- @bobegan thanks, really got a chance to enjoy it outside w family. Have a great wknd 9 hours ago
- A TX sunset I was not planning to catch. Stranded at DFW for the night. @ The Westin Dallas/Ft Worth… instagram.com/p/ZbzrLlAZXF/ 1 day ago
- @bobegan going to miss it. Only event that consistently get usurped by client events. 2 days ago
- @bobegan I'll try it for one trip. I'm LA/SFO alternating weeks this mo so whole month may be a stretch 2 days ago
- @bobegan it's specific app I saw today. I reached out to the demoer for name. I'm all west coast travel in May for my iPad experiment 2 days ago
Mobile strategy from Altimeter Group analyst Chris Silva, making mobile work for brands and business.
Category Archives: Research
March 13, 2013Posted by on
This post originally appeared on Jeremiah Owyang’s Web Strategist Blog
By Chris Silva and Jeremiah Owyang, Industry Analysts at Altimeter Group
Technologies are Emerging at an Increased Rate –Making Tracking Harder than Ever
SXSW is no longer about disruptive technologies being launched, instead, it’s a mainstream, it’s a mainsteam festival, actually) and digital leaders at today’s large corporations are already present, and you should be too. In fact, the amount of data created about the topic had nearly double year over year. Altimeter Group was well represented with 9 analysts or researchers at SxSWi this year, with a large team in Austin tracking what’s disruptive. Long known for launches of big names such as Twitter and Foursquare, as well as those with more hype that long-term staying power like Highlight – would be past its prime and recycling yesterday’s news. If you weren’t able to attend, Altimeter has captured the salient highlights to showcase here:
Major Festival Themes
- Hardware was king. Hardware was king at an event long vaunted as a software and service launching ground, as evidenced by long lines for keynotes by Makerbot founder Bre Pettis, and Tesla, SpaceX founder Elon Musk who spent a lot of time devoted to how hardware-based endeavours like the recent Dragon rocket launch can disrupt an industry as complex as space and airline transportation.
- Android curiosity is getting the better of early adopters. We had many conversations with current iPhone users who were openly discussing their desire to “try the other side” and get an Android device. Interestingly, this curiosity was based more on their gripes with iPhone than with specific Android features they sought. Further, most of the users we spoke with were not working for organizations that had adopted Google Apps for Enterprise and were hoping for tighter integration, they simply felt that, as one person put it, “it has to work better than this thing,” while shaking a shiny new iPhone 5 in the air. Granted, as screen sizes on Android devices continue to trend up, Samsung’s battery-wielding bike messengers may be a needed accessory to make it through a day of SXSW with our new Android handsets.
- Software innovation continued, but mobile enterprise was a star. Software was not forgotten altogether, and from the festival that’s brought us many a fun app and game, this year the interest was in work. It seems the developers and mobile-centric brands are finally on-board the billion-dollar-bandwagon that is enterprise mobile development. Crowds lined up around the block to hear about mobile apps for major brands and to help people do their jobs. The era of Angry Birds millionaires while not quite over, is waning and the future is better tools for work that act like the toys we all enjoy on our mobiles. I’ve never been to a conference in a yoga studio – Austin’s Wanderlust Yoga played host to a packed Mobile Saturday event – no less one that’s populated by contorted bodies and over 100 degrees all due to the high demand.
- Brands were at SXSW in force –followed by the vendors who seek to cater to them. A number of brands were present, with sponsored pavilions or lounges including Samsung, Pepsi, Oreos, esurance, GE, American Airlines and Chevy. While many early adopters criticized the infusion of large brands, this event has gone mainstream as every company is a digital company. To cater to these brands, there were a number of enterprise software vendors present who had sessions, parties, lounges and concerts, including Oracle, Salesforce, IBM, PR agencies, and social software startups including Hootsuite, Sprinklr, Spredfast, Expion, UrbanAirship, MutualMobile, Dachis, Bazaarvoice, Gigya, ExactTarget, and on.
