within firms adapt and continues to develop. For example, answering the landline and replying to emails turned into instant messaging group chats. At the same time, the floppy disk and USB flash drive progressed into cloud storage and file sharing.
All of this exists parallel to the theory that interpersonal interaction in the workplace, such as working in teams, is central to productivity. This theory reshaped the workplace in the past few decades. It replaced cubicles with open plan spaces to enable more organic interactions and resulted in high demand for more advanced ways of managing information and coordinating efforts.
The enterprise mobility strategy stemmed from this shift in business models. Firms took advantage of the growing diversity in mobile information technologies to lead more productive operations. They utilized communicating via the internet, accessing data through cloud technology, and using laptops and mobile devices to complete professional duties. This, in turn, birthed the organisational culture of flexible working practices.
Enterprise mobility has thus become synonymous with flexible working practices and remote working options. Examples of the earlier enterprise mobility strategy practices include telecommuting, home-working, shared offices, hot-desking, global virtual teams and mobile working. They have all transformed exponentially in their own right since their initiation into the workplace.
In the video above, Canadian telecommunications company Mitel explains how an enterprise mobility strategy like hot desking reduces overheads and improves worker morale. The successful implementation of such a strategy requires changes to elements of the firm in question in terms of its enterprise mobility management (EMM). The contents to follow are the background of enterprise mobility management and a summary of the enterprise mobility market.
Background of enterprise mobility management
Enterprise mobility management (EMM) is defined as the set of people, processes, and technology behind enterprise mobility. It ensures an increase in access to digital assets while still maintaining proprietary control. EMM supports the firm in the following ways:
- Providing employees the devices and support needed to enable mobility
- Managing device-level access and company credentials
- Helping the IT department control access
- Ensuring the security of remote and mobile devices
The components of enterprise mobility management include mobile device management, mobile application management, mobile identity management, mobile information management, mobile content management, and mobile expense management. Applying them to clear acceptable policies is vital for EMM success as well as high standards of security and governance.
An important consideration that firms implementing a mobility strategy should assess is whether they have the credibility, power, and ability to both initiate and manage the change. If they do not, then they should consider bringing in external change management consultants in the form of enterprise mobility consulting.
Enterprise mobility consulting employs the firm’s forecasts and unique business processes to adopt the right enterprise mobility strategy. With it, firms leverage expertise in both business and mobile technology to deliver services that aim to exceed anticipated return-on-investment. Enterprise mobility consulting service providers often offer consulting services and innovative, cost-effective software products with ongoing technical support services.
The enterprise mobility market is expected to reach a value of USD 360.07 Billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 27.6%. Over half of the world’s mobile subscribers live in Asia-Pacific. Companies in the region embrace employees using their personal devices for work because it increases employee satisfaction and productivity.
As a result, the Asia-Pacific region is expected to witness the highest enterprise mobility market growth in the early 2021’s with an estimated 3.9 billion smartphones by 2025. It is important to note however, that these numbers vary from research to research because of the exponential nature of the market.
Firms cite their top factors in determining enterprise mobility strategy as the effectiveness of workflows, employee accessibility, and security. Upon establishing this, it is further important for firms to make note of the enterprise mobility trends in 2021 and adapt them early on.
Enterprise mobility trends in 2021
With constantly changing business scenarios, firms develop an enterprise mobility strategy to stay competitive. Mobile devices are as common in the workplace as they are in everyday life. The increased adoption of mobile devices and applications to firms leads to the growing complexity of management systems, an increased number of security issues, and privacy concerns.
Trends in enterprise mobility clearly show that the industry is developing quickly and flourishes. A survey of 500 senior IT executives, CEOs, and other senior managers by Oxford Economics shows that:
- 82% of them say that mobile devices are critical to employee productivity, agility and the speed of decision making
- 80% of them say that workers cannot do their jobs effectively without a mobile device
- 75-76% of them say that mobile devices are critical to innovation, collaboration, customer service, and customer satisfaction
- 70% of them say that mobile devices are critical to employee satisfaction and revenue growth
Taking these figures into consideration, let’s discuss the top enterprise mobility trends in 2021 and the future of mobility solutions.
1. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) vs Employer Provided Device (EPD)
Firms have developed detailed models for accommodating an enterprise mobility strategy. One such model is an important 2021 enterprise mobility trend called the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) model. Here, firms save money on acquisition costs by depending on employees to provide their own mobile phones. As businesses strive to cut expenses, the BYOD model facilitates employee engagement and spares the cost of supplying staff with smartphones, tablets, and laptops at the expense of the company.
According to the Oxford Economics survey from above, 31% of businesses allow their employees to use their phones and laptops for work. The survey further observes that 61% of businesses expect their employees to be available remotely, even if they do not have a corporate-issued device.
In BYOD models, IT departments install the firm’s apps to employees’ personal devices. In this way, users retain the freedom of device selection and privacy, and the employer retains control over corporate data and software.
The development of enterprise-specific apps will also be on the rise. Corporate usage of generic desktop applications becomes history. Now, firms are focused on creating an ecosystem of custom mobile apps that streamline the workflow and improve efficiency.
Another model that firms developed for accommodating an enterprise mobility strategy is the Employer Provided Device (EPD) model. The EPD model is built on the BYOD model and is also referred to as the Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled (COPE) model. The model refers to firms providing mobile devices either wholly or partially.
Connectivity costs account for the majority of the costs EPD models bring to firms, and they overshadow acquisition costs. Both the BYOD and EPD models enable firms to monitor their remote workers. To do this, firms install browser additions that track data use and tools that can log work hours in these remote locations.
