These days, cutting-edge technology tends to appear first in the consumer market. Once exposed to new tech, people will want to use it at work as soon as possible. If officially denied, they'll probably use it surreptitiously, with potentially serious security consequences.
Consumerization, BYOD and the increasing mobility of business computing create serious headaches for IT managers. But these trends also create opportunities for more flexible working patterns, leading to greater employee productivity and job satisfaction — and ultimately a better return on investment in IT for the business. That's why the BYOD trend is here to stay, and why IT managers need to embrace it.
Mobile Device Management (MDM) is currently evolving into the wider field of Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM), a process that's likely to see further consolidation of today's sizeable vendor population. Larger businesses will want to integrate these products with existing IT systems management infrastructure and collaboration software, which will inevitably see even greater involvement in the MDM/EMM field from big software-and-services players like Microsoft and IBM.
For some companies, virtualisation may prove a more appropriate solution than a full-on enterprise mobility management suite. Here, the IT department simply commandeers part of the mobile device and provides secure access to virtualised business applications, or entire corporate desktops, hosted either in the company's or a service provider's datacenter.
We hear a lot about 'work-life balance' in today's world of increasingly capable and connected mobile devices. The challenge for business IT departments in the next few years is work out how best to accommodate these demands on employees' mobile devices.