Key Mobility Trends for CIOs in 2013

Composed by James Finnan with concepts based on Yankee Group analyst Chris Walsh recent webinar.


Summary: Tablets use will flatten, BYOD will become ubiquitous, and mobile rollouts are increasingly less expensive, according to Yankee Group analyst Chris Walsh.

It’s a new year for mobility, and enterprise mobility is making leaps and bounds across the ecosystem. How will it evolve across mobile applications, devices, strategies and services in 2013?

Mobile technology will continue to be a major consideration for CIOs when capacity planning and planning applications management and security services for their networks at large. Not all of the news here is bad and some is in fact welcome by CIOs as they are now embracing pockets of innovation from "power app users" they see on their networks from business units throughout the organization.

The biggest surprise for CIOs is perhaps that overall tablet use will flatten out at about 30% of employees.

Yankee Group analyst Chris Walsh recently listed his predictions for 2013 in a webinar. Walsh said his data "suggest that employees still prefer laptops or desktops, even smartphones over tablets, for a range of business tasks, like learning about or purchasing business apps, making payments and doing social messaging. The tablet comes out as third or even fourth place preferred device for a lot of these tasks."


The Good and the Bad

The good news is that CIOs will realize cheaper strategy consulting on mobile rollouts, he said. Previously the domain of large integrators and mobile operators, Walsh predicted the rise of the $50,000 consulting engagement. He said "boutique" integrators like Mobiquity, IT consultants such as Mutual Mobile and Cynergy, and software developers like Equal Experts will drive this trend, at the expense of companies like Accenture. 


Walsh spoke of many of the acronyms that CIOs can forget about such as MDM (mobile device management), TEM (telecom expense management), MAM (mobile application management) and similar concepts. He expects big companies 

like Cisco, Oracle and HP will roll up various point providers (i.e., MobileIron, Boxtone) into mobile enterprise bundles  (Just think about the recent Oracle acquisition of Acme Packet), and mobile-savvy ISVs like SAP will fill out their products with new services.

MBaaS (mobile-backend-as-a-service), a consumer service Walsh predicts will move to enterprises this year as part of a shift to offering mobile services in the cloud. Some organizations that specialize in this space include FatFractal, Appcelerator, Anypresence, Feedhenry, Twilio and Urban Airship.


Consumerization, Complexity, Consolidation

Walsh made the case that for the mobile enterprise, 2013, like 2012, will be a year of three "Cs": consumerization, complexity and consolidation.

As for consumerization, he predicted that by the end of 2013, 80% of companies will allow BYOD (bring your own device) for employees. That's up from 61% in December 2012. Walsh noted that 2012 marked the first time that a majority of businesses allowed some type of BYOD.

Consumerization is making mobile management more complex. A Yankee Group survey from December 2012 found that 50% of respondents found it more challenging to manage software upgrades on mobile handsets (vs. 27% in December 2011), 49% said it was harder to manage data and voice costs (30% in 2011), and 42% said distributing mobile apps to handsets was harder (26% in 2011).


Here are Walsh's key predictions for enterprise mobility in 2013:

1. A full 80% of companies will take BYOx plunge. Consumerization will show no sign of abating.

2. Tablet penetration will flatten out.

3. Despite hype about line-of-business influence, executive management and IT will continue to drive mobile strategy, with a focus on achieving a return on mobility. Among other things, this could mean the end to the job title chief mobility officer.

4. Small integrator boutiques will proliferate, offering mobile strategy consulting for $50,000.

5. As enterprise mobility management consolidates, a big IT shop will acquire somebody like MobileIron, Airwatch or Boxtone.

6. Marketing will be simplified. MDM, MAM and mobile management will die out as terms.

7. Europe's FreeMove Alliance will set a blueprint for multinational harmonization of managed mobility service procurement. This will help multinational companies procure services across borders.

8. More than 50% of companies will look to the cloud for their mobile app deployment.

9. MBaaaS vendors (mobile-backend-as-a-service) will shift from consumer to enterprise.

10. Design thinking will be hailed as the new product management methodology. Companies report spending as much as 50% of a project's time on design. They increasingly gather input from across departments and job titles to help create a better overall customer experience.


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James Finnan has been covering financial markets for 10 years. He has served as Editor in Chief of since 2010. Additionally he has been a contributing writer to the My Media network of sites including,, and