There is no denying mobile devices have changed the way we interact with the world. From the first iPhone, suddenly everyone had a computer in their pocket which was able to access the full force of the internet. At our event, Level, we asked three panelists, Ian Broom from Fliplet, Achi Lewis-Dhaliwal from MobileIron and Peter Gaul from Qualcomm, what they thought was upcoming in the next three years.

What have the trends been in mobility this year?

Looking back over the year, many themes were discussed. From how mobility is yet to become an established ecosystem in the enterprise, to what types of software are getting plugged into the ecosystem, MTD and other data loss solutions.
The biggest change, however, is apps. The numbers of apps are exploding, lines of business are now creating their own apps, without the help of IT, leaving IT trying to reassert itself. Data is constantly being accessed through applications which also means security questions keep growing. Shadow IT is another issue; it is getting all too easy for employees to work around IT, using mobile devices leaving them more in the dark than ever before.

The number of questions we are being asked about security proactively instead of reactively is increasing Ian Broom from Fliplet

Is mobility driving the unified strategy for the enterprise or is it along for the ride?

Mobility has become an equalizer in the organization. From the CTO to ops, to HR, everyone has an app that does something for someone in the organization. This is causing problems because there is no strategy behind this. How you go about putting that ecosystem together, and the integrations behind it?

IT is now trying to reassert themselves and showing they are still relevantPeter Gaul from Qualcomm

Is it time to go beyond EMM?

Firstly, this means EMM is slowly being considered mainstay infrastructure. Not on the edge of the diagram like it was 20 years ago. Going beyond EMM is how we bring the rest of the infrastructure up to this. It’s a coming together of all the pieces, the data analysis, integrations like Wandera, IoT, network analysis.
We went from websites to web-enabled and mobile-enabled, now we have gone to mobile first and we are going towards mobile only. We are heading towards everything being done through apps to the point where people are losing interest in deploying to other platforms.

I used to draw a diagram on a whiteboard 20 years ago showing how EMM plugged into the rest of the systemAchi Lewis-Dhaliwal from MobileIron


Do you think laptops and desktops will disappear and EMM will sit on every device?

For now, the infrastructure needs to be domain joint. However, as mentioned, apps are increasingly becoming the way businesses are accessing data. So if you are using Evernote, at least within the enterprise, you don’t care about the device, instead, you care about the app. Meaning devices are going to melt away everything will be on apps, which will essentially be the same on every platform. There is also an increase in identity management and things will be built around identities and away from domains.

Are you seeing an awareness for mobile security?

Mobility has been consumer-led. To the point where Google had adverts for their enterprise solution aimed at consumers imploring them to take their phones into work and tell the business they would be a benefit. This has left the enterprise trying to catch up. In terms of security educating your end-users is key, or it will be impossible to get the message of security into the enterprise.
Threats are increasing, we have heard this time and time again. They started being consumer based and then morphed into the enterprise. Now hackers will get the data of the mobile and use it in a spear-phishing attack. Until consumers are more security aware the enterprise is left vulnerable. This is made more difficult with no clear ownership when it comes to security for mobile.

Number of threats are increasing, from XcodeGhost, HummingBad, there’s a whole bunch of them.Peter Gaul from Qualcomm

For companies trying to buy software to increase their security, it can be a minefield. First, there were tokens, followed by two-factor authentication. Then experts said two-factor is not enough because you can’t trust SMS anymore. Does this mean there is a need for three-factor authentication?

We as a solution provider are ending up building systems and then advising companies, there are your options, pick whatever works best for you.Ian Broom from Fliplet

For the enterprise, it would be easy enough to increase security through more policies, however, the user experience is too important when it comes to mobile and the adoption of mobile. If companies started doing that, everyone would complain and the devices would not be used to their full capacity.
Enterprise profiling is also proving an issue. With threats being application based, it means threats become the responsibility of everybody, but it also means there are multiple people who can be targeted to get into the enterprise.

What paradigm shifts should we expect to see in the next three years?

The biggest shift is going to be in data analytics. The potential for data and getting people from a to b is going to grow. How people interact with their devices is already changing, devices such as Alexa and google home are already allowing people to interact with devices in different ways. There is still room for better coverage and an increase in processing power. Integrations are also going to get tighter, how it communicates with the outside world and the cloud is going to be exponential.

The analysis of every transaction, every key press, every interaction, and how people get from a to b and those processes are really going to be big businessAchi Lewis-Dhaliwal from MobileIron

What does the panel think about the market?

People generally go for best of breed. Small businesses try to get market share, and at the same time, larger companies are buying smaller companies. People aren’t getting everything from one vendor though, they want a mix. Best of breed solutions, proven solutions, based on their ability to pay for it. There is a huge amount of competition but there is a lot of churn – companies drop off companies join, the Gartner magic quadrant never gets smaller.

Are you worried about IoT?

There is a lot of hype around IoT, but what does my washing machine want to tell me about my washing machine that I don’t already know? So saying that IoT is ubiquitous now, it’s in lots of stuff in people’s homes already, so it isn’t going anywhere and it might create some problems but we can’t stop using it. At the moment it is very consumer-centric though and poses little threat to the enterprise.

Are devices converging?

In a word, yes. Windows 10 is already bringing out sim enable tablets from vendors such as HP and Lenovo. It is only a matter of time before we lose sim cards altogether and connectivity becomes ubiquitous in everything. Convergence is already happening – IT departments are now not able to think of laptops as laptops, it is a mobile device and needs to be treated as such.

I think convergence is happening and it’s going to be really really quickAchi Lewis-Dhaliwal from MobileIron

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