Angela Salmeron
Angela Salmeron (Research Director, EMEA Sustainable Strategies and Technologies)

A majority of European companies are still behind the curve in their adoption of mobility but we believe the year 2017 will mark a turning point for many. Our mobility survey fielded in February shows companies are accelerating their mobile strategies in response to several market forces:

On the one hand, the Digital Economy is forcing companies to innovate and be more agile to market changes; on the other hand, regulatory compliance, chiefly GDPR, is requiring security to be prioritized in the early stages of any mobility initiative rather than being an afterthought.

Organizational changes are also transforming mobile strategies. After years of friction between IT and Lines of Business (LoB) for leadership and control, our survey shows the prominence of a dedicated mobility team taking charge. Acting as an intermediary between IT and LOB, this dedicated mobility team is pressing ahead with the digital agenda mandated by C-level management.

2017 will be the year for Mobile Digital Security. Driven by the evolving threat landscape and the new European regulation on data privacy, companies are at last investing in digital security platforms. Enterprises’ mobility investments have never looked so ambitious, according to our survey. If plans are materialized, about 60% of companies will have some form of a multi -layer security architecture protecting mobile devices, network, and most importantly corporate data and apps.

Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM), the combined solution comprising device, application and content management, might enjoy some market impetus after years of stagnation. We believe the regulatory environment can make EMM an ideal “state of the art” technology for policy enforcement and auditing purposes. EMM could be the platform that connects identity, threat management and other security technologies into an integrated system and provides a unified view of users across an organization. Nevertheless, ideal as it might seem, we believe this is not a piece of cake for many companies. Previous surveys in the past have shown IT departments fret about the amount of integration required to achieve this goal and the painful technical and organizational complexities involved in the process.

EMM vendors are also looking to position themselves as providers of workspace (not just mobility) management solutions with the advent of Windows 10 on the desktop. But this market remains embryonic today. According to our surveys, unified device management is still a niche technology and adoption is not expected to be easy for many companies supporting a myriad of legacy systems.

Would Microsoft be a good candidate as a supplier of a holistic and integrated mobility solution? Certainly, this is the vendor’s strategy with their Enterprise Mobility + Security solution, often bundled with their Enterprise Cloud Suite. Our survey confirms success in their commercial strategy, with about 2/3 of companies deploying (or planning soon) their mobility products in conjunction with other Microsoft solutions. However, it remains to be seen the extent to which customers upgrade their initial basic purchases (typically, MDM) towards an advanced and integrated mobility suite (Microsoft’s EMS).

In fact, European companies prefer to be sourced by channel partners, rather than directly from vendors, and our survey shows mobile operators as #1 suppliers of mobility solutions.

However, with the exception of a few, European telcos have done little to advance customers towards greater maturity levels, particularly SMBs, for which the mounting costs and skills required to run a mobile strategy are burdensome.

IDC believes their opportunity is immense for European telcos. Mobile technology is at the heart of the Digital Workspace and mobile operators can provide one-stop shop mobility solutions to their customers and be a close partner in their mobility journey.

If you want to learn more about Enterprise Mobility and related topics, please contact Angela Salmeron.

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