Why it Might Not Matter Which Mobile Devices Employees Use in the Future

ZDnet published a piece in August titled “No matter how cool, phones are not tablets or computers. Or are they?” It spoke to the idea that because mobile devices can’t do all the same things and require different accessories or components to run effectively in an enterprise, many organisations today don’t think they can accommodate a full-scale BYOD environment. The story also touched upon the idea that a laptop is still crucial to computing, especially in terms of content creation and editing.

But mobile devices act in many of the same ways as desktops — they’re a vehicle for productivity and task completion. The future state of enterprise mobility — and the desktop — could very well allow employees to do whatever they need to do from whichever device they want. Here are some of the emerging possibilities that might one day make it irrelevant which mobile devices your employees bring into work.

Docking stations for mobile devices

Technology vendors are beginning to market docking stations that allow mobile devices to be used as desk phones and computers, with instant messaging, conferencing and extension dialing. If this trend continues, employees will eventually be able to use these mobile devices to communicate, create more content and leverage powerful productivity apps. According to a June 2012 report by McKinsey & Company, half of CIOs believe smartphones will eventually be modularly docked with a keyboard, screen and related devices in any location. Battery life and connectivity issues have so far kept this idea as only a possibility, but as both mobile devices and docking stations evolve, it stands to get closer to reality.

VDI to manage BYOD

VDI allows users to not only access their desktops from any device but also lets IT manage computing from a central location, providing easier administration and deployment. VDI can also be more secure because no corporate data will sit on employees’ mobile devices. IT maintains control over both the operating system and the apps on the mobile devices.

Increased smartphone power

Some industry evangelists say the increasing power of smartphones will someday squash the current concerns about CPU, battery life and storage ability in these mobile devices. With the power to run and perform well throughout a workday, it will be a matter of connecting these phones of the future to a monitor to use them like the desktops of yore.

The bottom line

In the end, the ZDnet piece concluded it won’t really matter which mobile devices employees use at work as they will all carry, in some capacity, the same general functionality to be productive inside and outside of the office. The form factor will not matter as much as the total capabilities available to employees to get their jobs done. But getting to this future mobility state takes planning. To prepare for what will be possible in the years to come, consult with an IT provider experienced in both desktop deployment and mobility solutions to craft the right strategy for your BYOD users.

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