What does the future of mobility in the enterprise look like?

Enterprises are continuing to jump onto the mobility bandwagon - and they are doing it in droves. Good Technology's latest Mobility Index report shows that 70 per cent of enterprises think that providing more mobile support to employees over the next 12 months is a high or critical priority. For those companies that don't have an enterprise mobility strategy in place already, it's not too late. However, a winning strategy bypasses MDM and skips straight to a containerised approach to make their mobility strategy both secure and productive.

Huge data breaches and hacks like Ebay and Heartbleed have left not only CSOs, but also the CEO and CFO quaking in their boots. Take Target for example – its data breach impacted every part of and every employee in the business. Not only did the CEO resign, but a number of board members are likely to be following suit (seven if the rumours are to be believed).

Data breaches impact everyone and can come from anywhere within an organisation. Never has there been a more public reminder of the need for enterprises to have a completely secure enterprise mobility strategy.

And for the CFO - these hacks and data losses can be accompanied by a hefty fine - affecting the bottom line. The information watchdog is cracking down on the legal industry in particular, with lawyers potentially facing a £500,000 fine for any data losses. It's important that companies protect their biggest asset, data, in the most secure way.

On the device side, the gap between tablet app activations and smartphone activations significantly closed. As some device manufacturers are witnessing a profit decline marked by a slowdown in smartphone sales, it seems consumers are turning to tablets as an alternative to mobile devices. We are witnessing more mobiles physically resembling tablets, boasting wider screens and higher quality displays.

Recent research from Deloitte has highlighted that smartphone users are downloading less applications. This is caused by two key factors, a loss in interest in new applications, but also safety savvy users fear what might be embedded in those applications, often choosing not to download to keep their device secure. However, enterprise applications are bucking this trend. Reflecting this, Good's research showed that enterprise application activation numbers are continuing to rise – with a 20 per cent increase from Q1 to to Q2 2014. With more app activations, there is an increasing necessity within the enterprise for secure app-to-app workflows.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, document editing occupies the top spot for most widely-used enterprise app, some examples being Picsel SmartOffice and Office Pro. There was also significant growth in the number of activations in secure instant messaging, customer relationship management and business intelligence apps. This is where enterprise app stores and developing secure app-to-app workflows comes into its' own.

The increasing adoption of secure instant messaging apps, reflects the collision of people's work and personal lives on their mobile. With the UK population sending up to 100,000 messages a year, it is no wonder messaging application activation is increasing, with WhatsApp currently valued at over $19 billion (£15.1 billion).

With speed and time being essential, not only in our personal lives but corporate environments, employees are more likely to use these applications to share corporate data. If sensitive corporate data is being shared, these apps need to be secured to the same level as corporate email.

With BYOD now a normality in the modern working environment, and employees encouraged to work remotely, companies must invest more heavily in the security of their employees. All devices must be made secure to prevent the costs, legal issues and internal turmoil that a data leak can cause.

Phil Barnett is VP and general manager for EMEA at Good Technology