I recently read a blog post that examined the battle among the mobile device vendors. In the blog post, “The iPad Should Be Free”, the author, Mitch Joel, pointed out that the battle is really about the application ecosystem.
It is a good read and makes several points about how app stores and the like make as much or more money than the devices themselves do. Yet, for me, what I found most interesting was what this means for mobile use in the Enterprise.
With so much attention and money at stake around the device specific ecosystems, mobility vendors are offering more and more exclusive and locked-in application options. For the enterprise, this has ramifications and complications which are not good. Enterprise IT does not have the time to accommodate the volatility these application specific ecosystems are creating.
My quick take-away, enterprise IT would be well served to be device agnostic and avoid ties to any of these mobile application ecosystems. And the best way to do that today is to provide cloud style (server based) applications access when possible. Put the enterprise application access on servers that are within the control of IT, then provide access through industry standard options like HTML5.