The Technologies That Matter from SXSW 2013
|Technology Showcased||Example||Disruption||What it Means|
|Our rating system includes: Watch, Experiment, Invest, Ignore.||Who’s doing it today?||Who will be impacted by this new technology if it comes to fruition.||Insights and forecasts from our perspective.|
|Gesture Based Interfaces. (Leap motion, Microsoft Kinnect)Our Call: Experiment||Leap Motion, a small, $79 USB device launching in May allows users to control their computers using hand gestures in mid air. It’s able to sense individual finger movements for fine manipulation of objects and apps on screen||Leap controllers have the potential to change the way we interact with our computers and will launch for Mac OS and Windows, immediately making the tech available to a wider audiences than Microsoft’s Kinect. Being able to physically interact with the digital will disrupt many software markets.||They key to this disruption taking hold is developer support. High levels of developer support, though, or a major buy in from a CE vendor like Samsung for TV use will make or break Leap. Expect to see heavy interest from software vendors in the creative space like Adobe; Corel was running live demos at the event.|
|3D Printing and Replicators (Makerbot, Factory.org)Our Call: Ignore||A number of 3D printers were on display both in the demo hall, and including one brave entrepreneur who wore one on his neck at parties while it was successfully printing. Among the vendors include MakerBot, Factory.org and others.||Every brand involved in electronics, consumer package goods, transportation, packaging, supply chain and beyond will be impacted as consumers start to act like producers.||Although Altimeter is investing in a demo unit to trial, this market is still very young. We’ve identified business model opportunities for brand marketers, IP creators and owners of CAD diagrams, and supply chain of the composite and plastic materials needed to print. We believe a significant ecosystem is required before this is a ready market.|
|Proximity Based Communications, Near Field Communications (NFC, Samsung)Our Call: Invest||Austin was awash in proximity based interaction points this week such as the Samsung tectiles; one can imagine that these same pieces of real estate were occupied by QR codes in years past, though the QR was also readily present this as well and not dead. NFC-enabled badges, stickers and posters were everywhere.||NFC, due to the potential for quick, almost passive interaction with a mobile device means potential for higher uptake, the problem? Not many devices yet support it and fewer users know what it does. This is still education time.||Companies with NFC-enabled products hawked them hard – see Samsung entry below – but users’ have yet to process the idea that, beyond payments, using NFC as an event control point or trigger can usher in instrumented environments. This is a key Android differentiator that we’d like to see more manufacturers support.|
|Collaborative Economy (Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, Sidecar)Our Call: Experiment||Sidecar, Uber, and Lyft were in full force in Austin this year showing how shared resources can make getting around. A great deal of attendees we spoke to used AirBNB to find local rooms and houses to rent, as many Austinites skipped down to avoid the fray.||Austin, traditionally short on taxis and public transit – not to mention woefully unprepared for 20k+ visitors, is a perfect market to breed affinity for these tools. These services are disruptors to the taxi service, and hotel and hospitality space.||We’ll see many, many more of these services before the market shakes out. If transport, a leading industry in terms of getting to market early, is an indicator, users will have more and more need for distinct value props as many more “me too” services come online. At SXSW Tesla made motions to offer their car as part of the Uber fleet.|
|Android’s Rise (Samsung, Google)Our Call: Invest||The Samsung marketing machine was working overtime at SXSW attempting to show that a superior experience is possible to the still-ubiquitous iPhones many were carrying. This is good for Samsung and arguably drives Android awareness and interest. Samsung demo’d their TV and Phones were interconnected.||The awareness and interest in Android is great news for Google except that it comes from Samsung and, therefore, muddies the Android brand. That said, when users are shown extremely high levels of service – to wit, bike messengers delivering fresh batteries to Samsung device users – it’s hard to argue with this approach.||The Samsung brand is beginning to define Android. This will be difficult for other brands playing in the Android ecosystem like HTC and even Google itself. We can see why there’s some concern from Mountain View around Samsung’s reign in Android. Not investing in Android as an app player or a hardware concern is no longer an option.|
|Space Exploration (SpaceX)Our Call: Ignore||One of the highlights of the show was Elon Musk’s keynote where he demonstrated the privatization of space flight. His famed quote resonated throughout the event: “I want to die on Mars, just not on impact”||The obvious disruption is the impact to commercial airlines as well as government space programs. That said, the technology is out of reach for all but a very few, though the promise is inspiring.||The featured Grasshopper had VTOL capabilities meaning these space capable vehicles could land and depart from regular airports. While exciting, there’s little brands can do to interact with this trend, unless you’re a direct partner.|
|Augmented and Virtual Reality (Google Glass and Occulus Rift)Our Call: Watch||We had many discussions about Google Glass and its implications with many individuals at SXSW. Main concern? How will it work and what will the etiquette be?||Everyone from mobile device manufacturers to the purveyors of content on those devices will have to figure out how to play in the AR realm, we have not talked to anyone yet, either mobile developer, hardware player or content magnate that has a plan in mind. Too soon, they all say.||We’re bullish on Google Glass and, while we’ve not yet received our Explorer units to demo, we think the market will be very receptive to technology that augments daily tasks and does it in a lightweight way. We see a market emerging for AR-centric content and interactions and brands should be ready to play.|
|MicroMedia Video (Vine, Memoto)Our Call: Experiment||One emerging technology, that could grow is the Vine app that enables iPhone users to create 6 second video clips and share online. To experience this yourself, see this real time gallery. We also saw a lot of discussion on the Memoto camera.||Now that journalism has extended to all consumers and citizens, the simple addition of video can extend a rich media format to micro communications.||Expect marketers to enable Vine related campaigns and marketing to condense from the 30 second spot, to the 6 second spot. Then again people may simply adopt it as a way to “lazy tweet” as videos are so short. Twitter’s backing will certainly help|
|Quantified Self (Google Shoe, Nike)Our Call: Watch||Last year Nike debuted FuelBand at SxSW, this year the technology was everywhere, including a show that quantified activity tracking and encouragement, including a hotly discussed show by Google Shoe that gave recommendations on your fitness activity.||The traditional athletic manufacture industry is now inundated with tech companies getting involved.
