Stratix surveyed 200 professionals at companies with over a thousand employees in more than 30 different industries to get their opinions on mobile device operating systems. We wanted to document OS preferences for the enterprise—and the reasons why.  

Android is Ahead in Business 

While AndroidTM is the number two operating system in popularity for U.S. consumers (the platform dominates with consumers globally), it’s out front with business customers. Survey respondents told us that 60 percent of their corporately owned mobile devices run on the Android operating system. When asked why they’d choose Android, we got these top answers:  

  • 59% ease of integration  
  • 49% cost of devices  
  • 47% more device form factors to choose from  
  • 40% more customizable  

Let’s dig into those responses to see why. 

1) Ease of Integration 

Android’s open-source platform makes integration with existing systems and tools less challenging. Many businesses also already use Google services such as Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Calendar. With Android, those tools can be seamlessly integrated with the operating system, making it easier for employees to access and use them on their mobile devices. 

2) More Price Tag Options 

There’s a broad selection of Android devices on the market to align with just about any business budget—especially when they need hundreds—or thousands—of devices. Companies can choose equipment that fits their finances and still provide the required features and capabilities. Many choose leasing through “Device as a Service” options from managed services providers because they move CapEx to OpEx with a predictable monthly per-device fee. 

3) More Form Factors 

As Stratix solution architects know, companies often require highly specialized mobile solutions where a “standard” smartphone, tablet, or smartwatch just won’t do. Many manufacturers use the Android operating system in devices that are specifically made for business. In warehouse operations—for example—Zebra Technologies offers a range of Android devices tailor-made for that environment, including pistol-grip mobile computers and wearables that are super-rugged and dependable.  

4) Better Customization 

It’s easier for developers to build custom business applications on the Android platform. That’s a competitive edge for companies that need unique apps for specific workflows or customer experiences. Because Android is such a widely adopted operating system internationally, it’s easier to find and hire developers who have experience with Android development, as well as to find resources and support when needed.  

Android is Easier? 

Based on the responses above, it’s not surprising that 53 percent of our respondents said Android is easier for IT teams to adopt and support. Fifty-six percent of our respondents also said that Android is easier for end users to adopt—a win-win all around.  

Why Android Enterprise Recommended? 

A couple of the knocks against Android in the past have been fragmentation and inconsistent updates/security patches. While offering flexibility, the broad range of Android device types and operating system versions available actually becomes a challenge for the IT teams who have to support them. Customization of Android has led to delays in devices receiving updates. 

Google has taken on those challenges with its Android Enterprise Recommended program, which makes it easier for enterprises to adopt Android as a platform because they certify devices, managed services providers, and endpoint management software companies on their Android platform—taking the guesswork out for IT decision-makers. 

The Right Devices 

Android Enterprise Recommended gives you a curated list of verified devices and services that meet elevated enterprise requirements from partners trained and supported by Google. It’s a long list with hundreds of devices to choose from to ensure that you get the form factor and/or rugged capabilities required for every workflow. 

Better Deployment and Management 

In our survey, nearly 70 percent of respondents said they were aware of the Android Enterprise Recommended program, and 47 percent said it was very important that their Managed Mobility Services Provider be a part of it. 

Android Enterprise Recommended providers can deploy devices out-of-the-box ready so that end users just have to power up, login, and they’re ready to go with all the settings and applications they need setup in advance. Enterprise Mobility Management enforces policies and maintains security. Using Android Enterprise Recommended partners helps ensure enterprise devices are up to date with regular security patches—resolving the fragmentation and support challenges of the past. 

Smart and Cost-Effective 

While different operating systems have their own advantages and disadvantages, businesses often choose Android because of its cost-effectiveness, open-source platform, customizable features, and integration with Google services. With the Android Enterprise Recommended program, Google has resolved the challenges that might have deterred some businesses before. While companies need to evaluate their specific needs and requirements before deciding, choosing Android can be a smart choice.