iPhone 5 and the Enterprise

2012-iphone5-gallery1The iPhone 5 debuted last week to mixed reviews. A sleeker, lighter, more powerful design, and an extra row of icons added up to what could be called an iteration rather than a revolution.  For example, critics complained of the lack of an NFC chip for digital wallet apps. But overall, this evolutionary device seems to be destined to continue the iPhone momentum.

And according to Nucleus Research, that momentum will include the enterprise

  • “As companies consider the iPhone in the enterprise environment, especially the iPhone 5, they must remember to consider the following cost components.
  •   Companies seeking to provide new iPhone 5s for employees must consider whether to purchase them internally or to allow employee-purchased devices. The tax implications, corporate discounting, and sourcing issues, and the question of device ownership must all be included. Companies must incorporate these costs into all enterprise technology projects because mobility is now a core enterprise technology.
  •   As companies increasingly use both the iPhone 5 and the new iOS 6, they should expect to use additional data and incur additional costs as a result. Although throttling or eliminating data usage would be counterproductive to gaining value from mobility, companies should explore whether their current and intended enterprise technology investments will use data in a prudent manner or whether there will be a hidden cost of mobility from using high-quality pictures and videos, backing up information repeatedly, or using LTE to download large amounts of information.
  • To manage and support the iPhone 5, companies must consider the security of both the device and the data. The iPhone 5 makes it easier to share information than ever before, which is fantastic for consumers, but anathema to highly regulated industries. Any enterprise technology that can be accessed by the iPhone 5 must have an answer for the iPhone's improved sharing capabilities to enforce needed security and compliance concerns. If the specific application or technology in question lacks the ability to control the iPhone, companies should use the native iOS mobile device management solution or a third-party device and application management solution that can provide the necessary oversight that the enterprise demands without forcing employees to actively configure and change their devices manually. This centralized oversight supports both breadth and repeatability of support, which Nucleus has found to be the keys to obtaining ROI from a project.”

The iPhone momentum is the tip of the spear on another trend reshaping enterprise IT, Bring Your Own Technology or BYOT. Mobile apps also get swept up in this trend, and some recent numbers further deomnstarte the influence of smart phones.

Smart phone users love their apps, according to new research from Gartner. Downloads have increased 75% to more than 45 billion.

Apple, Google and Microsoft dominate the global app market, with Apple accounting for the largest portion of app downloads in 2012. Gartner projects that there will be about 21 billion apps downloaded from Apple's App Store this year, a 74 per cent increase from the previous year. Going forward though, Gartner predicts that these companies will see growing competition in the app market from Facebook and Amazon.

But that same report has some bad news for companies trying to  monetize this trend: the vast majority of the apps are free:

Mobile appstore downloads

The research doesn’t call out a third big category: free apps that are backed by subscriptions, like Chatter.