On the frontlines of BYOD and enterprise mobility we can see an obvious trend. We've all seen the headlines - the PC industry continues its steady decline, Intel's ditching the motherboard business and Gartner shows a 4Q12 4.9% decrease in PC shipments.
Though there are plenty of concerns associated with BYOD, organizations are increasingly (albeit begrudgingly, in some circumstances) allowing the use of mobile devices in the workplace. So what does the PC's steady decline and the rise of the tablet mean for IT professionals across the board?
As tablets - the PC's smaller, cheaper, portable and affordable rival - overtake the IT domain, enterprises must address the resultant challenges, concerns, strategies and benefits.
Enabling mobile workers with a mobile device is not enough for IT departments when it comes to delivering on the promise of tablet computing. In order for the tablet to successfully surpass the PC's legacy, enterprises must ensure employee productivity via user empowerment productivity-based solutions. When IT departments begin the process of researching solutions for their mobile workforce, there are three key elements required for success:
It's no secret that security woes have been at the forefront - and indeed the main reason for controversy - when it comes to BYOD. Security on mobile devices entails more than simple document encryption, because content today includes more than files - there are apps, HTML, video, forms, etc. to consider. PCs are secure, but are tablets? It's far more difficult to ensure the right content is sent to the right people at the right time and location, based on roles defined by the organization. Therefore, in order for mobile app security to work, role-based access and content control is required.
Because tablets allow remote workers access to business content on the go, it's difficult to determine who uses what content, and why. How do employees use content? Users require a certain level of interactivity with the documents and other content they receive, regardless of their location or the device being used to access it. They need to be able to edit, share, make and control annotations, etc., and it must be done in a way that helps end users make better use of the massive amount of content pushed to them on an hourly, daily and weekly basis.
End users must be able to learn from each other and leverage expert intelligence from within the organization. The system an enterprise chooses to deploy must offer internet feeds and other content right to the users devices.
In the end, the numbers don't lie, and the growing popularity of BYOD shows there is unlimited potential for organizations as the trend continues to dominate the marketplace in 2013 - the number of worldwide tablet users has reached 760 million and the mobile enterprise content market shows $48.2 billion in untapped opportunity. Though the ‘PC is dead' trend has certainly infiltrated the IT industry, it's up to enterprises to provide a secure, intelligent and social application that ensures work content is available remotely, remains in the right hands and that company productivity and is not sacrificed.
By David Keane, Founder and CEO, bigtincan
Phil Muncaster reports on China and beyond
Rupert Goodwins’ unique angle on tech change