Rising in unison
It’s not a coincidence that the profile of these three business challenges rose in parallel. Mobile, big data, and cloud are not siloed concerns easily addressed in isolation. They exist in an overlapping matrix, where the importance of each issue increases because it leverages (or helps solve) an issue raised by one of the others.
For example, in the days before mobile computing, business users typically did all their work using just a handful of applications. Today, the average smartphone has 41 apps installed on it. And each of those applications sparks a need to consider security, since it generates data each and every time it is used. And because these devices are often connected to service provider networks — rather than directly with corporate servers — a great deal of that business app data requires secure cloud storage.
Thus the proliferation of mobile devices exacerbates the big data problem, which in turn precipitates the demand for cloud.
In short, they are all part of a single, converged and symbiotic trend. And to address them optimally requires a holistic perspective on all three.
No bottom in sight
With global demand for mobile computing at the heart of this escalation, it makes sense that IT strategists would be keenly interested in the trend lines for mobile adoption. Today, 87 percent of the world’s population owns a mobile phone; 60 million Android devices were sold in the second quarter of 2012, and now 1 million new Android devices are provisioned daily, according to Google. As of last month, there were likely more smartphones on the planet than humans, according to Cisco.
So the question is whether there is a saturation point on the horizon that could help curb this cloud/mobile/data demand? Surprisingly, no. The average number of mobile devices per employee worldwide has already reached three to five, and adoption rates continue to grow as consumers add tablets and ever-more capable smartphones to their mobile arsenals.
But consumers’ ceaseless enthusiasm for new form factors and functionality is not the whole story behind the world’s bottomless demand for mobility. Today, businesses themselves — rather than consumers — are adding fuel to the fire.
Not just a BYOD issue
As industries finally crest the hump of transforming their workflows to leverage mobile device availability, they drive new demand — not only for mobile devices, but for new scalable infrastructures that deliver more actionable intelligence from their big data.