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Reflecting On Enterprise Mobility in 2011: Part I

I can’t believe we are just two days away from Christmas.  Almost everyone is winding down for the year to spend some much deserved time with family and get ready for the new year.  It’s also a great time to reflect on what has taken place in the last 12 months.

Maybe I’m just getting old, but doesn’t it feel like 2011 simply flew by with so many different and game changing things happening this year?

Let’s go for a quick walk down memory lane (in no particular order):

  • HP kills off Palm and webOS
  • HP makes webOS open source (still dead IMO)
  • Nokia drops Symbian and MeeGo
  • Nokia announces its strategic partnership with Microsoft for Windows Phone
  • Everyone sues everyone else for intellectual property
  • A ton of manufacturers created and marketed tablets….and yet it’s still an iPad world
  • The community at The Enterprise Mobility Forum quadruples in size in one year
  • Microsoft deploys a major update to its Windows Phone operating system…except that almost no one cares
  • Steve Jobs passes
  • Research in Motion wishes 2011 had never happened
  • Google acquires Motorola
  • Android becomes the fastest growing mobile operating system
  • AT&T tries (and fails) to acquire T-Mobile

Am I missing anything here?  Even this list is a massive head spinner.  Can you look yourself in the mirror and honestly say that you could have foreseen any/all of these things taking place one year ago today?  I surely couldn’t.  Heck, as I have mentioned before, one of my dear colleagues who has been in this industry for the better part of 20 years said to me this summer that he had never in his career seen so much flux at any given point in time in this industry.

That’s actually what makes this industry so fun and exciting.  Today’s leaders may not even be around tomorrow.  As an aside, that’s why I put little weight into the headlines from people prognosticating the future of (enterprise) mobility in 2015.  How can you possibly see what’s going to happen in three years when you can barely make sense of what’s going to happen in the next six months?

But that’s not the point really.  The bigger picture is that 2011 did become the year for enterprise mobility.  Finally!!!  Who would have imagined a few years ago that it would have become so because of its consumerization?  Oh, the irony.  That’s OK though because now that the barn doors have been opened, we’re going to see a lot more mobility in the workplace in 2012 (stay tuned by the way for our 2012 predictions in just a few days).

Until those come out however, I’d love to hear from you all regarding what struck you the most about this past year.  What’s exciting you for the year to come?


One Comment

  1. Posted December 27, 2011 at 11:50 | Permalink

    Well, looking back and looking ahead. What fun!

    I can’t wait for some or all of the following…

    -Not having to touch my ‘touch screen’. Some of the upcoming 3D technology that allows one to swipe, select etc. without touching is simply amazing. I still haven’t figured out how I will type without touching yet…

    -Maybe not having a screen…….. I keep reading about the ability to project the display on the lens of my glasses. Can I have this soon please? I understand that having a virtual screen is still a ways off…. so, tomorrow on my glasses, maybe the day after that projected into my contact lens?

    -Ok, how about not having to carry around a gadget at all? Just a VERY small device that interfaces with the cloud for EVERYTHING? Make it so small it fits in my ring. Or better yet, how about just having a generic interface device that anyone can use any time? Afterall, if everything is in the cloud, what value does ‘my’ device offer? Of course we are back to that pesky keyboard problem. Voice recognition seems a ways off to me……

    -Ok, come on Siri! Give me more. I don’t use an iPhone, but love what my friends with the 4S can do with Siri. Still in her infancy, but what a nice step forward! A semi smart interface to the world.

    Ok, I can think of lots more, but these are the most ‘mobile related’.

    Anyone enjoying this should check out ‘Physics of the Future’ by Michio Kaku. Tons of fun stuff coming!

    Ric Reifel

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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