To a lesser degree, health and fitness services and facilities now find that consumers are self-managing their health by using Google.
|We think this market is real and growing, but, much like we see in the enterprise space, a lot of data is getting created and the use cases for that data are lagging behind; further, this is a series of walled gardens that don’t talk with one another yet, and require user-lock in. Right now the data is dirty and not being aggregated into a way that can be digested.|
|Memes (Grumpy Cat, Harlem Shake, Meme Generator)Our Call: Ignore||Grumpy Cat live appearance, a number of meme generators, popular from the website Reddit. In particular, Edelman exec David Armano was prolific.||Traditional marketing communication may not resonate in the high churn of digital conversations.Harlem Shake, pretty much over with this hip cool kid crowd. Our take? Good riddance.||Real time marketing, while a buzzword, requires modern communicators to morph, bend, and make topics of the moment their own through curation or creation.|
Technologies on Life support
So what’s going away? We found that QR code will quickly be disrupted by NFC. While we saw a few QR codes present for marketing giveaways, we don’t believe this will persist year over year. This year, wifi and cellular networks were able to stand the high demand of network, as a result the stunt to make homeless wifi spots, will not re-occur. Location based apps, such as Highlight, Sonar, and Banjo were not the talk of the town, unlike the year before.
Altimeter identified a number of new technologies and tried to centralize in one comprehensive document. We will continue to follow these technologies and reference them in our upcoming research of disruptive technologies, for additional coverage, we found the coverage from Verge, of the highest quality, see their 2013 greatest hits. Companies who want to leverage and take advantage of these new technologies should do the following:
- Assemble teams to review the preceding list
- Weight, re-rank and rate the technologies as they may apply to your company
- Integrate into your existing roadmap for marketing, customer experience, and product roadmap
- Don’t try to do it all; many of these technologies will have a long “watch” period, some may never matter to your vertical. However, if you’re spending budget making office Harlem Shake videos, perhaps it’s time to re-allocate some budget to R&D on these new disruptors. Only, of course, if you’re interested in being ahead of what’s new.
We’d love to hear your point of view, what technologies and trends did you see that could matter, let’s start a dialog.
February 13, 2013Posted by on
I was fortunate during last week’s snowstorm here in the NorthEast not to have lost power, desipe 28″ of the white stuff (and much more in drifts) encasing my home and home office. Others were not so lucky and with a number of schools still closed, I’m also still seeing reports of “power just back this AM” as recently as today.
Snowstorms are kind of funny, because I think for many they represent a moment of youth recaptured instead of the potential massive disruptions they represent. I saw countless posts of “snow day!” on my various social streams and it made me laugh. I work from a home office, I have a fiber link to the outside world, it’s a rare day there’s a “snow day” for me or for most home workers.
Three-and-a-half years ago the H1N1 flu pandemic represented a serious IT challenge – ensuring capacity in remote access systems Employers, realizing that they had to provide for long periods of time where workers where not physically at work, scrambled to build out IT systems to support this temporarily mobile workforce. Sure, some needed some prodding (which I happily provided) but it seems that we take for granted that workers can “keep the lights on” by dint of smartphones, tablets and email and files in the cloud.
I was fine during Superstormblizzardmageddon Nemo partly due to luck and also because I’ve got a) control over my own infrastructure and b) a relatively nimble organization who chooses its tools for maximum access efficiency. I am the minority. I’m curious how many of you who were affected by the storm fared as well, take the poll below and let me know how it went.
If you had the chance to work remotely, please answer the following two questions:
I’ll be following up with a post on the results, and why I expect my hypothesis that those who weathered the storm did so despite, not because of, their company IT policy.
