In Part Two of our four-part series, we polled members of the Mobile Enterprise Editorial Advisory Board -- which is made up of enterprise executives, industry analysts and consultants -- to get their views on what they expect to be The Next Big Thing in enterprise mobility.
Location Aware Services
Location. We have seen GPS become more and more pervasive in consumer I.T. and enterprises will start taking advantage of this data more and more over the next 12 months.
The continuing convergence of the "netbook" and mobile phone toward a continuum of personal portable data communication and storage devices.
Information Security Researcher & Practitioner
While VoIP has been deployed in many organizations, often it is only for a specific use case or function. This is especially true when you look at larger sized organizations. Telecommunications costs are one of the easiest budget line items to reduce when moving from traditional voice network services to VoIP and Unified Communications.
Mobile Facebook, just as soon as corporate America figures out that Facebook is the next big collaboration tool. Unofficially, it already is. Facebook is the Crackberry of a new generation with the X and Y generations piling on. People are doing everything on Facebook short of giving birth, so the company made a mobile device version. Expect by the end of 2009 that everyone from boards of directors to your local McDonald's fry cook to have this app. In fact, you can expect, "oh,Ssorry, my bff's contractions ery 3 min. Gotta go. Ttyl."
There are so many enterprises where basic corporate data access, asset management, CRM and supply chain applications have not yet been deployed it is hard to identify a single application that would leap frog those high ROI projects.
One enabling solution might be seamless connectivity for a single device and we do seem to be inching closer to what have historically been called "software-defined radios". In effect, this is a radio which would enable a wireless device to operate on a wide array of frequencies as needed, for example, CDMA, WiFi, WiMAX, even satellite.
The user would move seamlessly from WiFi in-home to cellular coverage to metro area WiMAX to satellite in rural areas. Where frequencies overlap, software in the device enables strongest signal connection or even "least-cost routing" as in a wireline PBX.
Pioneer ATC (ancillary terrestrial component) licensees Terrestar and MSV already have working prototype phones that operate on both select cellular and satellite frequencies in this way. Those pioneer licenses were granted as a way to provide always on connectivity in the event of emergencies (cellular is not redundant). That is certainly desirable since the failure of the 700 MHz auction to produce a bidder to build a national emergency services network.
However, these prototype phones are still costly and limited in the types of wireless frequencies they can access. Truly seamless connectivity is still the Holy Grail for wireless device management and nearly as elusive.
Or, At Least, Additional Connectivity
Andrew M. Seybold
The next big thing is additional connectivity. Everyone is still searching for the "killer application" for the corporate world and I believe that the killer application is connectivity. So devices with the capability to work world-wide, including notebooks which have the Qualcomm Gobi chip embedded will be very important.
The other side of this is that many corporations will become enamored with which is being called a Mobile Internet Device or a slimmed down notebook computer. These devices are really going to have a strong, but short, impact on corporate wireless computing. Many companies are going to see them as a way to save money on their wireless notebook systems until they find out that small screen and small keyboard devices designed to surf the web and not designed with the business customer in mind are going to be more problematic than they now think.
These devices are too big to be considered as an unconscious carry device, but not as user friendly as a full notebook computer with embedded wireless. Many companies will try these devices out and then come to understand that they are not the right device for their field forces to use.
VP Enterprise Applications & Mobile Solutions
M2M. It's the Next Big Thing because the possibilities are endless for connected machines. This is likely not an immediate 2009 phenomenon, but the evolution of the M2M value chain, especially the willingness of wireless operators to get on board, ensures that the untapped potential for M2M will be tapped within the next three to five years.
Supervisor I.T. Audit
Power is still an issue with mobile devices; miniature fuel cells would be a great item to see developed.
Enterprise Mobility Management Solutions
Research Director--Global & Wireless Practice
The next big thing is the recognition and growing adoption for enterprise mobility management solutions. The consumerization of mobility is preventing organizations from having full visibility on who is accessing what. . .and how much it's costing those organizations, either from a direct cost (e.g. monthly cost) or in terms of potential liability (i.e., security breaches). Especially during this economic crisis, organizations need to better manage their mobility expenditures and will also realize they need to have greater visibility into the mobile devices that are connecting to their back ends, as well as have more cost effective methods for managing both mobile devices and the applications that are being used on those devices.