Growing Complexity of Enterprise Mobile

Three trends complicating business use of mobile.

While several factors are pushing up mobile’s “high degree of difficulty,” a look at three pivotal trends explains the reasons why. These trends, each of which is having an exponential impact on mobile’s complexity, are converging to complicate enterprise mobile on a grand scale. Consider these three hallmarks of today’s enterprise use of mobility:

  1. Multitude of user devices and device types
  2. Break-neck speed of OS and app changes
  3. Users’ sky-high expectations of support

Proliferation of mobile devices and types

Today’s mobile device catalog spans phones, tablets, convertible laptops and rugged handhelds — with wearables waiting in the wings. It seems that users simply can’t get enough of enterprise mobile. In fact, the number of connected mobile devices and device types per user has jumped as much as 580%. The average number of connected mobile devices an enterprise needs to support has risen to 4.6 devices per user, up from 4.1 in 2015, and 1 device not that long ago.[1] With millennials, the number is even higher with these younger users accounting for 5.8 connected devices at the beginning of 2017.[2]

Compare those average device numbers and device types to the past, when IT had to support only two device types – the desktop or rugged mobile. Just as today’s number of devices and device types per user have exploded, this increasingly complex device environment can be expected to expand again as device and type innovations advance.

Accelerating velocity of OS and app changes

Compounding the growing number of mobile devices and device types per user is mobile’s near-constant speed of upgrade. Today, internal Help Desks have to support all the devices in play in the enterprise, including older devices. This support continues in real-time, even as monthly Operating System and Application updates continue to stream in. The frequency of these updates, which occur on a third party’s schedule, comes with little advance notice. This velocity was not a factor in the desktop environment, where operating system (OS) updates were expected every two to three years. Compare that rate of change to enterprise mobile’s major operating system updates which routinely take place every six to 12 months. In addition, minor OS refreshes take place in between these major updates.

Users expect 7x24x365 connectivity

Enterprises are being asked to support all of this mobile growth with traditional support options designed for desktop-based devices and applications. Simply put, mobile devices aren’t used like traditional desktops and mobile support doesn’t resemble Help Desk-based troubleshooting for desktops. Additional pressure on the enterprise comes from the need to eliminate, or at least minimize, users’ downtime due to non-functioning mobile devices and applications. The majority of today’s mobile end users say customers (66%) and colleagues (70%) expect them to be available outside of traditional work hours, and mobile is how they maintain contact.[3] Mobility is becoming a 7x24x365 asset for most enterprises today, and the underlying support infrastructure has to be there to support always on availability.

In addition to these three overarching trends, several other factors continue to drive mobile’s expanding complexity. Refer to the “The Rapid Evolution of Mobile” white paper for additional information, or check out the “Mobile Complexities” infographic for key facts and statistics.

In the next few weeks, Stratix will publish a series of best practices-based information on how a MMS provider can solve one of mobile’s toughest challenges – the need to support mobile users 24x7x365, while lowering mobile’s total cost of ownership. In addition, Stratix will share proven ways to provision and deploy mobility, while meeting users’ high expectations for always on connectivity. Finally, Stratix will conclude with an explanation of how a well-designed Mobile Center of Excellence can help market-leading enterprises transcend siloed line-of-business mobile projects with an enterprise-wide mobile strategy and execution plan.

[1] Survey Reveals Skyrocketing Usage and Growing IT Maturity in Enterprise Mobility. (2016). CCS Insights.

[2] Ibid

[3] ibid