Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Mobile Expert Interview Series: IDC's Nick McQuire, Part 2

IDC's Nick McQuire
This is Part 2 in this Mobile Expert Interview Series with IDC's Nick McQuire.  Read Part 1 here.

Kevin: What do companies often forget or fail to plan for when implementing enterprise mobility solutions?
Nick: There are a few areas but one area in particular is failing to plan for the future.  Often, the mobile solution does not fit the long term business or IT goals and the focus of the solution is often too narrow.  This is because in the past mobility has been tactically geared around a specific task, problem or process and essentially deployed in a silo within the company.  Over time we are now seeing other, perhaps more strategic areas, open up around mobile, but what is in place is not scalable.  This can become an unmanageable and costly pain point for many companies.  The good news here is that in Europe at least, service providers, telco and IT, are starting to help businesses handle this complexity from devices and contracts through to more complex mobilization projects in terms of managed services which require lower upfront investments.

Kevin: What are the biggest challenges in enterprise mobility today?
Nick: There are, of course, a few but we see that many European organizations are struggling with best practice in terms of mobile policy in the new world brought on by consumerization.  CIOs are aware that devices are entering their organization at a rapid rate.  They are increasingly considering "bring your own" liability schemes but are asking each other for help and guidance in terms of management and developing policies and governance frameworks for these.  They are asking questions like, "What do I need to be thinking about?  What are the risks?"  We will see vendors and service providers step up their guidance to CIOs on consumerization this year I believe, born out of their own internal practitioning at the moment on these issues.

Kevin: What were some of most surprising trends for you last year, 2010?
Nick: The biggest one of course was the success of the iPad in the enterprise.  We have all heard about this I know, but I think many didn’t predict how fast this would occur.  For example, we at IDC in Europe did a large CIO survey last year on mobility which was fielded in July with the results coming back in August.  Interest in tablets was quite small from CIOs in July-August because it was "pre-iPad era".  It's like BC-AD switch over in many respects.  The pace of change is so phenomenal now.  I think the iPhone kick-started a slight change in conventional IT philosophy around standardization and control in 2009-10, but the iPad's arrival virtually cemented this change almost overnight in 2010, and few I believe could have predicted that pace of change.

Kevin: What are some of your predictions for 2011 and 2012 in enterprise mobility?
Nick: I can see 2011 as the year when we see the widespread enterprise deployment of tablets, rather than the end-user pull in model we see in abundance today around the iPad. Sales and Execs functions, as well as some service organizations, will start to get these devices from IT in 2011 and this process will drive a growing strategic importance for mobility management and security platforms.  Additionally, you will see organizations defining their mobility policies and strategies and implementing governance frameworks as they start looking at how they can gain strategic and transformational advantages from mobility.

Also, I would mention the emergence of M2M communications in the enterprise.  You can see this in utilities, energy, automotive and health care segments more and more.  There is a lot of growth particularly in automotive and energy being driven by regulation in Europe at the moment.

Kevin: What do you think about SAP’s acquisition of Sybase in 2010?
Nick: It was good for the market. It shows a very strong enterprise player making a commitment and defining what companies need to have to deploy enterprise mobility.  It gives Afaria an advantage in the MDM market, because it is backed by SAP.  SAP has also helped moved the discussion around mobility from a tactical discussion to a strategic one. Enterprises need a platform approach for mobility and the union allows Sybase and SAP to be strategic mobility players.  I am seeing large systems integrators in the SAP ecosystem like T-Systems for example, really pushing SAP and Sybase hard as a strategic opportunity for MNCs in Europe.

I want to thank Nick for sharing his knowledge, observations and insights with all of us!

Click here to read more in the Mobile Expert Interview Series.

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Kevin Benedict, Independent Mobile and M2M Industry Analyst, SAP Mentor Volunteer
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Full Disclosure: I am an independent mobility analyst, consultant and blogger. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.