According to Oxford Economics, 17% of businesses that have adopted an enterprise mobility strategy provide mobile devices to all employees. Another 28% provide mobile devices to at least 20% of employees and allow others to use their personal devices. Of the latter group, 74% develop over three proprietary mobile applications for employee use.
2. 5G cellular networks & Wi-Fi edition 6
5G networks are the fifth generation of mobile internet connectivity that offers faster speeds and more reliable connections. The future of mobility will see the wide adoption of 5G standards and its usage in the real world. 5G promises increased data rates (up to 10 Gbps), low latencies (around 1 ms), better connectivity, and a 90% reduction in energy usage in comparison to 4G.
Although the adoption of 5G networks is expected to be slow, firms are advised to start preparing right at the turn of the 2020 decade. Analysts give no predictions about specific new applications that firms can find for 5G, but the stable wideband wireless connection is a point for a competitive edge in itself.
Another driving force of 2020 enterprise mobility trends is the introduction of Wi-Fi edition 6 (802.11ax). The new standard will increase the network speed, optimize battery usage, and improve the performance in crowded spots like busy offices.
Better and faster internet connectivity accommodates enterprise mobility tools such as video-conferencing platforms, cloud computing systems for file storage, and web collaboration tools. Both 5G and Wi-Fi edition 6 promise that remote work can be accomplished at faster rates even when employees aren’t connected to a business network.
3. Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals, or people provided with unique identifiers (UIDs) and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. Quite rudimentarily, it refers to connecting devices over the internet, letting them talk to us, applications, and each other.
Thanks to innovative standards in cellular and wireless network technology, IoT will continue to develop at a steady pace. In manufacturing, smart cities, and healthcare, numerous enterprise mobility trends challenges and solutions already depend on network-connected devices. According to Gartner, the number of network-connected devices in healthcare worldwide will grow to 25 billion by 2021.
Among other applications, IoT data is used to create digital duplicates of products and processes. This allows firms to move testing and monitoring into the simulation, resulting in reduced overheads.
Currently, 98% of the organizations using IoT are extracting a mass of data from their processes reveal that making sense of data remains a hurdle. Over a third of these organizations are not extracting or analyzing data within corporate networks, and are therefore missing out on insights that could improve strategic decisions.
With modern wireless data transfer rates, sending expansive amounts of data to cloud systems does not seem reasonable in many cases. Some of the existing solutions to this have little tolerance for latencies and should, therefore, be placed as close to endpoints as possible. Edge computing is one such solution that pushes calculations and decision-making closer to the devices that collect raw input data.
4. AI-based chatbots and virtual assistants
One of the main advantages of using mobile devices in the workplace is an increase in staff productivity due to the delegation of menial and routine tasks to artificial intelligence (AI). The introduction of self-learning algorithms helps to reduce human workload, placing AI among the most important trends in enterprise mobility.
Chatbots are those message bubbles on websites that pop out of nowhere after you have scrolled down the page for a few seconds and ask if they can help you with anything. They often have a generic name and the stock photo of some random cheerful person. They are AI-based software that allows the automation of many customer service processes.
Though a source of some frustration in the recent past, chatbots are subject to constant improvement. They take a number of monotonous work off the shoulders of employees, who can then devote their time to more creative tasks that require a human touch and resourceful thinking. Most common chatbot applications serve customer support and B2B collaborations. Prospective areas of their implementation are often in retail, banking, and healthcare.
Another important Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology is voice-controlled personal assistants. The development of voice assistants will continue to accelerate as their accuracy is constantly improving.
A top example here is Alexa for Business, which started in 2017 as a voice control system for conference services. Now, it is turning into a comprehensive solution. Firms organise meetings in distributed offices with the support of private Alexa-enabled devices. Smart speakers that became very popular in recent years, also have good chances of being introduced into the office environment.
5. Increased security
One of the pressing issues with enterprise mobility is security. Introducing an enterprise mobility strategy expands the attack surface, requiring the employment of more severe security measures. As corporate data travels, it’s often vulnerable to data breaches or unauthorized access.
Firms use a wide spectrum of tools to manage these risks, from VPN tunnels to endpoint security technologies. In previous years, the standard response was mobile device management (MDM). With it, the IT department controlled the use of smartphones and tablets at the office. Current enterprise mobility management trends include much more strict though flexible mobile application management (MAM).
With an increased number of mobile devices and other endpoints, some additional means of control should be in place. Unified endpoint management will be the best instrument to guarantee security.
Some enterprise mobility market trends for 2021, like BYOD or EPD, are indicative of specific changes firms need to make to hold a position on the market, enjoy a competitive advantage, and enhance employee satisfaction. Other trends like exploring the possibilities of 5G/Wi-Fi 6 or harnessing the power of IoT point the general way for thought and research.
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Enterprise mobility is a broad term that refers to any mobility solution launched by firms to increase profits, reduce costs, maximize shareholder wealth, or all of the above. Enterprise mobility is synonymous with flexible working practices and remote working options. Firms utilize communicating via the internet, accessing data through cloud technology, and using laptops and mobile devices to complete professional duties.
Approximately 82% of corporate management representatives claim that mobile devices are critical to employee productivity, agility, and the speed of decision making. The enterprise mobility trends for 2021 show that the industry is developing quickly. These trends include Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) vs Employer Provided Device (EPD), 5G cellular networks & Wi-Fi edition 6, Internet of Things, AI-based chatbots, and increased security.
For firms to navigate opportunities and invest in technologies that add value, it is important to partner up with a reliable experienced development company both in the short and the long term. Such a partner should see the big picture and be proficient enough to offer specific solutions to a variety of tasks and challenges. Here at Jelvix, we would love to hear from you and collaborate on bringing your strategy to life. Click here for more details.
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