Many employees spend more time working from their smartphones or tablets instead of their desktops. It’s not surprising that enterprise mobility is one of the hottest trends in the enterprise software ecosystem. As organisations move from legacy-first to a mobile-first strategy, enablement of enterprise mobile capabilities has become a huge priority of most CIOs.
Mobilising a line of business applications or mashing up a number of internal or external services/APIs to provide a new enterprise mobile app will be of high interest for CIO’s in 2015 and well into 2016. These CIOs will have two options in executing their mobile-first strategy: building their own mobile infrastructure made up of ‘as-a-service’ tools from a variety of vendors, or introducing an emerging enterprise mobile platform.
The current enterprise mobility market is already characterised by a number of standalone products. Building a mobile infrastructure can be time-consuming and costly, especially with multiple mobile apps. Using a range of ‘as-a-service’ tools might work, but requires managing multiple vendors and different security models. The ideal solution would be to implement an Enterprise Mobile Platform, which can provide a mobile infrastructure to quickly mobilise enterprise line-of-business applications, as well as a number of other mobile services such as mobile analytics, all within a single platform.
It is this growth in demand from enterprises desiring simplicity with a single vendor on a single platform that will drive consolidation in the enterprise mobile markets. In what different ways can we expect market consolidation to occur?
Enterprise Mobile Suites
The current enterprise mobility market is fragmented with a number of diverse offerings to support the mobile application development lifecycle. As the enterprise mobility space matures, we will see consolidation of today’s standalone products into bigger enterprise mobile suites.
The biggest drivers for consolidation in the enterprise mobility space is the commoditisation of mobile device management and the increasing need for enterprises to adopt end-to-end mobile solutions.
Any robust mobile application infrastructure requires several different products in order to enable foundational capabilities including testing, app performance monitoring, integration, distribution, etc. IT departments are often faced with the challenge of managing and supporting a diverse set of mobile products that don’t necessarily communicate together well. These fragmented, diverse applications also make it challenging to maintain consistent levels of security, privacy or compliance, often required in enterprise environments.
While enterprises love the innovation and capabilities provided by modern enterprise mobile solutions, they often don’t have the in-house resources available to evaluate, implement, deploy and manage dozens of mobile products required by such an infrastructure. The demand for a more complete enterprise mobile platform by these enterprises will force vendors to expand their offerings in order to stay relevant. This will drive a certain level of consolidation within the enterprise mobile ecosystem.
The Next Generation Enterprise Mobile Platform
What will happen next? We predict that market consolidation will produce the next-generation enterprise mobile platform.
Imagine the capabilities of the type of platforms that might emerge. MDM platforms will expand into new areas, such as app testing, or app performance monitoring via acquisitions, to provide a broader value to their large customer bases. We can also envision mobile middleware platforms breaking into the mobile analytics or app management spaces, while the mobile app development platforms could easily expand into app testing or distribution.
Today’s enterprise mobility space is crowded with mobile-first, mobile-only platforms. The next third-generation mobile platforms will use the same infrastructure to support emerging channels, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), which require similar capabilities. Enterprises will benefit tremendously from third-generation enterprise mobile platforms, regardless of how they emerge.