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Wearables, Microsoft and App Creep: This Week in Enterprise Mobility

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In the world of enterprise mobility, things move quickly — often quick enough that it’s hard to keep up with all of the important and sometimes crazy news stories. Here are a few pieces that caught our eyes this week:

1. It’s 10 a.m. Do You Know How Many Apps You Have?

Here’s a statistic that should make your IT department squirm: according to a recent survey, IT professionals are underestimating cloud app usage at their organizations … by a lot. If you think you have 40 or 50 in use at your company, you can probably multiply that number by a factor of ten. The research showed that cloud usage is multiplying, but security isn’t keeping up. As they say in AA, the first step is admitting you have a problem.

Wondering how all those apps got there in the first place? AVN points out that 90 percent of them are theoretically blocked by enterprises. But they creep back in when exceptions are made — one here, one there, and then suddenly they’re everywhere. Rather than fighting it, make today the day you start building fast secure apps your employees actually want to use. Because, let’s face it, people (and that includes your employees) are quickly losing patience for apps that don’t perform.

2. Gartner Shakes it Up, Acronym-Style

This week, Gartner announced that it won’t release a Magic Quadrant on mobile device management, or MDM, anymore. Now they’re calling it Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM). The shuffling of letters predictably has plenty of organizations scrambling to figure out where they now fit in. Certainly it’s an indication that the space is quickly evolving.

But mobility has long been fraught with acronyms. For more of our thoughts on the alphabet soup and its dire (or maybe not so dire) consequences for the enterprise, check out our recent post on MADP and the new mobile landscape.

3. I’m a Soul Man

Maybe you thought the problem with enterprise mobility was the untamability of shadow IT or creeping cloud security concerns. Well, according to Telefonica O2, the real problem is that it’s missing “soul.” Wait… what? Their “head of smarter working consulting” (how’s that for a title?) William Butler went on to compare the mobility world to Breaking Bad and point out the gaping usability hole between “work” and “home” during Enterprise Mobility Summit this week. Intrigued? Check out Computing’s recap of his talk for more.

4. We’re Still Talking Wearables

Salesforce recently announced that they are getting into the wearables game via a new service intended to help developers build for what they predict will be “the next major platform.”

Meanwhile, at Computex (think of it as the APAC equivalent of CES), held this week in Taipei, innovation in wearables was sorely lacking. Though industry pundits claim that market will be worth $12.6 billion by 2018, so far we haven’t seen much beyond the FitBit and FuelBand. Computex saw some cool (if incremental) new products — like a smart shirt that measures vital signs — but mostly featured iterations on wrist-based health monitors. Check out a slideshow of the high-tech arm candy coming down the pike on CITEworld.

Speaking of jewelry, have you heard about Ringly? These 18-karat gold, gemstone-studded baubles promise to discreetly notify wearers of smartphone activity using vibration and tiny colored lights. (No, this is not a joke.) Does this stylish take on the push notification stand a chance in the market? At the very least, it won’t crowd out your smartwatch.

5. Microsoft Makes Good On its Promises

Satya Nadella’s recent hire at Microsoft means all eyes (including ours) are on the business software giant as it charts a sometimes-rocky path toward the mobile future. The Wall Street Journal reports that its increasingly cloud-focused strategy has customers perking up. We also think the company’s push to build a true developer ecosystem bodes well for the future. But Nadella will have to keep putting his money where his mouth is if he wants to compete with the likes of Google and Apple.

Will wearables take off? Will Nadella lead Microsoft into the glorious future? What stories caught your eye this week? Tell us in the comments!

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