February 12, 2013Posted by on
Headed to Austin this March? Are you ready to brave the crowds and – if it’s anything like last year, the rain? If you’re going to SxSW, as I am, you’ve likely got some expectations of what you’ll see. My big expectation? This will be the year we see the formation of a context economy.
No, I did not come up with that all on my own and actually last year began to show us some rough hewn examples of how mobile’s next step will be toward context. Context is the hot topic, there are books being written about it as we speak and we’ve been talking about it for a long time – see friend and co-context conspirator Nicholas Scibetta’s piece on CNBC from last February on this. I think, however, this year, context and what we can do with it (other than stalk people in an airport) will get real. I expect to see a lot of activity around the following topics:
- Using our mobile as a conduit for connected systems. If Fuelband and Fitbit are the forerunners, a network of technology on and around us is about to come to life. Much of it will be designed or powered by scrappy startups that debut at events like SxSW. This is the infrastructure of the sentient world and I expect we’ll see quite a bit of it in Austin.
- Using sensors for good, not just creepy. Last year’s emergence of tools like Highlight showed us what’s possible when we unleash the network of sensors on our devices. It also showed us just how quickly such a use-case can turn creepy. This year, more pointed, purposeful use of sensors, along with (hopefully) a whole lot less battery drain thanks to use of things like Bluetooth 4.0 ultra low power will provide us interesting context that makes us say more than, “wow,” quickly followed by, “eww, please leave me alone.”
- Orchestration of services. OK, so not a technology in its own right, orchestration will be a major force that shifts context from interesting to useful. In order to truly have a dialogue among the things within and around us, services need to use open standards and have ways to invoke one another. The winners in the context battle will be open, the walled gardens will go the way of WebTV. Startups that have my attention will be talking (real) APIs and demonstrating a network of strong partnerships. They’ll look a lot like Box does on the enterprise cloud storage front. Know your strength and know better those than can extend it.
Altimeter will have some solid representation at the event, and we’d like to hear from you what you think of this context economy, how it impacts your use of social, development of content and affects your marketing. I’ll borrow from my colleague Rebecca Lieb’s post some of the details of where to find us while in the lone star state.
Come find us and tell us what you think of the context economy, here where we’ll be, officially:
Saturday, March 9th
- Professions Go Social with Rebecca Lieb, Courtyard Marriott, Rio Grande Ballroom, 11:00 – 12:00
Sunday, March 10th
- Data & Gamification: Value to the Enterprise with Jeremiah Owyang, Four Seasons Hotel Ballroom, 5:00 – 6:00
Monday, March 11th
- Brian Solis interviews none other than Shaquille O’Neal, Long Center for the Performing Arts, 12:30PMTuesday, March 12th
- Advanced Social Media Monitoring with Susan Etlinger (RSVP required) 3:30 – 6:00 PM
Links and abstracts courtesy RebeccaLieb.com
January 18, 2013Posted by on
This post began as a predictions post late last year, but I’ve decided that the emergence of the connected workplace is not a prediction, it’s a natural and unstoppable side-effect of the maturity of mobility, collaboration and organizational openness. What does it mean? I’ll begin to explain here.
We often talk about the changes being brought about by the influx of smart phones, wireless networks and tools that are consumer-first and business second. The fact is, once these tools and devices have been let into an organization, they fundamentally change it over time. In many cases mobile devices, specifically tablets, are the tipping point for this change as they bring about some of the key factors that lead to a truly connected workplace. There are 3 factors powering the emergence of the connected workforce afoot right now:
- A malleable market place of tools: Led by the shift from traditional vendors due to the needs of mobile computing, we have more diverse tools from a larger pool of providers than ever before. In the past, enterprises bought software from a small set of established software vendors. Mobile changed all of this by introducing users to app providers’ tools – previously unknown – that are critical to getting work done. How many IT managers had heard of Dropbox three years ago? Not nearly as many as today. This consumer-led adoption of tools has sped the time to change work flows in many organizations and forced legacy software providers to iterate more quickly with a broader product set. Changing the way we do something is no longer a massive overhaul and investment, it may be a one-time $0.99 purchase, or a small monthly fee payable by credit card. The business – led by its users – is taking control of what defines a proper toolset and who provides those tools.
