Top 3 Emerging BYOD Trends for 2013

Mobility strategy teams in the enterprise will need to keep on top of these three major trends in 2013 as they develop the most effective strategies to best tailor their company’s mobility goals.

BYOD poses many obstacles and presents corporations with one of the toughest decisions they might have to make in 2013. Mobility strategy teams in the enterprise will need to keep on top of these three major trends in 2013 as they develop the most effective strategies to best tailor their company’s mobility goals.

2013 Prediction #1: IT will face the problems of “plenty” and “diversity”

The number of multiple devices consumers will have the option to use will increase.

Smartphones with multiple OSes with different versions and manufacturers will greatly penetrate the market. Increasingly, users will adopt the use of tablets and “fablets,” with many consuming content over different devices with heterogeneous form factors. This will put increasing pressure on app and content developers to support multiple form factors all while ensuring a more compelling user experience. Because of this, security teams and CIOs will be challenged with maintaining multiple profiles for one user who carries more than one device with distinctively different form factors and OSes.

2013 Prediction #2: IT will begin to address complex geo-specific BYOD challenges and opportunities

Geo disparity is getting narrower. Geo-specific adoptions of BYOD will vary, resulting in different needs of each user. In addition, the availability of a larger form factor at an affordable price will push consumers in developing markets to adopt tablets and fablets at a rapid pace.

However, although the gap between the infrastructure availability in diverse geographic locations may narrow, user needs will still be distinct, leaving CIOs and mobility strategy teams with the challenge to keep these issues in mind when formulating their BYOD strategy and planning their application landscape.

With three of every four smartphones shipped around the world already using the Android OS -- with Apple’s iOS as the only challenger --Android will continue to increase as the OS of choice.

For example, a 7-inch tablet running on an Android OS that costs less than $150 can bring world-class education to the fingertips of a child in any remote part of the globe. In addition, 50 percent of global subscribers, including newer smartphone and tablet adopters, will come from developing markets, propelling smartphone and tablet penetration and further cementing the gaps in infrastructure.

Prediction #3: Size will matter, and 7-inch screens may just be right for enterprise users

Smartphones are not always the answer. The final emerging BYOD trend for 2013 is the “magical 7-inch form factor.”

The iPad mini and Nexus 7 and their combined success, along with a number of tablets running Android OS that sport a similar dimension, are here to stay. That extra real estate proves vital from a serious enterprise mobile deployment standpoint. In contrast to using a smartphone for a what-if analysis on a business intelligence tool that will simply kill the experience, tablets with their increased screen size and interactivity will dramatically enhance this experience.

Enterprises that rolled out mobility apps over the last few years are now taking a second look at the deployment, and with today’s users wanting more content, more visualization of data, and more interactivity, 7 inches provide just that, along with the added comfort of being extremely mobile and convenient compared to a full-sized (10-inch) device.

With fablets, which were not as present over the last few years, companies are trying to narrow the gap with the increased functionality of styluses and pens, hoping users will continue to see these devices still as smartphones with the increased form factor of a tablet. The 7-inch factor adds that extra bit of user comfort and visibility, making it easy to interact with the enterprise’s IT system and consume all of the data.

This 7-inch factor also will drive first-time users to adopt the tablet experience, both in developing and developed markets, with costs, comforts and mobility proving to be the key factors in users choosing these over the conventional 10-inch tablets.

A Final Thought

For enterprises, this year will prove to be the start of the next wave of mobility, as a larger number of users will start adopting tablets and fablets as their equipment of choice for consuming enterprise content. If enterprises and mobility strategy teams pay attention to these key trends, they will be better able to make a smooth transition.

Ajit Gokhale is the founder and CEO of Mobien Technologies, an enterprise mobility vendor. He brings more than 22 years of rich experience of running mobile start-ups to Mobien. He has worked closely implementing enterprise mobility strategy for several Fortune 500 companies with innovation and product strategy as his strength, hands-on technology experience, and in-depth knowledge of global markets, Ajit holds a Bachelors in Engineering from MIT and an MBA from University of Pune. You can contact Ajit at ajitatmobien@gmail.com.

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