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BYOD, Mobility and Beyond...

Three decades ago, even if you were lucky enough to own a mobile phone (Dynatac - also known as "the Brick"), first developed by Motorola, you would need to hold it in your hands all the time owing to its sheer size and price. A mobile phone way back in 1984 which would weigh a whopping 900 grams and make your pockets lighter by $4000, performed only one function - making calls. A nostalgic ride back to the past to look at how cellphones evolved from Monolithic brick sized instruments to their Swipe-Savvy progenies should be a topic for discussion for some other day. This high technology ubiquitous device and its capabilities to serve the current generation and the ones to come enthrall me.
As a teenager, I was always fascinated to see Corporate Business Class flyers at airports, glued to their laptops screens working on intricate charts and graphs. Back then, I was neither aware that such applications are needed to run a business, nor was virtualization a part of my vocabulary. Now, with my association with the INFOR practice at Infosys, I am acquainted with the immense capabilities of Virtualization and Mobility (access to enterprise applications on the go over a mobile phone). INFOR Motion is a platform for deploying, managing and securing enterprise applications on a mobile device with the help of Cloud. One can monitor business, accomplish tasks and keep things moving using a mobile device of one's choice with the help of INFOR Motion. Mobility may become bread and butter in future for System Integrators like us because of the following facts:
•         According to a recent Gartner study, enterprises across the globe will spend $13 billion by this year end on application development software, which is a 2.5% increase from last year.
•         By 2015, projects that enable mobility would make up 80% share of all development activities.
•         There has been a rapid increase in the mobile workforce, as the end users aspire for a seamless, assimilated work experience which would help them be as productive on the go, as they are on their desktops or laptops.

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is a type of office environment where employees get their own mobile devices, without any restriction. BYOD culture is here to stay much to the chagrin of any IT manager as it opens up immense avenues through which sensitive corporate information can be leaked. The most unassailable arguments in favour of BYOD are more responsive business, flexible working hours and increased productivity. INFOR Motion is a godsend in a BYOD office environment as it not only gives the employees the freedom to work away from their desks (also called "work from anywhere computing trend"), but also, the data is safe, securely stored on a cloud platform. With the advent of optical fiber connectivity, GBPS data speeds and availability of Wi-Fi on airplanes, virtualization/mobility of applications on mobile devices is gaining huge strides. Employees across the globe can now have easy to use, anywhere, anytime access to data and enterprise applications from their mobile devices. Products like INFOR Motion are a boon to security compliances of an organization as they provide complete data control, without losing mobility and collaboration capabilities on the go.
Having appreciated the good side of mobility, I won't do justice if I don't flip the coin to unveil some of the threats of mobility. According to the latest CCMI survey on BYOD, 60% of the survey respondents have developed a corporate liable policy, though only an alarming 10% have put up a pure BYOD policy in place. Multiple mobile platforms across multiple devices need the gargantuan task of data encryption and mobile data management for the IT department. Data breach is also a threat, which can be taken care of, if the data is hosted on a cloud assisted by Industry level Service Level Agreements and security by the cloud provider. A stolen mobile phone/device is a major threat which BYOD brings to the table, unless the mobile device is securely on-device data encrypted. Within 5 years of its inception, Android has outshined Apple's iOS, RIM's BlackBerry OS and Nokia's Symbian platforms. It now has more than double of Apple's market share in the Mobile/Tablet OS world. The most prevailing version of Android across the globe is the 2.3 version which lacks an on-device encryption. Encryption was later introduced in the 4.0 version which hardly has any share in the market. With RIM's (Research in Motion) demise, Apple and Windows phones sales dwindling, the market leader Android is the best bet for enterprise wireless connectivity provided it wins its battle against Malware (there was a 470% increase in malware attack on Android phones in the second half of 2011).
Nevertheless, IT departments have realized that a mobile workforce will soon be a norm. Though there have been enough reasons to approach mobility with cautiousness, the barriers are swiftly waning making possible the integration of mobile devices with the core systems, a leap in mobile enablement of a business environment. According to a report by CIO Insight, 44% of the organizations have already implemented an enterprise mobility project, 45% of the enterprises will spend at least $500,000 on the same, while half a slice of the pie of any company's investment will be on app development and mobile device management. This boom in the mobility market was proactively and precisely anticipated by the major Enterprise Solution vendors, who have developed mobile apps for their ERPs, and other software which can be taken mobile. Known for its futuristic and intuitive user experience, Infor may well lead the mobility revolution. Infor has already developed applications like Road warrior (for a company's sales force), Activity deck (Mobile alerts and approval app), shop floor (for uninterrupted production), Warehouse director, dashboard (any top management's go to app) and Customer Lifecycle Management (Completed CRM functions on mobile). These applications, a dedicated design team named Hook n Loop for an out of the world UI experience, and ION (sophisticated middleware which amalgamates enterprise business with social network) have put Infor in the forefront of the race. With companies like Infor developing such futuristic solutions, an employee may leave his office tangibly but not digitally.
With the entry of Big Data, Cloud and Augmented reality, the mobility app developers have got a shot in the arm, as it has opened up a plethora of possibilities in the Enterprise Wireless Connectivity field. This is how a 900 gm weighing brick has evolved over the decades.

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