Taking a decision to roll out mobile learning could be scary. This is akin to being asked to jump into an ice rink for a skating session when you have not even seen an ice rink before! I usually think about one of the following – will I twist my ankle, break my back, or sever one of my body parts? The healthy respect that keeps enterprise training departments from venturing into mobile learning is grounded partly in reality and partly in perception. Gartner certainly does its bit to provide clarity and insights that allows enterprises to venture into new initiatives with more confidence. Here are some snapshots from a recent Gartner webinar.
Think advantage, not perfection: Any enterprise mobile application initiative should not worry about having the perfect solution. A perfect mobile solution is practically impossible to achieve as there are multiple platforms and different form factors to contend with. In addition, mobile platforms are going through a high-speed evolution process. Blackberry’s future is uncertain, Windows is trying hard to gain market share (even after the Nokia acquisition), Samsung is knocking on Apple’s doors and who knows whats coming up next. Hence, status quo is not the option. Just take the plunge.
State of the platforms: Apple is rolling out more enterprise focused features through iOS 7 such as single sign-on, VPN support and MDM support. Android has some challenges around different flavors from different device manufacturers but the market leader Samsung is now offering Knox (designed to make Android more secure for enterprises), Blackberry’s business direction is a question mark, and Microsoft is struggling to grow their market share.
A complex world: Emergence of multiple device formats with multiple interaction methods such as touch, gestures, keyboard, mouse, voice has made application development very challenging. Gartner predicts that by 2016, an average worker will use 3 to 5 devices. So clearly, targeted development is the way to go and “everything, everywhere” is the wrong approach.
Building blocks: Gartner believes the following technologies are critical for rolling out enterprise mobile applications – 1. Cloud Tools and Applications, 2. Multi-platform application development tools (like Sify’s SmartKit. Couldn’t resist scoring a point for my employer :)), 3. Secure document sharing tools, 4. Containerization of apps (as opposed to MDM) to create a walled garden for enterprise apps within the employee’s personal device, 5. HTML5 , especially when used in conjunction with native code.
You can download the webinar presentation copy here.