What will the workplace of the future- specifically, enterprise mobility- look like? What devices will people use, and how will they use them? Here’s a few of our best guesses.
Enterprise mobility is connected to almost any form of technology, so many of the biggest trends to anticipate in 2020 will be trends not just for enterprise mobility, but for tech as a whole. Let’s go through these trends one at a time, and consider what the smart enterprise mobility expert needs to do to prepare.
1. Windows 7 systems take their final steps
At the beginning of 2020, Microsoft definitively closed the door on an era by stopping support for Windows 7 devices. If companies take no further action, Windows 7 devices are now unsecured liabilities, possibly running with Client Management Tools (CMT) that are incompatible with anything else in the workspace.
Savvy companies will use this chance to migrate Windows 7 devices to Windows 10, and simultaneously migrate to a unified endpoint management (UEM) solution, from which they can manage Windows 10 devices alongside their office’s mobile devices.
Why is this relevant to enterprise mobility? Savvy companies will use this chance to migrate Windows 7 devices to Windows 10, and simultaneously migrate to a unified endpoint management (UEM) solution, from which they can manage Windows 10 devices alongside their office’s mobile devices. 42Gears’ SureMDM software lets Windows 7 computers migrate via their CMT, and then SureMDM can manage the process of upgrading to Windows 10.
It is worth noting that Microsoft offers extended Windows 7 security updates for 50 dollars per device, with the cost increasing year-on-year. This is a costly and inefficient solution, but if a company’s infrastructure would otherwise collapse, it can buy companies a year or two of additional time to plan.
2. Apple devices come under increased scrutiny
A report released by MalwareBytes in early 2020 suggested that Apple devices have disproportionately become targets of adware and other kinds of misleading downloads, flying in the face of MacOS’s traditional reputation as invulnerable to security compromises of any kind. The same is also true for devices running iOS and iPadOS.
In 2020, anticipate ongoing discussions about encouraging responsible behavior on Apple devices. If you are enrolled in a UEM solution, that solution should be able to secure Apple’s desktop and mobile devices, quelling any concerns raised in your organization. In any case, more reports than usual will inevitably arise regarding Apple security; be sure to look for these reports regularly to assess the safety of your Apple devices.
3. 5G adoption puts a spotlight on the Internet of Things
According to Gartner, many major companies plan to implement 5G internet connectivity in 2020, with especially strong interest in bolstering Internet of Things (IoT) technology. Given the proliferation of teleconference-focused IoT devices in both the home and the workplace, a focus on IoT should come as no surprise- but this does not mean that implementation will be straightforward.
According to Gartner, many major companies plan to implement 5G internet connectivity in 2020, with especially strong interest in bolstering Internet of Things (IoT) technology.
Prominent IoT tools like Amazon’s Echo Show and Facebook’s Portal run variants of major operating systems and can be managed like any other device. The IoT also includes a range of thermostats, printers, chargers, and other “not-so-smart” devices that don’t run a common OS or have a screen. As a result, if companies want to bolster their IoT network with 5G connectivity, they need to think about every device in their IoT network.
To this end, 42Gears offers Things Management Technology, which lets you manage “not-so-smart” devices alongside smarter IoT devices.
4. New wearables force workplace dress codes to evolve
Once dismissed as a fad, wearables have shown enough staying power to become a pillar of the mobile device industry. Wearables most typically manifest in the workplace as smartwatches, but newer form factors are disrupting this trend.
Some of the most promising recent wearables (and wearables soon-to-be-released) include the Oura smart ring, the Pearl smart earring, Vuzix Blade smart-glasses, and many more. Workplaces will need to decide what devices to allow in what contexts- for instance, smart-glasses may be acceptable in an employee’s own office, but unacceptable in group meetings for privacy reasons.
If you update your dress code to allow some or all of these devices, you need a way to manage them. UEM solutions (including SureMDM!) are continually adding wearable support, and you can expand the kinds of articles allowed in the workplace as UEM solutions expand what they include.
5. Legislative changes result in institutional shake-ups
If companies do business globally, then any regional legislation can impact them. This is certainly the case with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which went into effect in January 2020. So long as companies have Californian customers, they must now allow customers to opt out of their data being sold, among a range of other stipulations.
It’s not enough for any given company to internally comply with the CCPA’s stipulations. Any business with which they partner must do the same, or else that partnership becomes a major liability. It is worth reviewing the websites of your business partners to ensure they are CCPA compliant (as an example, here is the relevant page from 42Gears).
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