We recently talked about Mobile Device Management (MDM) planning and the advice by Gartner analyst Song Chuang to not discount Android devices in MDM planning. While most enterprises users currently use Apple products, prompting IT to focus on iOS support, it is expected that more enterprise users will be demanding Android support.
Android is the current market leader in terms of volume sales, and it is estimated that 40% of enterprise-supported mobile devices will be android by 2016. Another estimate pegs Android smartphone use by enterprise customers to grow from the $54 billion in 2013 to over $92 billion globally in 2018. The growth we're seeing in Android will inevitably shift the enterprise mobile make-up. For example, in Q3 of 2013, 82% of smartphone sales were for Android devices, while iOS devices held at 12.1%.
To attract enterprise users, Android smartphone makers have been adding features and security enhancements and we're starting to hear buzz of developers prioritizing Android apps over iOS apps, which will inevitably shift the marketplace.
When it comes to your MDM solution, you shouldn't have to choose between platforms. A good MDM solution such as Absolute Manage MDM offers support for all major mobile client platforms, so you don't need to choose between Android or iOS when it comes to supporting BYOD or CoPE. We can take many labour-intensive processes and simplify them - employee enrolment, BYOD policy management, asset inventory, content management and more - all from a single console. We created Absolute Manage by focusing on the data - not the device - so that your solution can grow with you as the marketplace shifts and changes.
Although having a BYOD policy focused on data supported by a strong MDM solution, it's still important to keep abreast of the changes in the mobile marketplace. For example, the demand for support on one platform vs the other will affect other management duties such as choosing which platform to prioritize for in-house app development and ongoing maintenance such as the management of app whitelists / blacklists. Right now, enterprise focus is on iOS, but within the next 1-3 years, be prepared to prioritize Android first.