The mobile enabled workforce has become the new normal. The work landscape across businesses of every size is increasingly reliant on mobile devices for conducting business operations. Syntonic predicts six enterprise mobility trends that will become evident in 2016 and that will affirm business commitment to the mobile workforce.


World-Wide BYOD usage will grow 20% in 2016, as European BYOD adoption outpaces the rest of the world with a 30% CAGR

A recent forecast from IDC expects mobile workers will account for 72% of the U.S. workforce by 2020. In the U.S., mobile device split billing solutions will be driving force accelerating the adoption of formal workplace BYOD programs. Next year, we will see the availability of these solutions catch on in Europe, where adoption of BYOD has stalled due to more stringent laws around data security and privacy. Although the region has experienced a slower start, Syntonic foresees European workplace mobility picking up. New BYOD security and management solutions provide the ability to ensure personal privacy with selective wipe that is restricted to business data after an employee leaves a company. These solutions will lead to significant increases in BYOD adoption around the globe with Europe leading the way.


Underserved SMBs will be a focus of the major BYOD technology and service providers

In the U.S., 61% of small businesses allow their employees to bring their own devices to work, according to research from global SMB IT market research firm, Techaisle. SMBs rely on employee mobile devices just as much, if not more, than large enterprises, but the cost and complexity of EMM platforms has been a roadblock to formalizing BYOD programs. In 2016, technology providers will recognize the SMB opportunity and bring to market scalable, self-service solutions to help SMBs experience the same BYOD benefits that have previously been reserved for large enterprises. The combination of Android for Work, updates to Apple’s iOS, enhancements to Microsoft Intune, and competition from new service and technology companies will help drive cost effective solutions into the SMB market.


Employee class action lawsuits for BYOD employee reimbursement will move beyond California

Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Service was a pivotal decision by the California Court of Appeals that reasserted existing labor law and affirmed that employers have an obligation to reimburse employees for the business use of their personal mobile phone unlike ed medication. California is a trend-setting state and what happens in California doesn’t stay in California. For instance, Massachusetts has similar labor law and is likely to follow California’s lead by enforcing the same requirements for BYOD in 2016. Looking ahead, Syntonic believes employee class action lawsuits around BYOD will be on the rise as employees increasingly advocate their rights to mobile reimbursement.


CFOs and CIOs will become primary stakeholders in managing BYOD  

BYOD provides a unique business function that impacts nearly every department in an organization – employees, HR, finance and IT. Shared concerns around value and security will bring the offices of the CFO and CIO together to achieve cost effective solutions on mobile technology. The need to improve BYOD programs will foster a new understanding about the importance of having a mobile-device enabled workforce, and the benefit this has on improving business productivity. In 2016, CFOs and CIOs will become primary decision-makers for BYOD programs to ensure checks and balances between IT operations, finance, and employees.


Further consolidation of Enterprise Mobility Management players

IBM’s acquisition of Fiberlink’s MaaS360, VMware’s acquisition of AirWatch, and Blackberry’s acquisition of Good Technology are all examples of continuing EMM consolidation, validating the market growth and maturation of BYOD. The acquisitions have also contributed to the integrated functionality and services now available in single vendor solutions, providing a ‘one-stop-shop’ with storage, network, cloud services, virtualized hardware, and device management. In 2016, EMMs will continue to be sought after acquisition targets by technology vendors looking to build their customer base and upsell integrated solutions.


Apple and Microsoft Shake Up the Market

Android for Work™ has made it easier for technology and service providers to easily add many of the enterprise mobility functions into their offerings, which were once the exclusive domain of EMMs. Not to be overlooked, Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, has set out to compete in the enterprise market. With their growing market share in the enterprise, Apple will try to secure the lead in the U.S. BYOD market with new ‘work ready’ enhancements in the next major iOS update that will broaden the market for BYOD solutions and amplify usage. For it’s part, Microsoft will intensify efforts to provide cross-platform device and application management with Microsoft Intune. We may even see Microsoft move from being a visionary to a market leader in Gartner’s magic quadrant for enterprise mobility, as Microsoft Intune deepen it’s support for iOS, Android, Windows’ desktops, and mobile applications.