September 18, 2012, 9:42 AM — For many CIOs, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and the consumerization of IT is the nightmare that keeps them up at night. Not only does consumerization of IT create data-protection headaches, managing mobile devices is also a great deal more challenging than managing desktops and laptops. That may be just the in Microsoft requires to win back the enterprise on the mobile front with Windows 8, scheduled for release next month.
In the minds of many mobile watchers, Android was supposed to win the enterprise while Apple's iPad would remain the darling of consumers, but it hasn't played out that way. The current state of affairs may leave Microsoft an opening.
"Kind of contrary to the conventional wisdom, Apple's focus on the enterprise is netting results," says Michael King, director of Enterprise Strategy for Appcelerator, provider of multi-platform tools for mobile app development.
In July, the Appcelerator/IDC 2Q 2012 Mobile Report, based on a survey of 3,632 developers around the world, found that 53.2% of developers felt Apple's iOS would win in the enterprise, compared with 37.5% who felt Android will win. That represented a dramatic 16 point shift from just three quarters ago, when developers felt they were in a dead heat at 44% each.
"For developers, Android appears to be evolving more towards a consumer play, which in turn provides a key competitive opening for Microsoft in the enterprise mobile app space," says Scott Ellison, vice president of Mobile and Connected Consumer Platforms at IDC.
"We see an opportunity for Windows 8 in the enterprise," King says. "Our developers think the Metro UI is cool. They're optimistic about Windows 8, but they're also very cautious. They're not really excited about developing for Windows 7, and they also believe the Lumia launch has been pretty lame to date. While they're very optimistic about Window 8, they're not committing a lot of resources yet."
Don't Confuse BYOD and Consumerization of IT
Even in this brave, new BYOD/consumerization of IT world that grants employees a great deal of power in determining which tools they'll use to do their work, appealing to IT decision-makers with security, networking and management features may net Microsoft a lot of success.