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The demise of the Windows Phone and how enterprises should respond

 

After a long drawn out period Microsoft has finally announced what many predicted as inevitable for a long time, the demise of the Windows Phone. When it’s revenue fell from one quarter to the next by $730 million, down to a mere $5 million, the writing was on the wall for many observers. Naturally, this has posed a problem for those enterprise organisations who backed Windows Phone as their chosen system for their teams. Windows Mobile had been over indexed in enterprise with a (slightly) higher percentage of workers using it as it offered lower costs and integration with their in-house Microsoft stack.

Where are the apps?

Windows Mobile appealed to some companies as a low cost, good value option for enterprises. At the same time, despite committing a large amount of resources to the project, the level of uptake was always slower than hoped for and illustrated the importance of getting developers to create relevant apps for the platform. Employees today bring to the workplace expectations formed by their own experiences of consumer technology.  While the fact that Windows Phone didn’t have the latest version of Candy Crush mightn’t seem like an issue for the company’s IT department it often was an issue for their end users.

IOS Vs Android?

Now, as the field narrows to just iOS or Android, businesses face the challenge of whether to choose one or both of these operating systems. Based on discussions with a wide range of enterprises we expect over time a dual strategy will become the norm.  Enterprises who embraced Windows Mobile are now migrating to Android.  Those who have been traditionally IOS exclusive are now increasingly considering moving to low cost Android for some job roles.  They are nonetheless balking at a wholesale move to Android, wary of an end user backlash. It’s important to remember corporate mobile phones are not just a business tool but also often a perk which comes with increased responsibility.  A policy where more senior staff get access to a premium phone (be it IOS or Android) and more junior staff get a lower cost device is increasingly common.

Data usage is key

In either context, organisations need tools to have visibility and control of their employees’ usage, regardless of the platform used. This will ensure your staff are managing their mobile data usage responsibly and in a way which keeps the enterprise secure. With the right tools, you can measure data usage, analyse it by type (domestic, roaming, Wi-Fi, tethered etc) and by domain. With this information, you can then apply policy controls to block access to malicious or inappropriate content,  set usage caps, and black or white list sites where needed. In this way, regardless of the changing device landscape, you will still be in control of your company’s mobile data usage policies.

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