- Ubiquitous connectivity: We’re increasingly connected, with most users working within range of a WiFi network these days, we’re increasingly hard-pressed to find “offline” time, even airplanes boast reliable connections. Pair this ubiquitous connectivity with the mobile devices that we are carrying – either smart phone or tablet – and we have access to computing power, data and networks that follow us almost everywhere and present themselves as needed, across the multiple devices we use for various tasks. Increasingly few users are willing to go without these tools, as a result they are bringing them to the office themselves and expecting support unwilling to wait out a lengthy ROI analysis on always on, always connected devices. More than half of incoming members of the workforce carry smartphones today, expect demand to continue to grow and the number of connected devices per person to rise as well.
- Constant communication: Network transcend those that our device connect to, though; employees are connected to one another as friends on social networks outside of the organization and some organizations are beginning to connected these same people inside the organization through adoption enterprise social networks. What makes these networks attractive is the rapid messaging tools, virtual face to face interaction and effortless knowledge sharing. The cat is out of the bag and users are looking to social networks – sanctioned or otherwise – as the quickest route to solve problems, reach colleagues (and friends) and disseminate information.
These three drivers set the state for new ways to work, but need support from upper management to reap benefits. As with any decision in mobile, policy and governance should precede technology. While much of the tactical work around managing each of the above elements has focused on responding and re-calibrating management approaches, embracing these disruptors can lead to great changes in what and organization is and does, all for the better.
- We will experience a fundamental shift in the definition of “workplace.” As teams and department relationships give way to those between individuals, roles inside of an organization become less defined. This isn’t a bad thing; we see organizations learn to focus on individuals’ strengths, and their ability to complete tasks allowing the right individuals to take on various aspects of a larger project with a “best of breed” approach to staffing. Teams form and dissolve more quickly. Work tasks become less linear, and work gets done when and where possible by the best candidates available. Mobile connectivity, ubiquitous networks of data and flexible tools make this possible, and work gets done more quickly and efficiently while employees experience less repetitive fatigue and burnout.
- The ideation process will open up. As roles and task assignment allow workers to assemble thoughts and input on a project when and where they are able to, ideation processes become more flexible and expand to include more members of the community. The outcome of this? More members of the community playing an active role in ideating new products and services generating new products and services with greater differentiation, faster innovation thus changing competition fundamentally. The expanded conversation that enterprise social networks are fostering is beginning to re-shape information gathering and ideation processes but central streams of information (the heart of most ESNs today) will give way to providing the ability for members of an organization to create and re-tool processes; networks like Podio (now part of Citrix) are making this possible today.
- Competition will fundamentally change. While we don’t expect to see big brands working hand in hand with one another anytime in the near future the way that a company goes to market may look quite different based on the connected enterprise idea. As collaboration and openness extend to partners and customers (we can consider social media presence, monitoring and conversation activity as the first salvo in this war) managed exposure of existing and open capacity will allow companies to take part in markets in an ad-hoc, transactional fashion. The idea of turning excess capacity into a marketable commodity is nothing new, but it is increasingly becoming the core of certain businesses. Resource sharing companies such as Zipcar on the consumer side or Amazon Web Services on the enterprise side are examples of the change in how we buy things. A new class of consumers is emerging that looks to take advantage of a given product or even a single feature when they need it, for a limited period of time and then move on and organizations that can act quickly to serve that type of consumption will be the brands with staying power.
I am currently working on research to explore the ways in which connected workplace is taking shape inside of organizations. I’m looking to understand – beyond salespeople with iPads instead of laptops in the field, which is interesting, but a story we’ve all heard – how any or all of these factors are changing at the core of its culture or in terms of workers’ roles an entire company. Know someone? Please send them my way. The research will be publishing in late February or early March, and I’m having conversations now. I’m looking forward to sharing the results with you.
What examples have you seen to-date in your own company of these changes? Share in the comments below.
December 6, 2012Posted by on
Attending two days on executive overview from IBM leaders may seem a strange place for a mobile analyst to be spending time. But wait, didn’t they buy a company called Worklight? What about MDM, don’t they have a play there? Both are true, but it’s not a single product that’s big blue’s big idea in mobile. They’re looking at the platform.
Fact is, IBM is working to make their plethora of tools one, contiguous base from which they can sell business solutions. Sound familiar? If you’ve bought a PC in the last five years, it should. When’s the last time you went out and bought memory one place, a processor at another, hard drive at a third and so-on? The days of piecing together commodity components to create a tool are gone in the hardware world. Sure, you can still do it, but who would? IBM – and, to be sure, their large software rivals – are seeing the impending commoditization of mobile. It’s not about playing nice with the top 10 platforms, or having apps in every mobile app store, it’s about the mobile device playing two, critical roles in business; the first, the endpoint on which users will consume information and access tools critical to their job, the second role it plays is a sensor. Approaching the design of mobile business process should start with strategic planning and governance ahead of technology adoption. To date, companies have done just the reverse.
