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The Next Imminent Threat of BYOD

There are two truths in enterprise mobility – at least as far as I am concerned.  The first truth of enterprise mobility is that BYOD is an absolutely unstoppable force.  The second truth is that I will not stop complaining about BYOD until the world agrees with me.  Yes.  I am THAT stubborn.

Sure, I have written a significant number of missives extolling all the reasons BYOD is “bad” and how there are (if you have to pick just one) better alternatives for embracing the Consumerization of IT without suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous mobility fortune.  The thing is, I have had a bit of a revelation.  While we collectively continue to struggle to manage email and calendar and wireless expenses on our mobile devices, we are now talking more and more about managing the security of the mobile applications that live on those mobile devices.

So what if I told you that I *think* I figured out what will truly be THE biggest issue for enterprises moving forward as they continue down the BYOD path?  It’s not going to be about securing the mobile apps, or wrapping the mobile apps or deploying the mobile apps.

It’s going to be about building the mobile apps.  Hunh?

Yup.  I think the biggest problem that will come out of BYOD is managing the mobile application lifecycle.  See, most enterprise mobility management discussions are focused on the device management or the application management.  That’s OK, because those are core issues in an EMM conversation.  The thing is however, that mobile application development is a bit of a can of worms.  Remember what Gartner analyst Richard Marshall said:

“For every one web based application that you may be running on your back end systems, that will translate into anywhere between four and 20 mobile applications.”

OK, that may not be the EXACT words he may have used, but if you ask him, I am 100% sure he’ll say that my paraphrasing is sufficiently accurate.

My point is, while Mobile Device Management remains a challenge for many companies – the solution is before them.  The same goes for MAM (although less frequently than MDM).  Same goes for EMM (althoough less frequently than MAM).  But supporting the ongoing development of current and forthcoming mobile applications for not one but FOUR mobile operating systems?

Yikes.  That is going to be a challenge.  This is in fact the biggest issue I see organizations having to deal with moving forward in terms of embracing BYOD…or at least tolerating it.  I hate to admit it, but it’s also going to be the biggest challenge with the COPE model that we all know I am so fond of.  What’s interesting though is that when we look at cross-platform mobile app development solutions, we are still so focused on how they develop the apps…but what if we at least added to that conversation more discussion around how they can help support and be integral to a true enterprise mobility management strategy.

THAT is the disconnect I see in the market and that is why I think mobile applications will be the next threat (or challenge) for adopting BYOD.



  1. Posted March 24, 2014 at 22:51 | Permalink

    Hi Philippe, I couldn’t have said it better myself. Mobile Application Lifecycle Management will become increasingly critical (and complex) for enterprises, going forward. Identifying the business process that can be mobilized with an app -> either building or identifying an off-the-shelf app that is the right fit -> building the right user experience -> measuring the adoption -> monitoring the analytics -> re-fitting the app/workflow to ensure app still does the things users expect —- is not a simple task. Enterprises must understand this app lifecycle and manage the app behavior to match the user expectations.

    And even more important of all is, to know when to retire an app :-)

    Great post! Keep ‘em coming!

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  2. Posted March 30, 2014 at 12:23 | Permalink

    True , Post deployment life cycle management will become an enterprise cult; solved

    1. By the EMM schools – MDM/ MAM etc ( Airwatch, Good, Afaria, Mocana, Mobileiron, CA, Fiberlink…)

    2. By In App Analytics/Perf management schools – ( Crittercism, Flurry, Helpshift )

    While we discuss around multi recipe approaches (for general mobility, BYOD may be a blessing in disguise :) ) DevOps is a key enterprise enabler positioned for the lifecycle management.. IBM/CA all are behind them … so quite possible that all of these consolidate under Devops umbrella; Gartner & Forrester’s views on mobility are in and around these kind of consolidated offerings..

    Good to see EMM discussions spanning across life cycle views…


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