Mobile Device Usage Among Enterprises to Jump Dramatically, Juniper Says
April 7, 2009 Alex Woodie
Driven by wider access to broadband mobile networks, the use of smart phones, PDAs, and laptops among enterprises will jump by 56 percent over the next five years and become a $284 billion business, according to a new study by Juniper Research. However, several obstacles to widespread adoption remain.
Driving the move to mobile devices among enterprises will be the fast 3G mobile networks that the major carriers are currently building. Currently, only about 13 percent of devices are connected to this network. However, by 2014, almost 80 percent will be connected, according to Juniper’s report.
In his whitepaper “Mobilising the Enterprise,” Juniper senior analyst Andrew Kitson gives his take on the current state of enterprise mobility, and makes his forecasts for future growth. As of 2008, laptops accounted for nearly one in five mobile devices, Kitson says, while PDAs accounted for just 2 percent. Smart phones dominate the market, with nearly an 80 percent market share.
However, over the next five years, PDAs will disappear as a category and be subsumed into the “smart phone” category. Laptops will remain an integral component of the enterprise mobile space, according to Kitson, likely owing to the challenges presented by smart phones’ small screens. Smart phones will continue to account for between 70 and 80 percent of enterprise mobile devices, he says.
A small screen and form factor was one of three challenges to widespread adoption of mobile devices in the enterprise, according to Juniper. The others include problems in adapting applications for mobiles while not compromising on usability, and, of course, security.
To ensure security, enterprises must take total control over the devices their employees use, Kitson says. “To do this, they need to limit the types and numbers of devices connecting to their networks, deactivate or restrict devices that are lost or stolen, minimizing functionality and access, and employing user authentication, content encryption, and other security solutions as appropriate.”