In just 10 years, the wireless smartphone market has gone from virtually nonexistent to becoming a household term worldwide. At the start of the millennium, Research in Motion (RIM) was pretty much the only significant vendor selling what were then called "wireless PDAs." Today, there are no less than six major operating systems for smartphones. Currently, they account for 14 percent of overall mobile device sales, but it is expected that by 2012 they will make up about 37 percent of global handset sales.
Today, scores of smartphones are offered on the market, offering consumers and businesses a wide variety of options for both personal and enterprise needs. However, they have also presented a challenge for organizations looking to deploy enterprise-wide mobile solutions. Given all the device choices, as a business or IT executive, what are you to do?
If you have already embraced mobility for your workforce, great! However, there are a number of new smartphones coming to market at a breakneck pace that enterprises are trying to seamlessly integrate into their strategy. Conversely, many organizations have yet to implement a mobility strategy of any kind because of the daunting number and constantly evolving amount of choices on the market. How can you ensure that your investment is not obsolete by the time you deploy?
Platform is the answer
What's the answer to both scenarios just mentioned? In a word: platform. When planning a mobility strategy, the natural inclination may be to start with one device type and lock into it for simplicity and manageability. But today's hot device could be tomorrow's paperweight. A platform approach to mobility can minimize the dependency on the device by ensuring that new devices and technologies are easily integrated into the mobile solution.
Using a mobility platform, IT does not have to use multiple software tools to manage users and applications across multiple device types. They are freed up to design and deploy the best possible applications without being constrained by device limitations or management and control concerns—today and in the future. Also, because IT can easily manage multiple types of smartphones, business users can choose the appropriate device type for their work profile without overburdening IT resources.
With the ability to adopt anything from a rugged Windows Mobile device for technicians to a BlackBerry for salespeople or an iPhone for management, business units can use whatever devices best suit the job at hand and the unique wants and needs of the users. This freedom of choice will help to drive adoption and increase the usability and effectiveness of the applications on workers' devices.
When an enterprise adopts a mobility platform that supports multiple mobile devices, it provides its employees with unprecedented tools for productivity and efficiency. It also empowers IT to discover and create new applications to maximize mobility from end-to-end.