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The Mobile Workforce Era

I recently had the pleasure of hosting and moderating an engaging panel on the Mobile Workforce Era at MobileBeat 2013 conference in San Francisco. MobileBeat is VentureBeat’s flagship conference on Mobile computing and how these technologies are evolving in both the consumer and business spaces. We had a diverse panel made up of Raj Singh (CEO, Tempo AI), Chris Hazelton (analyst from the451 Research), and Suzan Pickett (manager systems engineering at Columbia Sportswear).

We discussed mobile computing and focused on the impact mobility is having in the enterprise workforce. IT is no longer the only game in town – their users are far more sophisticated. They buy and use any device they want, when they want it, and they use many different devices throughout the day. Users today are tech savvy, very familiar with consumer grade cloud services and will use them to be more productive on demand. It’s not only Bring Your Own Device, it’s Bring Your Own Services as well. Woe to the IT organization that doesn’t provide access to modern, easy-to-use, business-compliant technologies that empower user productivity from the devices they choose. Fail to do that and your IT organization is on the road to obsolescent.

We kicked off the panel by outlining the various categories of mobile management in the enterprise landscape. Broadly we see: 1. Corporate owned, managed and configured, 2. “COPE” – corporate owned, personally enabled, 3. BYOD, and 4. unmanaged. The bulk of the interest seems to be in both COPE and BYOD. From there we branched into an engaging discussion covering topics that included:

  • Android vs. iOS adoption in the enterprise for users.
  • MDM vs. MAM vs. MCM
  • The idea of “Mobile First” and the differences in viewpoints around consuming apps via desktop vs.a mobile device of user choice. How to manage this diversity?
  • The concept of workspace aggregators (virtual workspaces comprised of different flavors of applications for diverse platforms): how policies and device management should follow the end-user, not the device.
  • Mobile app evolution and the emergence of new business processes around the freedom and alternate inputs enabled by today’s mobile devices – GPS, Speech, Camera.
  • Bring Your Own Services/ Consumerization of IT: a discussion around users bringing in technologies that make them more productive.

You can watch the full replay of our panel discussion here, and feel free to leave your comments and questions below. In all, it was a great afternoon hearing from leaders in the mobility space and another reminder we are most definitely living in an exciting and increasingly innovative mobile world!

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