We hear about big data on a daily basis – how it helped Germany win the World Cup or will help us finally decide what is “America’s Best Burrito”. In all seriousness, big data transforms business decisions on a daily basis with good reason. Yet, in enterprise mobility, the data has found a way to elude us.

Mobility is a rapidly growing aspect of IT from both a strategic and budgeting perspective. Enterprises worldwide are projected to spend $168 billion on mobility in 2015[1]. Gartner predicts that tablets will overtake PC sales in 2015[2], with organizations shifting large numbers of employees off PCs and onto tablets as their primary workplace device.

Why is the enterprise spending so much on mobile devices? Anytime, anywhere productivity. Organizations worldwide are willing to invest significant time and dollars into mobility because of the benefits they get out of mobility.

However mobile devices can’t deliver the productivity enterprise seek without using mobile data; lots and lots of mobile data. Cisco predicts this will result in an eleven-fold increase in data usage over the next four years. The cost of this data is mounting as well, with data growing from 50% of enterprise customer carrier billing in 2012 to a projected 70% in 2015.

So, how do we know the ways in which mobile devices and data are driving productivity in the workplace? We don’t. What percentage of mobile data used by your organization went to E-Mail? Social Media? Streaming Video? Or even adult content?

Carriers can’t tell you this because they don’t even have the information. Where is the disappearing mobile data going? MDM can give an incomplete view, but in many ways raises more questions than providing answers. To truly understand device and mobile data utilization, you need a network-based tool that looks at network activity, not just apps.

Then and only then can we truly understand what employees are doing on their devices to enhance productivity in the workplace. With that big data, we can better inform spend in the future, while reducing costs and increasing productivity today.


[1] http://www.oilandgasiq.com/articleiframe.cfm?id=15489
[2] http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2791017