Android phones will make significant headway in the smartphone market and 4G service providers will zero in on apps in 2010.
Those are a couple of the hot enterprise mobility trends identified by a trio of Forrester Research analysts.
Their new report is called "Predictions 2010: Enterprise Mobility Accelerates Again," and here's a summary of their ideas:
1. The top tier mobile operators will be ramping up 4G network investments, and looking to business and vertical applications as high value offerings for users who appreciate much faster download speeds and reduced latencies.
2. Machine-to-machine (M2M) applications and services will be available from most top tier mobile carriers. And they're expecting a big uptick in business, fueled by the spread of IP-based wired and wireless networks into whole new areas. One big one: so-called green IT and the overall trend toward "smart grids" to manage and reduce electric demand. Consumer M2M applications will cover remote monitoring of homes, appliances, automobiles; enterprise M2M will take off in focused vertical markets like healthcare, energy, transportation.
3. Mobile devices based on the Google Android operating systems will take 10% of the mobile device market in 2010. According to Forrester that uptake will be due to "heavy industry support" from Qualcomm, Verizon, Motorola and Google, as well as the growing embrace of the open OS by developers.
4. About 15% of non-mobile employees in 2010 will pressure IT to support their personal mobile devices for work activities, compared to 10% currently, according to Forrester. Smartphone-class devices are becoming more available, affordable and widely purchased, and their users want easy access to easy-to-use email, calendars, and corporate portals. Will IT accommodate the trend or fight it?
5. Mobile "app stores" will become a key software distribution channel for small-medium businesses, in addition to consumers. If permitted, smartphone users with app store access will be searching, buying, downloading and using a growing wealth of tools like expense management, staff approval and other productivity applications.
6. To cost-effectively manage this growth in mobile users, devices, and data, IT will look to emerging cloud-based mobility services. Rather than creating in-house device management, deployments, end-user support and security management, IT will look to a new breed of third-party managed services for these functions. A related trend: cloud services that reach deeper into the enterprise to deliver information on demand to smartphones, and coordinate the user's identity and information across several devices and applications.
7. Without any specifics, Forrester expects enterprise mobility vendors, especially application vendors, to continue merging or going out of business. Service providers and systems integrators will invest more in mobility solutions for vertical markets.