Technology moves fast. In a few years the device you’re using to read this will be obsolete. The gadgets of yesterday are nearly extinct, and today’s devices will soon be outdated. Technology is a constant game of trying to adapt to the latest innovations and trends.
For individual consumers, it can be a little frustrating. No one likes to spend a lot of money on something only to have it become worthless in a short time. Then again, it’s fun seeing what’s new, and being able to have the latest and greatest the moment it becomes available. Businesses, on the other hand, are in a tougher spot. While individuals can quickly adopt new technology, businesses don’t have the same freedom and flexibility. They may have older systems that won’t support new devices, or not have a big enough budget for constant device updates. And while companies might not be so quick to get new phones or tablets, employees aren’t happy with that. They’re so familiar with having new technology at home, they want the same at work. Why use an old, dusty laptop when you have a shiny, speedy machine sitting on your desk at home?
It’s this mentality that lead to the BYOD revolution. Employees wanted to bring their new devices from home and use them for work. Everything from smartphones to tablets entered the workplace. Employees no longer had to carry around two separate machines, and instead were able to use one for both personal and professional use. Employers remained on the fence. On one hand, better tech meant better productivity. However, they worried about the security risks that came with company data stored on personal devices.
We are now a few years into this BYOD trend, and slowly companies are bending to pressure and adopting BYOD policies. However, BYOD policies are constantly changing as new technology is released. At the close of another year, it may be worthwhile to take a look at what’s coming in 2015. When it comes to building a strategy, it’s better to be preemptive. The sooner companies understand what’s coming, the better they’ll adjust to whatever changes need to be made.
Enterprise Mobile Apps
With the advancements in mobile technology, and the increased power of tablets and smartphones, more and more people are choosing them for work as opposed to traditional PCs. As a result, there's been a rapid increase in the need for secure, enterprise mobile apps. We can expect even more data-rich enterprise apps next year, enabling employees to be more productive on their device of choice, while simultaneously improving security measures.
Year of the Phablets
Remember the days when phone companies were competing to create the smallest phones possible? Well, not anymore. With the multi-functional use of phones, screen size and resolution are vital. This has pushed manufacturers to create bigger phones and is in part responsible for the popularity of tablets. They have the larger screens of PCs, but with much greater portability. However, consumers are demanding more. They still want the computing power of tablets, but the portability of smartphones. Enter the phablet. The phone-tablet isn’t a new phenomenon, but the recent iPhone 6 Plus will certainly increase their popularity, as Apple products tend to do. IT professionals should be aware of this transition. The rise in phablet usage as a solution to mobile needs will most likely translate to a decrease in tablets. BYOD strategies will need to take this into account and app developers will need to adapt quickly.
BYOD or CYOD
BYOD adoption in the UK has been slow, meaning companies are still searching for a way to get the benefits of BYOD without compromising on security. This is where CYOD, or Choose Your Own Device, comes into play. Sometimes also called Corporate Owned Personally Enabled, the idea is simply to allow employees the option of selecting a device from range of supported and approved company devices. This means employees can choose between manufacturers like Apple or Windows, allowing employees to use something they’re familiar with. While not as completely free as BYOD, it allows for flexibility while still maintaining company security through protected IT devices. This isn't to suggest that BYOD will disappear, but simply that we can expect more companies to consider CYOD as an option.