Comparing Expert Opinions on the Challenges and Future Opportunities of Mobility

When catching up with some of our expert-level attendees at the last Enterprise Mobility Exchange Las Vegas event, we asked them some of the same questions, regarding challenges brought on by technology and the future of the mobility landscape.

Here, we've put their answers together as an observation of the differing opinions and interpretations which exist within the field of enterprise mobility.

It is interesting to observe that each answer differs in terms of the specific areas of mobility identified. This can be expected, due to the differences in concerns dependent on occupation, and also the differences in the business objectives of their three respective companies. However, when the three view points are combined and reapplied to the questions, they form very comprehensive and broad answers.

Read these interview excerpts and decide which answers best encapsulate the current state of enterprise mobility, in relation to your own business values and strategies.

When it comes to current challenges in mobility, what is keeping you awake at night, and what are the biggest challenges you're facing?

Drew Frederick, VP Application Development, Scripps Network

How quickly and rapidly things are changing. Two years ago you were looking at maybe a third or a quarter of the number devices that are out there today. Now devices are proliferating at a massive pace. The cycle for software development has been significantly ramped up, so you're seeing more releases of devices on different operating systems.

In addition to that, you have the proliferation of the new types of devices which are coming out: wearable devices such as watches and computers embedded in clothing. Those things keep me up at night because we're going to have a tremendous amount of interaction between devices as well as individuals.

Indra Tjandra, Principal Architect for Mobile Systems, T-Mobile USA

BYOD and security are two things that keep me awake at night. In terms of security, for example, using BYOD. If an employee can read an email using their own private handset, they will download the email and a business related attachment, which could be T-Mobile's intellectual property or a confidential document. If someone loses the handset and another person can then read the document, this is a very serious issue which tends to keep me awake at night. Fortunately there are technology solutions, such as mobile device management, mobile application management, because in general, security is a big concern.

Giraldo Hierro, Head of Engineering, Google

Interestingly, 33% of recent college graduates have said that they would actually take a pay cut if they went to work at a place that allowed them flexibility in terms of their mobile and social experience. That's a very large number. If you think about all the college graduates who are incredibly smart, they tend to want to have a lot of flexibility.

CIOs need to power their organisations with the appropriate technology. So, without that in the workforce, they're going to end up with a very restrictive environment where people are not going to be as collaborative, or they're not going to be attracting the kind of talent that they want. That's a very important thing to be thinking about.

Where do you think the mobility market is heading in the next five years and what will have the biggest impact?

Drew Frederick, VP Application Development, Scripps Network

The biggest impact will be from wearable devices, because we're so used to having something in our hand, and touching and feeling. Over time if you look at Google Glass and smartwatches, and the additional proliferation of where those devices are going to go, it's going to be less of touch interfaces and really interacting more. In the next five years that's going to be a massive difference in how we're approaching visualisation, and how we're approaching interaction, and touch points with data and people through devices.

Indra Tjandra, Principal Architect for Mobile Systems, T-Mobile USA

Towards BYOD definitely, and we'll have more mobile app development. Consequently, we will need to have very solid mobile application development platforms, very solid mobile device management and mobile application management. I think in the next five years that will continue to improve and mature.

Another thing I have noticed is cloud-based solutions. Since there will be more development activities, we will need to control the development costs. The cloud-based solutions and SaaS solutions will be a good option in the next five years to follow, depending on the environment and cost-benefit analysis.

Finally, HTML5 - right now, we're not able to use just HTML5, we still have to rely on native applications. In the next few years I hope that browsers will be more compatible and we will be able to use HTML5 more. That way, we will rely less on native applications and we will have a platform-independent approach to developing mobile applications.

Giraldo Hierro, Head of Engineering, Google

People respond really well to devices that allow them to have access to the information that they want, any time and any place. They respond well to context-aware applications that understand where they are and what they're doing, and are able to give them answers or even proactively make suggestions. We've seen a lot of trends around that kind of technology, even in different form factors.

We're probably going to be hearing a lot about verbal technology, which is really just smaller technology that fits into different form factors that you have with you. Our own investments in that technology are paving the way for what people can do outside of square phones that they put in their pocket. Those kinds of things are changing the dynamic that people have when interacting with portable computers.

In the enterprise marketplace tablets have risen and will keep rising as the device of choice for people to do work. A recent study said that 36% of children aged 5-8 in the US are now using tablets, and that number will increase as you go up through the age groups. By the time these children reach the workforce, their natural affinity will be for those types of devices, and so desktops as we know them will begin to go away, and the device of choice will be very different to what we know now. The enterprise wave usually follows the consumer wave, so it's always easy to watch how people are using things at home to understand how enterprises should meet expectations in the coming years.

Join us at the Enterprise Mobility Exchange Europe, 12 - 14 May, 2014 for the chance to meet and interact with 120 hand selected CIOs, VPs and Heads of Mobile Workforce, Field Service, IT, Fleet Management and Operations from enterprises across Europe.