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Enterprise mobility future

A $20 mobile paradigm was one of the visions touted at IDC’s recent Enterprise Mobility Conference, as Heather Wright discovered.

If Mobile Mentor’s Denis O’Shea is right, 2020 will herald $20 smart devices and $20 mobile plans.

O’Shea, Mobile Mentor’s chief executive, was pushing his vision of a clipboard free workforce by 2020 at IDC’s Enterprise Mobility Conference 2013: Defining the Future Workspace recently.

He believes by 2020 it will be possible to ‘buy a perfectly capable smart device for $20, get unlimited mobile services for $20 a month and build an enterprise mobile application in 20 minutes’.

“Before you write me off as barmy, think about what if mobile was this affordable?” he says.

There are, of course, some caveats. O’Shea doesn’t think the latest iPhone, or Galaxy, or indeed any other topline mobile, will be available for $20.

There will still be plenty of high end options for those wanting to spend more. But for those seeking entry level devices, O’Shea says the $20 mobile paradigm is not that far away.

To back his claims, he notes that an Android 4.0 Emerson Touch 4.3 is already available for $60, and United States provider Republic Wireless is offering $19/month hybrid cellular-Wi-Fi plans with unlimited voice, SMS and data.

On the mobile application front, he says 20 minute app development has been possible since 2009 and HTML5 levels the playing field for enterprise customers.

“We believe the $20 mobile paradigm is not that far away,” he says. “In two or three years time we will not be talking about BYOD. It’s simply a phase that leads us to a future situation.”

O’Shea says the cost benefits are too small and the wrong reason for customers to do BYOD. Instead BYOD, which he labels as ‘intensely personal’ is about productivity gains, staff satisfaction and front line innovation.

“If we get it right, we can really empower the end user and transform the workforce. The real benefits are not with the executives, but with the masses.”

O’Shea says those masses include people working on the land, in primary industries such as farming and fisheries, working in supermarkets and large production environments.

“Let’s take away the clipboards and the old world work processes.” He says issues currently hampering BYOD and mobility, such as security and policies, will be ironed out over the next few years.

The facts and figures

Meanwhile, Charles Anderson, IDC Asia Pacific vice president, head of telecom practice, mobility lead, offered conference attendees the latest facts and figures for the enterprise mobility market.

Anderson says the market is Asia Pacific, excluding Japan, will increase dramatically in the next couple of years, reaching US$12.8 billion by 2017.

The New Zealand market, he says will experience the 18.9% CAGR, with the high growth being for mobile value- added services, which are predicted to grow at 29% CAGR through to 2017.

He says system integrators are moving into the MDM space, focusing on advisory, integration and management, installation and support.

“New Zealand’s enterprise mobility requirements are higher than ApeJ on average,” Anderson says. He’s predicting 2013 will see mobilisation of business processes for New Zealand organisations.

“We are still stuck in mobilising the person with email, BYOD, secure remote acess, unified communications, campus Wi-fi...

"We should be able to move beyond this and mobilise the processes – field serivces, sales, BI, ERP, HCM, CRM, contact centre, customer integration...

“With mobilising the person it’s about IT. But when you’re mobilising the business process you’re now engaging different stakeholder.

"And I can assure you, if you don’t [engage the different stakeholders] you won’t be successful.”