The convenience and versatility offered by mobile devices and the ubiquity of connectivity has caused a shift in the way we live and work. Gone are the solitary cubicles and stodgy desktops of yore, replaced by the mobile workforce user.
A 2014 IDG Enterprise Mobility Survey showed that 66 percent of smartphone users, and 46 percent of tablet users, are using their devices for work-related tasks (“Hey John, can you Snapchat me that expense report?”). Companies are adopting strategies like BYOD (bring your own device) and deploying better governance policies to harness the increasing demand for enterprise mobility, a market that is expected to grow from $71.93 billion in 2013 to $266.17 billion by 2019.
The landscape of enterprise mobility has changed drastically since its inception. BlackBerry, the once dominant power in the industry, has handed its crown to Apple (72 percent) and its scepter to Android (26 percent). Though it was the most secure platform during its heyday, BlackBerry’s lack of innovation and its software, hardware and user experience crippled their ability to compete. Left to rot, fruit will do just that (let this be a lesson for Apple).
Despite holding 78 percent of the global market share for smartphones, Android has yet to gain major ground within workforce users. Concerns over security vulnerabilities and operating system fragmentation has stunted Android’s growth, until the recent release of Android 5.0 (Lollipop) and Android for Work. Here are a few reasons why Android is poised to take over the enterprise mobility game …
A More Secure Operating System
The introduction of the latest operating system, Android 5.0 Lollipop, brought with it massive security fixes, including default device encryption and control over access to data and system services using Security Enabled Linux (SE Linux).
The “sandboxing” structure of SE Linux prevents malicious software from accessing sensitive data or applications. Recently, Google has also committed to monthly security updates for its Nexus line of devices. Many OEM’s are following suit.
A New Suite Of Enterprise Products
Unveiled last year at Google I/O, Android for Work is finally here. Android for Work is a platform built to provide security and control for IT while allowing a simple experience for users. Android for work has a dashboard for IT departments that integrates with Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions, allowing complete control over enterprise data, application permissions and device management (i.e., setup and remote wipe).
For fans of BYOD, in addition to having an enterprise-specific play store and suite of productivity tools, Android still allows work and personal apps to co-exist peacefully. Gone are the days of having to carry both a work and personal phone.
Global Platform Dominance
Because of Google’s commitment to bring Android to emerging markets, Android has maintained its global dominance. In a BYOD culture, options such as screen size, battery life, stylus and cost are driving factors when choosing a device. Android boasts nearly an unlimited selection of phones and tablets with their own unique features. Comparatively, Apple has a selection of six phones and six tablets supported by the current operating system.
As BlackBerry learned the hard way, innovation is key to survival in the mobile ecosystem. Android has stayed steps ahead of Apple when it comes to iterating and innovating its mobile software. Features such as notification drawers, custom keyboards, integrated stylus and multitasking debuted on Android devices sometimes years before Apple; smartwatches were on the wrists of Android users one year before the Apple Watch arrived.
The future of enterprise mobility is in the hands of the consumers. If history has shown us anything, it will be shaped by innovative hardware and enterprise software. Android, with its army of users and growing enterprise solutions, is poised to dominate the market.