Over the last several years, much of the end user computing industry has been going on about topics like bring your own device, enterprise mobility management, and “mobile first.” However, during this time, many companies did not “go mobile” in a big, formal way.
It may have been a deliberate choice, or it may have been an unconscious one. Either way, these companies likely didn’t “go mobile” for pragmatic reasons. For example, perhaps:
- They didn’t have a use case for custom apps.
- They didn’t find a pressing security or management need for MDM, MAM, or EMM.
- They didn’t want to rock the boat by forcing anyone to do BYOD.
- They felt that they weren’t affected by the “consumerization of IT.”
- Creating a “mobile center of excellence” or adopting a “mobile first” strategy was not a priority.
- Or they were just a small or medium organization, and more conservative and reactive with their IT investments.
But look around. It’s 2018. Even very traditional, small, or slow moving companies—ones that may not have EMM, custom apps, or a formal mobile strategy—exhibit the following traits:
- Almost everybody uses a mobile device for work, whether BYOD or paid for by the company.
- All these users have mobile email, calendars, and messaging.
- They use plenty of consumer-oriented apps for critical work functions. Think LinkedIn, travel apps, Lyft, Evernote, and social media (for marketing teams).
- They use mobile clients for enterprise SaaS products (even though the mobile clients may not have been the primary reason why companies adopted these products). Think apps like Box, Salesforce, and Concur.
- While some of us in the mobility space have been debating the evolution of endpoint devices, plenty of ordinary users have been working from personally-own iPads and Surfaces for years.
My point? Guess what: today, every organization has gone mobile, no matter what! This has a lot of ramifications—for example, I wrote recently that even SMBs without their own apps or EMM still should be testing beta versions of mobile OSes. But more importantly, if you think mobility isn’t important to your organization, well, I just don’t agree with you, or your company is incredibly unique.
Enterprise mobility is like the dot-com boom
I’ll wrap up this post with another way that I like to think about the evolution of mobility. Think about the world wide web: The dot-com boom of the 90s has a lot in common with the mobile boom of the 2010s, and mobility is just about to the point where it’s as established as the web.
When the original dot-com boom was happening, everybody was talking about the web—how to use it, how to monetize it, and what it means for IT. But today, nobody says “Hey, what should our web strategy be?” Instead, it’s just automatically part of everything we do. (And by the way, it’s still a lot of work and constantly changing!)
Mobility is getting close to the same place. Soon, nobody will talk about “mobility strategies” any more; mobility will just automatically be part of everything we do. (And by the way, it will still be a lot of work and constantly changing!)