The last few years have been a time of dramatic change for enterprises worldwide. Not only in terms of workplace dynamics but also in the technologies (both hardware and software) that help organisations stay connected, productive, and secure. Below, we’ll cover a quick recap of the major changes across six key areas, including:
- Apple devices
- Android devices
- Unified endpoint management
- Cloud & security
2022 saw Apple release the latest generation of their smartphone device, the iPhone 14, the iPhone 14 is a highly iterative model even by modern smartphone standards. With only minor improvements across most device specifications, there doesn’t seem to be much reason to upgrade if you already own the iPhone 13.
From a hardware perspective, this is good news for enterprises so that they won’t feel pressured into upgrading immediately.
The iPhone 14 was also accompanied by the release of a new OS version, iOS 16. Relatively speaking, it has been a solid release without too many environment-breaking or security-compromising changes.
Apple also continues its dominance in the laptop field. Their new M2 processor continues the legacy of superior processing performance. And their devices enjoy higher overall reliability and battery life. The recent developments in 2022 make the WinTel world seem even further behind.
That superiority is beginning to reflect in the market, with Apple being the only mainstream vendor with a growing market share. This trend is also a result of Apple’s persistent targeting of the enterprise hardware space as a key growth area.
Apple is becoming an attractive option for many enterprises due to its built-in security and reliability, making it a safer option requiring less maintenance and logistics.
Android also released the new version of its mobile OS, Android 13, in 2022. Like Apple, this was a highly iterative release that didn’t change much from previous versions. Android seems to have recognised this with a comparatively muted marketing campaign that didn’t generate much excitement.
That being said, Samsung, the leading manufacturer of Android devices, has been making waves in the hardware department. For example, the Z flip is a game-changer in the convertible mobile device space. The newest flip phones have made some marked improvements over their predecessors in terms of reliability and practicality. The Z fold 4 is especially useful from an enterprise perspective, being able to be used as a mini, highly portable laptop.
One of Android’s problems is that its market is still highly fragmented between software versions. Android 12 only managed a 25% adoption rate when Android 13 hit the market. This starkly contrasts the Apple verse, where new versions are almost universally adopted upon release. Despite Android 13 being out in the wild, most new Android devices still ship with the previous OS version.
While there are many reasons for this, one of the most influential is the fact that the Android market is highly fragmented between a considerable number of device manufacturers and vendors. On the other hand, the entire Apple ecosystem is tightly controlled by a single entity.
Understandably, this creates many headaches for enterprises from a logistics perspective. Each device brand or model may have different management, patching, and upgrading requirements.
UEM, unified endpoint management, has also changed rapidly under the pressures of an evolving device marketplace. Case in point, Gartner’s “Magic Quadrant,” which has guided managers in the process of adopting UEM systems, is almost unrecognisable today. When it was first created, the graph was littered with vendors. Today, it’s much more sparsely populated:
Over the years, vendors have merged, been acquired, or simply fallen by the wayside. Enterprises are now left with fewer options but with more comprehensive features and capabilities. For example, Ivanti acquired MobileIron and Pulse to accelerate their vision of the “Everywhere Enterprise” product model.
Remember when using the home dial-up for a school project led to a mammoth internet bill end of the month? Or, when calling back home using roaming nearly left you with a maxed-out credit card?
Changes in the mobile carrier landscape mean that “bill shock” is no longer a thing of the past. A particularly poignant example is Brexit, where roaming is now back on the cards for enterprises and individuals doing business across the UK and Europe.
However, this shift is particularly problematic because the workplace is much more mobile. It’s now more common for employees to work full-time in another country while potentially using company devices. Enterprises need solutions to help them manage the spending risk of this dynamic.
Employees may be back in offices to a degree, but how they approach work has changed forever. Employees are now generally much more mobile, even inside the office. Ad-hoc meetings and collaboration sessions mean individuals often head from place to place throughout the day.
The typical model of having every employee permanently docked at an assigned desk is becoming outdated and potentially detrimental to morale and productivity. However, adopting this new dynamic creates some challenges regarding intra-office logistics, which many companies are addressing with the help of workplace management apps.
One of the most notable developments in this area is the emergence of Wi-Fi 6E. This new technology will dramatically improve the capacity of Wi-Fi networks to support more throughput and users. It will also help companies bolster efforts to maintain the network while looking after the user experience.
We know companies need help to secure a ceaselessly expanding and diversifying cloud portfolio. The key is to tighten up the disintegrating security perimeter by putting the right solution in front of all your cloud services.
Whilst many organisations today rely on identity management strategy, they are finding that managing and deploying it on a consistent basis takes more work. Many enterprises find their app base fragmenting into more and more SaaS solutions almost daily. With every new addition, the identity solution must be updated and deployed before the new app.
On top of that, cloud services themselves are continuously evolving. Each identity deployment you make is not just a set-it-and-forget-it process but needs to be constantly monitored and maintained.
Enterprises also need to think up new strategies regarding how to maintain ownership of their data separate from the cloud provider. Some strategies, like keeping the key separate from the data, are effective but introduce additional complexity.
The topics above are just the tip of the iceberg regarding managing the enterprise technology ecosystem. Mobile and cloud security, for example, is a broad field that deserves an in-depth study of its own.
The key takeaway is that enterprises must start by carefully assessing the new workplace dynamics and needs faced by stakeholders at every level of their organisation. New rules are at play, and the most obvious solution might only sometimes be the optimal one. Get in touch if you’d like to find out how Mobliciti can help you evolve your workplace strategy.