- The chasm between IT and network management is clear when looking at the issue of mobility solutions
- Network service providers are investing heavily in mobility solutions, however, which may change perceptions going forward
Two weeks ago in this blog I wrote about the chasm that still exists between IT and networking considerations in business environments, and a recent study just published by Current Analysis on mobile device management and consumerization provides yet further evidence of this fact. Mobility is now a way of life for IT managers, not an overlay solution. Due to clear business drivers, mobility is being horizontally deployed and supported in organizations – no longer simply on a department-by-department basis. And we all know that the sheer number and types of devices used to support mobility in business have risen exponentially in the past two or three years, thanks to consumerization. But when we asked approximately 600 technology managers in the U.S and Europe what suppliers they will look to for help with the inherent management challenges presented by this mobility phenomenon, very few indicated faith in their network suppliers. They ranked technology suppliers, integrators and even the device manufacturers themselves over their network and connectivity partners.
The results also indicate that this may change, however, in the coming year or years. It’s natural that network service providers should be ideally positioned to provide mobility management solutions, and most service providers are investing in that capability aggressively. The opportunity for them is certainly there, because the path forward for IT managers as mobility complexity increases is far from clear. The troubling aspects of increased usage of smartphones and tablets do not end with security (although that is certainly a good start), but also include cost, efficiency and productivity—the other usual suspects that haunt IT management nightmares. The irony, though, is that most IT managers are eager to face this fear and overcome it—they, and the businesses they work for—very much like the notion of remarkably powerful tools in the hands of an ever-increasing number of workers. Most executives don’t need to be convinced of the potential for increased productivity and improved competitiveness. The bottom line is that IT departments want to be able to say “yes” cheerfully when that new Apple or Android thing walks in the door, begging for corporate application access. But they want to say “yes” on their terms. It’s been a bit chaotic the past year or so, and while the devices themselves are welcomed, there will be quite a bit more control exerted going forward.
So the mobility technology, security and managed services markets are jumping to meet this demand. Technology suppliers and service providers alike are building solutions and organizing partnership ecosystems to turn the fear associated with a lack of IT control into the fun of harnessing the power of the latest technologies to fuel innovation and growth.