The changing landscape of EMM: Trends in 2018 and beyond

Mobile computing is advancing faster than your customers realise – and they need to know about these 5 EMM trends this year.

Enterprise Mobile Management (EMM) has been geared towards simplifying the process of connecting mobile devices to the corporate network. The early days of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) meant that businesses needed a way to quickly connect a range of different devices quickly and easily – preferably with some degree of standardisation and security to make life easier and safer too.

But increased competition and changing customer needs means that the EMM marketplace is changing quickly. This is what you need to be aware of when approaching your customers in 2018 and beyond.

1. BYOD is even more important

Far from plateauing, BYOD uptake continues to rise as more businesses realise the value of allowing employees to equip themselves. Infinium Research calculates that the BYOD market will see a 22% compound annual growth rate between now and 2023.

Although digital transformation efforts call for increased mobility, employees are also demanding increased flexibility to better manage their work-life balance. With demand coming from employers and employees, BYOD – and systems to manage it – will continue to grow in popularity this year. 

This is the best time to sell in an EMM solution to your customers. With different ways to manage mobile devices, they can improve security, keep control even outside of the corporate firewall, and meet their employee’s changing demands. 

2. Mobile goes wearable

Adoption of smartwatches, smart glasses, and wearable scanners in enterprise is forecast to reach $55 billion by 2022. Enterprises are already experiencing the benefits of wearables including productivity and efficiency gains, but your customers need to be aware of a few realities. Many of their employees are already using these devices – and if their phones are connected to the corporate network, so too are their wearables.

As the type of devices being used and accessed in the enterprise are evolving, so too must your customer’s approach to EMM. 2018 will see businesses tightening up their approach to wearable devices, even if they do not fully embrace or endorse them. As a trusted advisor, you are best placed to support your customers through this next stage of digital transformation.

While doing so, you should ask talk to them about how they manage their applications – not just their devices. Why? Wearable platforms often differ from other device platforms. They are synchronised with dedicated applications. You should make your customers aware of the need to test and approve these apps within their environments to prevent any data breaches. 

3. IoT will go mainstream

Smart sensors are already fairly well represented in industrial settings, but other businesses are beginning to recognise their value. Digital transformation is heavily reliant on collecting, analysing and applying data to business challenges – so it’s likely that your customers will eventually deploy IoT technologies to assist.
IoT is typically thought of in terms of smart sensors, but the reality is that any network-connected device is included in the definition. Printers, automated lights, streaming media players – all represent a potential security risk, particularly if they are portable and are used outside the corporate network periodically.

Often these smart devices are installed without official authorisation. Using EMM, your customers will be better able to identify IoT devices, and apply much-needed security configurations to protect data and the integrity of the network.

4. Location-aware applications will become crucial to operations

As well as becoming more mobile, businesses are automating more of their processes to create new efficiencies. The logical extension of mobile computing is the use of location services to enhance security, or to trigger various automated processes and to improve the overall mobile experience.

During 2018 you should expect to see customers wanting to deploy more location-aware apps – but they will also need a way to manage geographic data and settings. Obviously EMM can be used to secure data transfer between device and data centre, but it can also be used to create location-aware security enhancements, ensuring devices (and data) do not stray outside defined locations. This protects devices, data and applications wherever they are.

5. “Mobile-first” will dominate new developments

Like virtually everything mobile, consumer usage habits are finding their way into the workplace. It is no surprise then that mobile-first usage habits are finding their way from the home into the office.

In terms of customer-facing web strategy, most businesses are moving to mobile-first, and in 2018 we expect to see a similar approach adopted for internal processes too. A sizeable portion of the predicted increase in strategic mobile spending will go towards new mobile apps, or mobile-enablement of in-house systems.

94% of enterprises with more than 1000 employees say they will likely upgrade some of their apps next year. Primary drivers for improving enterprise apps include:
  • Providing a better user experience.
  • Increasing data security.
  • Improving employee productivity. 


Again, EMM will play a key role in deploying, managing and upgrading apps – particularly for those employees based outside the company firewall. EMM will also assist with securing data and configurations for new services as they are added to the corporate operating environment.

2018 – the beginning of the future

Mobile is not only unavoidable, but it is becoming crucial to your customers’ strategy and operations. Similarly, EMM will be essential to helping deliver a mobile-future and to ensure that new opportunities provided by rapidly developing apps and technology are not missed.

In order to prepare your customers for 2018 and beyond, you must:

  • Help them evaluate their BYOD approach and identify shortcomings with current provisions.
  • Highlight the use of wearables and the fact that employees are already using devices in-house.
  • Prepare for an IoT future – even if that does not involve traditional smart sensors.
  • Help clients realise the automation and security benefits of location-aware systems.
  • Evaluate each customer’s mobile-first strategy and recommend systems and services to assist.

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