It’s a funny space we work in, we who play in the world of enterprise mobility. Mobility management has obviously come of age, as manifested in the increasing number of articles, press releases and conferences that have emerged over the past 12 months. As a side note, people often ask me which events are on my short list….up until recently, there were few options, and now it seems as if there’s a new enterprise mobility conference emerging every other week. I guess that’s what they call a good problem.
One thing I have been saying for ages however is that there will come a day when we will stop talking about enterprise mobility. We’ll stop talking about it because it will have become so pervasive that it is the de facto approach. There are no more mobile apps, because people will be developing for mobile first. Take that one (semi-logical) step further and people will be using their mobile devices as their primary tool for accessing corporate data and applications (and Angry Birds, of course).
Now let’s look at the management aspect of this vision. Enterprise mobility management is going to become a first class citizen in IT’s infrastructure. I don’t think anyone here will disagree with that. But mobility management vendors (as well as legacy IT management vendors that have been caught flat footed with no real mobility management offering) are thinking already about the fact that IT departments want one pane of glass. They want to be able to manage all their endpoints from one console. The benefits should be pretty obvious in terms of economies of scale. In fact, we’ve already seen more than one enterprise mobility management vendor announce their support for “desktop” operating systems. Additionally, other “traditional” IT management vendors are announcing their own mobile integration plans.
This is all great, no? IT will be able to manage their iOS, Android, Window Phone and BlackBerry devices right there alongside of their MacOS and Windows and even Linux end points. This is IT management nirvana! So who’s going to actually be responsible for this? The team that manages the desktops or the team that manages the mobile devices. One argument says it should be the desktop/server team because “We were there first!” The mobile team will say “Welcome to the new computing paradigm….there’s at least 2x as many tablets and smartphones as there are laptops. Out with the old and in with the new.” Am I the only one who sees that people could lose jobs over this?
Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t think any of this is guaranteed and I’m not exactly sure of the timeline, but my sense is that within a couple of years all this mobile tech will just be recognized as the IT endpoint that it has always been. We’ll worry less about BYOD or no BYOD and simply realize that it has to be managed with enterprise scale. The question is only who will actually do it?
Do you (dis)agree with me that the winner might ultimately be whoever is best at playing the super fun game of corporate politics?