Mobile Trends for 2010 | Page 2

7. (More) Power to the Customer

Customers in this economy will be more discerning and demanding than ever. Businesses will have no choice but to empower customer-facing workers with mobility to differentiate on service and create competitive advantage.

8. Everyone Wants to be Thin and Rich

As B2C surges, expect the Web browser to become the dominant delivery mechanism for rich mobile apps. Native mobile apps are not going away anytime soon, but thin applications built on HTML5 are paving the way for richer mobile apps with data persistency. Expect HTML5 and multi-media technology such as Adobe Flash to be supported on at least three mobile browser platforms by the end of 2010.

9. Got Platform?

Mobility won't mean a thing if it is not strategic. Companies are moving beyond tactical pilots and small deployments to larger, enterprise-wide initiatives for sustainable, competitive advantage. Underlying mobility platforms will be central to long-term mobile strategies.

10. The Mobile Pile-On Effect

Tough economic conditions will continue to weed-out the smaller mobile specialists who struggle with liquidity issues. But filling the void will be the carriers, ISVs and systems integrators, who see a huge market opportunity and may double-down on mobile.

Mobile management firm Visage Mobile also released its top five predictions for how enterprise mobility will evolve in 2010 and the impact those trends will have on IT departments

"This year enterprise smartphone adoption accelerated - making the leap from a 'nice to have' to a 'must have' with more employees using their mobile phone for business and more enterprises adopting corporate mobility policies. In 2010 it will become mandatory to have a corporate mobility policy in place," Tim Weingarten, CEO of Visage Mobile, said in a statement.

He goes on to say that lessons learned from this year's economic climate will force enterprises to look for new opportunities to cut expenses and avoid excess spending, and the first place they should look is their mobile costs. "With next generation Software as a Service (SaaS) technologies quickly replacing traditional Telecomm Expense Management (TEM) consultants," he said, "businesses will begin to see immediate ROI from new solutions with a near zero footprint."

1. Tiered Mobile Pricing

Wireless carrier mobile data usage pricing models will adapt in 2010 to usage-based and tiered models. This will be driven by massive bandwidth consumption on new smartphones as well as by network-neutrality regulations, with AT&T leading the charge and other major carriers following close behind.

As mobile data consumption becomes more expensive for the heaviest consumers, there will be significant ramifications for corporations. Mobility costs will significantly increase for overages, and mobile policy enforcement will be critical to avoid huge spikes in mobile spending.

2. Adoption of corporate-liable plans will increase, but with individual-liable devices

The trend toward consumerization of IT mobility will accelerate and lead to more personal choices for device type, but will be done in the context of corporate mobility plans. This will provide a win-win scenario in which the employee gets to choose his or her device and the corporation gets the benefits of visibility, manageability, pooled plans, reduced spending per line and overall mobile asset management.

3. Surge in corporate adoption of employee smartphones and app phones.

Employee penetration rates will grow rapidly from the average today of 10 percent to over 30 percent as these devices move beyond the executive and sales teams. For the first time security and manageability of non-BlackBerry operating systems has become "good enough" and to remain competitive and drive employee productivity, these devices are becoming a must-have in the office.

Visage Mobile also said it is seeing, within its customer base, more IT acceptance and employee adoption of both iPhones and Android devices. It appears that, eventually, the BlackBerry, iPhones and Android-powered devices will share the enterprise market with each having a 30 percent share, according to Visage.

Cloud computing is also becoming more popular among the firm's customers with the highest smartphone adoption. About 40 percent of Visage Mobile customers are focused on having employees access corporate cloud applications, for instance, Salesforce.com, with their smartphones, as opposed to just accessing work-reltaed e-mail.

4. Increase in 3G mobile broadband adoption in employee laptops.

With almost all enterprise-class laptop models shipping in 2010 being embedded with 3G connectivity, increasingly based on Qualcomm's multi-carrier Gobi chipset, Visage Mobile sees IT departments increasingly activating the 3G modules for employees below the executive level.

Today's low, single-digit penetration of mobile broadband on laptops within the enterprise will rapidly increase as tools become available to manage and help eliminate the massive variable costs that can occur with international data roaming and data overages.

5. Businesses will move away from traditional TEMs and adopt next generation SaaS based applications.

Corporations will increasingly turn to SaaS applications to manage their mobile budgets, set and monitor employee mobility policies and track device usage and inventory within their employee base.

Given the fast pace of developments in the mobile sector, companies simply won't have time to implement TEM software upgrades, and instead, will use SaaS-based models that can often be deployed within a week.

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