Whether smartphone or tablet, iOS, Android or Windows, IBM sees its role as providing the tools to take processes mobile and gather insights from all of the information that mobile users generate. That big data, in turn, can act as a feedback loop to continually improve workflows and drive more efficient business, or, to use IBM’s favorite adjective, “smart” business. ,When dealing with mobile, companies have traditionally parceled out the infrastructure that makes up our mobile management tools and customer- or employee-facing apps to many different player. It’s true that a company needs a mobile control plane made up on many parts, but those parts are beginning to converge and IBM is betting on a mobile future that depends on being able to harness an integrated platform of tools that follow a business need from application design and development, through management, security and deployment and through to the analysis and data yielded by those mobile tools.
One vendor, one integrated set of tools. Sound like a big buy? It is, at the moment. The company is not shy about sharing that it’s got some holes to fill in fleshing out its solutions, and it’s not in any hurry. The calculated approach takes into account that we’re still in the early days of mobilizing business. We’ve moved from simple, standalone mobile tools, on to mobile-centric tools but have not yet reached a state where we have tools and processes that adapt on the fly to whatever device we’re using, and take advantage of that device’s capabilities.
Take the example of an insurance adjuster in the field, traditionally, “mobilizing” these professionals was all about giving mobile-formatted access to certain tools email and PIM functions, perhaps the ability to look up data on a company intranet, but the information was static, being pushed to mobile. In many organizations, taking this a step further has meant using off-the-shelf tools from mobile centric providers to foster collaboration. The result is a more functional set of tools that are mobile friendly, but often require a migration of data, come from net-new vendors and don’t yield any data back to the company on usage. The unified mobile platform from a large software provider would center on customized or from-scratch apps built with compatible libraries to access existing assets (everything from reporting tools to data protection and ID) be managed by MDM tools that can also facilitate publishing of apps to devices and provide detailed data from the use of those mobile apps. The result? When the adjuster goes to the scene of a car accident and gathers data (images, audio testimonials GPS-tagged notes) all elements of that information is managed and secured and ported back to existing company databases along with macro-statistics on how the adjusters are using the app, when, and with what data.
Few companies have their mobile ducks in a row yet to be able to “plug in” this sort of mobile development, but IBM and others in enterprise software are building their arsenal of tools when the existing stack of multiple-vendor, off-the-shelf solutions start to teeter under heavy use. IBM has made a business out of taking the uncategorized, large data sets and making sense of them (think Watson) applying this rigor to mobile could mark them as a strong player in taking the next step toward truly valuable business applications, but it will mean revisiting a lot of past tech adoption decisions.
November 6, 2012Posted by on
Back in January, I penned a post called “The End Of The Mobile Pro Shop,” In it, I conjectured that stand-alone mobile development firms were not likely to continue existing in large numbers. Already at the beginning of this year, we’d seen some acquisitions by large brands and retailers and continued to see mobile assimilated across enterprise software vendors, security firms and still more brands.
I’m not here to tout the accuracy of my predictions. Rather, if early 2012 signaled the death of “app” consultants on every corner – and there are still some very strong players out there – the end of 2012 – beginning of 2013 shows us the emergence of the mobile toolkit. We’re democratizing what it means to be able to “create a mobile experience.” Read more of this post
September 19, 2012Posted by on
I’ve been talking quite a bit recently about the need for enterprises to get serious about mobile. It’s not that companies are unaware of the rapid growth in demand for devices like iPhone – that’s a story that’s hard to miss these days – or Android devices, but they still seem willing to send their teams into the field with less than ideal tools or simply not support the growing number of mobile users they have. Why? It’s because they’ve not yet figured out the proper way to manage mobility. Many focus on the device, and as a side-effect keep their users toting the equivalent of graphing calculators, others feel there are not yet market-ready tools to mitigate the risk from devices, their apps and the many different user types inside their organizations.
It’s Time For A Comprehensive Approach, The Mobile Control Plane
What’s lacking isn’t the technology to manage mobile users and their devices, it’s an understanding of how it should be applied. Over the past two years, as we’ve seen mobile penetration double in the US mobile phone owning population, the market for mobility management solutions has been awash in promises of cure-alls.
