Gartner Predicts Tablets Will Replace Smartphones As the Mobile Device for BYOD by 2014

Last week, Gartner's Symposium / ITxpo focused on IT security challenges, mobile computing, big data and the cloud as well as how these factors will affect the future of IT.

Mobile communication is exploding and by the end of the decade over 30 billion devices will be permanently connected and another 150 billion will be intermittently connected. According to the research company, more than 1.6 billion smartphones will be purchased worldwide by 2016. Estimates predict that two-thirds of mobile workers will own a smartphone and 40 percent of employees will be wireless. In addition, more than 300 billion apps will be downloaded annually.

Research also estimates that in less than two years, iPads will outnumber the amount of BlackBerries used in business. Within two years, 20 percent of sales forces will be utilizing tablets as the primary mobile platform for field sales representatives. In addition, by 2018, 70 percent of the mobile work force will be using a hybrid mobile device with tablet-like characteristics.

Mobile technology is only one of four influencers determining the future of enterprise IT. Cloud computing, big data and social media are also shaping business computing. Big data spending is expected to drive 3.8 percent of IT spending and surpass $ 3.7 trillion worldwide next year. In addition, by 2015 approximately 4.4 million IT jobs will support big data (1.9 million in the US). Gartner estimates that in three years the largest corporations in the world will each be spending over a billion dollars on social media.

Businesses also need to focus on the future of IT and mobile data security. Over the next five years, security investments are expected to dramatically increase to meet projected government regulatory compliance. Additionally, there is an urgent need for businesses to implement a mobile security strategy that separates personal and business operations on consumer-owned smartphones and tablets. Companies need to implement a solution for BYOD that is inexpensive, easy to use and provides appropriate safeguards for confidential company data.

In addition, when recycling used electronics and mobile devices, it is essential that businesses protect their corporate brand and reputation by ensuring their sensitive business data remains secure. Partnering with e-Stewards® and R2 certified mobile buyback and recycling companies will guarantee your recycling partner adheres to the highest data deletion procedures. e-Stewards, the world's most rigorous standard for electronics recycling, ensures certified recyclers consistently conform to the highest standards for responsible recycling of electronic equipment, worker safety and data security. Businesses should also insist that their recycling partners utilize third-party forensic auditors to validate data deletion processes and do not outsource their data deletion services to non-certified partners.

Mobile technology is rapidly changing and businesses need to adapt their IT strategy before their current IT infrastructure becomes obsolete. Over the next few years, IT departments need to stay ahead of the curve in regards to mobility as well as IT cost structure.

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