Remember when the mobile web experience was just a tiny niche in the wider world of online traffic? For a quick trip back in time, consider these stats. In 2013, the mobile share of organic search engine visits made up 16.2% of worldwide traffic. Today, that figure hovers around 60%.
The processing power of mobile devices has rocketed to robust new levels, allowing multitasking between apps and high-bandwidth streaming right from your pocket. Mobile displays have grown crisper and larger, and advances in technology have made smartphones more intuitive than ever.
All this growth in the once-niche mobile market means that the chasm between desktop and mobile user experience has been steadily closing for years. To keep pace with mobile, desktop and laptop computers are becoming more and more like mobile devices. They’ve gotten lighter, smaller, and more portable. Features like touchscreens and detachable keyboards are increasingly the norm.
As the clear distinction between at-home and mobile devices grows blurry, companies are rethinking their managed mobility services (MMS) strategies.
Mind the (device) gap
Before we tackle how businesses should prepare for the future, let’s look at what’s driving the diminishing gap.
Customers expect devices that are intuitive and easy to use. Steep learning curves are now seen as markers of bad UX (user experience) and poor design. Despite decades of innovation in the world of UI (user interfaces), desktop computers can feel needlessly complex in comparison. The point-and-tap simplicity of mobile vanishes in an array of folders and software that must be searched for, rather than presenting itself to you when and where you need it.
While more powerful software with complex functionality remains a requirement for highly technical users, the rise of mobile devices is proof that simplicity and ease of use are in high demand.
There’s no experience more seamless than cloud-based syncing, allowing you to pick up right where you left off. One of the most prominent benefits of desktops performing more like smartphones is unity between your devices. With a similar operating system on your entire network of gadgets, syncing apps, contacts, calendars, and to-do lists between all of them becomes effortless.
A seamless experience is critical as more organizations transition to a mobile workforce and adopt a “bring your own device” (BYOD) strategy.
Access on the go
The most obvious benefit of mobile devices is that you can use them everywhere. Having a device with connectivity and computing power in your pocket at all times means that you can almost literally work from anywhere. Desktop computers—as the name implies—are tied to your desktop, and even laptops generally require a flat working surface, plus the time it takes to power up and log in. Compare that to the mobile experience of pulling a device out of your pocket and managing whatever needs your attention without delay—no work surface required.
Desktop and laptop computers have already gotten smaller and easier to use on the go, with improved battery life and other mobile-friendly upgrades. We expect to see those changes continue as the device gap shrinks.
Blurring the lines between desktop and mobile
A mobile-inspired approach to desktop computing has already begun, of course. Microsoft now allows Windows 10+ users with supported devices to stream Android apps on their PC. And Microsoft isn’t the only computing giant hoping to lower the barriers between desktop and mobile.
Apple refined Mac Catalyst before releasing their newest operating system, Big Sur, to make it easier for developers to design and optimize iOS apps to run natively on Mac computers. To developers, this means a bigger market. But the shift is good news for users, too. Upcoming changes in MacOS Big Sur will bring the Mac UX more in line with their iOS mobile devices. Think rounded, app-like iconography, a new iOS-style Control Center, and the rounded styling of application windows.
Both iOS and Android have such significant user bases, it’s not surprising to see heavy-hitters like Apple and Microsoft exploring how best to offer a familiar experience to those same users on desktop and laptop. Users gain a more seamless desktop experience, and Microsoft and Apple engage users further in their device and software ecosystems.
How should businesses respond?
The mobile industry is leading the charge toward more accessible user experiences. Organizations are responding in kind, looking toward managed mobility services to improve the employee experience. Businesses around the globe are looking beyond smartphone and tablet management to their broader array of IT assets for a more seamless user experience. Many enterprises no longer have a separate desktop group; instead, they’re creating mobile-first endpoint groups.
In the end, an enterprise’s user experience is only as good as the company makes it. That’s why thoughtful management of all the disparate endpoints is crucial.
Effective management requires even more advanced capabilities to keep up with the ever-changing mobile landscape. Remote work is now the norm, which means that users are relying on a broader range of devices, apps, and cloud-based technology than ever before. On top of managing laptops, desktops, smartphones, tablets, wearables, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, IT leaders must oversee applications, documents, content, data, and user access/identity.
All of that oversight, combined with often-curtailed budgets, has accelerated the trend of having a single management interface for a company’s entire device and communications network. Welcome to the future of Managed Mobility Services (MMS) and Unified Endpoint Management (UEM).
Managed Mobility Services and you
Tangoe has long been on the leading edge of the shifting mobility landscape, and we continue to invest in enhancements that support this rapid expansion. Smartphones remain the topmost managed mobile asset in our platform; they currently account for about 65% of the mobile devices we manage across all of our customers. This is because companies continue to leverage mobility management as a unifying template for adding and managing IT assets as the business grows.
MMS and UEM are designed with the end-user experience in mind. But you need expertise to implement a solution that complements your unique business needs and doesn’t neglect your bottom line.
Tangoe’s MMS application covers all things mobile:
- Asset and invoice management
- Strategy development
- Enterprise integrations
- Sourcing, logistics, procurement, and deployment support
- Provisioning and configuration
- Expense management
- Reporting and analytics
Our UEM integration provides dedicated engineering and administrator resources to design, implement, and run UEM systems (so you don’t have to).
We also go a step further by harnessing artificial intelligence (AI) integrations to deliver deep insights and contextual analytics. We provide your IT teams with recommendations on best-practice policies and advise you on potential threats before they’re a problem. We’ll even flag information that can make your business more productive. It’s all part of our full-service offering to keep your data secure and give your employees access to the applications they need, when they need them.