Many of the tools at the root of said claims are mobile device management suites. These are great tools, but they cannot stand alone as the control point for all of mobile management. Enterprises need a deep backplane of policy and technology to manage mobile a stack of governance and technology we’re unveiling in our most recent research report, Building A Solid Platform For Enterprise Mobility: Introducing The Mobile Control Plane
The idea behind the control plane is that it is a mix of both technology and governance. With the latter leading the former in its deployment inside of organizations. To-date, we’ve looked at managing mobile as a technology problem. This approach leads us to solutions like mobile device management, that provide a potential false sense of security by giving IT access to protect devices but usually not taking into account varying user types, the myriad apps they use or providing the ability for dynamic policy enforcement. These three elements are critical as we move from a world of a single type of device, provisioned only by IT, for simple tasks like on the go access to email, contacts and calendars.
Mobile Programs Have Matured Past A Single Control Point
We Need An Holistic Control Plane More Than EverIn creating this research, we spoke with both solution providers and those using their tools what’s possible with today’s tools and how best to take on managing mobility as an organization. Many organizations were well underway with displacing their first wave of mobile devices with iOS and Android devices. In addition to the general growth and growing diversity of the mobile devices themselves was the drive to bring more apps into play for users. We call this “the Dropbox problem,” where users take on consumer applications to drive business process, for example using a personal Dropbox account to take business documents on the road.
This is a common use case and one that illustrates the shortcomings of “modern” mobile management as we now know it:
- Users demand support for the devices they choose, and will find a way to get them: There are a number of consumer grade applications, whether Dropbox for file syncing or TouchDown for Exchange email access, applications abound to replicate tools that users have had in the past on devices like BlackBerries on the Android and iOS devices they use today. Users are no longer willing to carry a separate work and personal device and nearly a quarter of workers admit to using workarounds to get acces to corporate data on a personal smartphone, over 10% on tablets. (source; iPass 2012 Mobile Workforce Report) The upshot of this trend is that lacking a multi-device, application and data-aware control solution, the company is in the dark and at risk.
- Visibility is critical, and largely absent: Device management often looks at devices as a contiguous block of data, and in an era of apps, this is simply not the case. If any data that the user in the example above stores on their Dropbox is subject to compliance, there’s a breach on the company’s hands and, that’s only if the company is aware such data exists outside of the traditional email, contact and calendar construct of company “owned” data conduits. Application management, and hooks into tools like digital loss prevention are critical to ensure that visibility into who is doing what with data is tracked and, when built, can be blocked by policy as appropriate. Failing the implementation of data segmentation and use policy and the tools to track data usage and block it where needed mobile is, put simply, unmanaged.
- We’re past one device per person: Estimates range on the nuber of device per person we’re carrying today – surely we’ve seen a departure from the smartphone-only user to at least a smartphone-and-tablet-toting user – but the growth in data-aware end points goes beyond just what we’re carrying with us in a connected future.
The full report is available below, it’s open research and I urge you to download, share, post and discuss. What’s the state of your mobile control plane? What are you missing?
September 11, 2012Posted by on
I was thrilled to be able to share some of Altimeter’s latest research with the Citrix webinar audience to talk about how mobile, social and the complexities of the Dynamic Customer Journey – a major theme in Altimeter’s research – are changing the way marketers work.
The content, which relies heavily on the work of colleague Rebecca Lieb‘s most recent research report The Converged Media Imperative: How Brands Will Combine Paid, Earned And Owned Media available in full on our site, lays out the foundations for how marketers’ roles must change in order to coordinate across a growing number of channels with their success in doing so having a direct impact on their success.
The slides from today’s session follow, though the full report goes into much greater depth; a careful read will provide the building blocks of a solid strategy for converged media across channels old and new.
August 7, 2012Posted by on
Let’s stop pandering to the CIO, seriously. I was sitting listening to research-backed product launch this week and the overwhelming message was, “be ready, people may want to bring their own devices to work.” Be ready? Really? We’re there today, and the last thing that a CIO and her lieutenants need is more data and pithy bullet points to illustrate what’s already plainly obvious. Mobile is here and growing fast but it needs to be managed. Controlling devices won’t cut it, and simply looking at data controls via technology isn’t the answer either. Rather, a growing, orchestrated governance and technology base must be built that allows adaptive controls over mobile. If mobile represents the heart of an organization’s future technology, an the ability to take an adaptive approach to it likely signals the strength of the larger organization. The Adaptive Organization is a theme you’ll see flow through Altimeter’s research this year and next and goes well beyond mobile though mobility management is a key disruption that will showcase the power of adaptive organizations vs. those who choose to react and control technology.
Building A Reference Architecture
As I wrap up my next building out the elements of an adaptive mobility management platform, it’s clear we have not yet crested the “mobility management” hill. There seem to be an endless number of views sprouting up advocating for control over devices, data or applications and more than a few vendors doing a couple of these things simultaneously. The reference architecture I advocate – the mobile control plane – is not a single box with the letters “M-D-M” or “M-A-M” inside it. Those boxes are there but they never stand alone.
