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Mobility is disruptive but in a good way: Ovum

Mobility is disruptive but in a good way: Ovum

Analyst firm finds oft quoted concept of digital convergence coming to fruition with mobility

Mobility is generating a lot of discussion in the IT space and rightfully so, according to Ovum research director, Kevin Noonan.

Noonan spoke about the reasons why there is so much discussion about mobility affecting business at a press event in Canberra announcing Delv and Good Technology’s strategic partnership in Australia.

Noonan highlighted how our lives have transformed into those of a “digital citizen”, a genesis he traces back to the Motorola DynaTAC, a.k.a. “the brick", analogue mobile phone that was marketed from 1983 to 1993.

“We have reached a point where mobility is questioning management structures that have long worked for us,” he said.

“We are now seeing a crossover between a digital society and a digital enterprise.”

As an example, Noonan pointed out how a security gate at the airport, a typical traveller might put a smartphone, media table, notebook PC and more in a tray before going through a body scan.

“There are too many devices with people nowadays, so they are thinking about how they can consolidate them, and in the process cut down on complexity,” he said.

When looking at the Australian community and what activities are undertaken online by mobile users, a lot of areas, such as research and information, and communication, are reaching tipping point, which Noonan pegged at and beyond 40 per cent.

Noonan also spoke of the “bring-your-own-device (BYOD) gap” and how in regions such as Europe and US the “staff provides, enterprise pays” rate is higher than in Australia.

The role of the iPad in the mobile workforce, as well as how server virtualisation fits in with the transformation of business through the Cloud, were examples that Noonan brought up on how disruptive technologies lead to disruptive process.

“Disruptive technology has to present a specific, immediate, and clear value proposition, it needs tactical response, and requires supplier relationship built around product excellence and opportunity,” he said.

“The disruptive process has a potential to be far more wide reaching with BYOD and the mobile workforce, as well as through changing technologies, boundaries, and business process.”

When it comes to the 2012 strategic government scenario, Noonan sees it becoming “a question of convergence.”

As a result, the strategic IT scenario now needs to keep in mind the proliferation of mobile devices, increasing technical capability of staff as users, and social networking as internal business tool.

“Gamification and mobility is also beginning to impact core application design,” Noonan said.

However, Noonan admits when it comes to setting up a mobile policy, there is “no simple answer.”

“You have to ask yourself where you fit in when it comes to corporate lockdown, managed private apps, BYO and private apps, and public access to selected business apps,” he said.

Based on the large corporate smartphone trends that Ovum saw in A/NZ in 2011, the BlackBerry owned 31 per cent of the market, followed by the iPhone at 24 per cent and Android at two per cent.

As one year is a long time in IT industry, Noonan expects this year’s figures to be quite different, where BlackBerry’s number will be lower while iPhone will be higher.

Noonan admitted that BlackBerry is now facing an uphill struggle these days, with less apps being developed for the platform compared to the past, as more and more developers are moving to other platforms such as iPhone and Android.

The advice Noonan had for business was to begin their mobile strategy now and not wait until it is too late, and emphasised that having a mobile app does not automatically equal having a mobile strategy.

“Take a measured or pragmatic approach to tactical issues,” he said.

“You can also take a strategic approach to mobility when it comes to BYOD.”

His other recommendation was to keep the mobile strategy simple by taking a reductionist approach, and emphasised that security is a data issue and not just a device issue.

Patrick Budmar travelled to Delv and Good Technology’s join press event in Canberra as a guest of both companies.


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