IBM has been conducting its Global CEO study for close to the last decade, one element in this year’s IBM’s Global CEO Study - which takes input from over 1,700 global business leaders – shows a link between thriving for control vs. creating an infrastructure of openness. Underperforming firms – 1/3 of them – seek control whereas more than half – 55% – of outperforming firms embrace openness and collaboration. In our research at Altimeter, we see a strong link between being open (just look at our research model) and market success.
Building a mobile control plane is an effort that must be comprised of technology and governance, with components that provide additive value to MDM (technology like application management, data security, federated ID, and governance links to HR and Legal for policy design) sows the seeds for becoming an adaptive organization that can take mobile devices of many types and from any source and safely and cost-effectively. In doing this, the line of business can harness the multiplicative advantage of giving the right tools to workers for use anywhere they are and IT can manage it all both now and as the stack grows. This openness to new technology is at the heart of innovation and performance. This is about more than managing iPhones.
A decision point has emerged for IT managing the influx of mobile: react and try to sieze control (as we did with the BlackBerry Enterprise Server of yore, with byzantine policy support and one device choice) or be proactive and build a stack of governance and technology that grows with the changes in technology. We’re long past the days of a single device and set of policy, and are headed toward a future that’s about more than just smartphones and tablets.
This doesn’t happen overnight, however, and even those firms committed to being supportive of mobile for the long run need to grow their adaptive IT organization organically, this happens in three phases:
- Connect: At the most basic level, MobileDevice Management can allow us to connect company-wide resources like email to the devices we deploy to our employees or that they, themselves bring into the organization. With the ability to enforce passwords, lock devices and wipe them when lost, paired with the potential to filter the information that makes its way to devices via policy, risk is relatively low but so are returns.
- Configure: As our users demand apps and we either source or build them, we find that in addition to managing the device, we need to get some more information on the user from a central identity repository, apply policy to the data in its varying forms and provide lifecycle management to the applications on the device is key. We invest in more technology that takes control to data and policy to applications. We assume a bit more risk and need more controls as a result but users are more productive in their various roles.
- Coordinate: When the mobile control plane is built out connections into other systems are possible. In addition to linking governance with legal, risk and HR to automate updates to policy ensuring security of data, we begin to see links into other systems, digital loss prevention (DLP) network access control (NAC) and even physical security.
Getting to a state of true coordination – a future goal for most – will rely on an platform of control that allows for protection of devices, data, individuals and identity and even a mix thereof. With more employees carrying multiple devices today, and expectations of a connected future via the “sentient world” CIOs need to begin thinking now about how they build an organization that will take any user, on any device, and provide the proper resources on the fly, automatically. Being an adaptive organization means being ready for what’s coming next in mobile.
July 19, 2012Posted by on
So, we’ve officially crossed the 50% mark (according to Nielsen) of mobile phone owners in the US that are carrying a smartphone. This is an important milestone as it’ll be interesting to see how the second 50% of phone owners cotton to the idea of more expensive data plans, handsets and a new usage paradigm. Will we see adoption move as quickly as it did among the first 50% of smartphone buyers? Economic indicators would seem to point to the trend slowing, after all, the “average consumer does not have a rosy outlook on things, consider the following data points from October, 2010 to July 2012:
- Gallup Economic confidence index values
- Oct, 2010 -28
- July, 2012 -26
- While still negative, the peak value of – 15 still seems relatively well out of reach compared to recent data, we’re not in the trough of despair we have been in this time period but we’re still pretty bearish on things.
- Gallup US Mood values
- Oct, 2010 47
- July, 2012 46
- We’ve been happier, unfortunately, with the peak value in this time scale coming in at 67.
- Gallup Consumer Spending Index (14 day running average)
- Oct, 2010 59
- July, 2012 57
- We’re a bit more thirfty than at our peak spending of 103, big spending is not an everyday occurrence
All of that in consideration, then, we’re a little down, cautious and slow to grab the wallet, all except when it comes to smartphones, which in the same period have witnessed steady growth from a penetration of 25% to 0ver 50% in the same timeframe (http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/smartphones-account-for-half-of-all-mobile-phones-dominate-new-phone-purchases-in-the-us/) are $500 smartphones the true opiate for the masses in these bleak times? Could be. One can argue they’re hardly necessary purchases for the average consumer.
What’s driven you to join the smartphone toting masses?
Economic data sources