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Blackphones & Android Work: This Week in Enterprise Mobility

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Every week we recap the news and views that propel the enterprise mobility market forward, giving you a digestible glimpse into what matters when it comes to our post-Web world.

The Blackphone Panacea?

Heard of the Blackphone? For enterprises concerned about the “toxic hellstew of vulnerabilities” (Tim Cook’s words) that is the employee smartphone, this new ultra-secure Android device could be a game-changer. It’s no secret that our digital breadcrumbs are tracked pretty much everywhere we go online today, and while not all of this tracking is malicious, it can certainly be “insidious.” Blackphone will make privacy and security the default, so you can “opt in” to tracking rather than opting out. It’s unclear how the phone will perform in the market (let’s face it — consumers pay a lot of lip service to privacy and security without doing much to change their behavior), but it could be a step in the right direction for organizations struggling to deal with the security of Android and other smartphones in the enterprise. What do you think?

Mobile Apps Are a Way of Life

Matt Weinberger writes in Citeworld this week that, “Mobile apps are a way of life. Employees expect the tools they need to get their jobs done will be available from their laptops, smartphones, tablets, and eventually watches and face computers.” We couldn’t agree more, especially since he goes on to detail the big challenges for enterprises when it comes to building those useful mobile apps: everything from designing them to integrating data to connecting them to legacy systems. Not easy, especially not for non-tech companies. Our CEO, Jeff Haynie, offered some key advice as well, “Most end-users hate [hybrid] because it’s degrading to users.” Moral of the story? If you want mobile apps to be a way of life for your employees (and you should), use cross-platform tools to go native efficiently and offer a better user experience.

Employee Fitbits Could Save You Money

Well, here’s a new way to think about mobility in the enterprise. Appirio invested in an employee wellness system that relies on Fitbits and live chats with personal trainers to get their workers in better shape and shave five percent ($300,000) off their insurance premiums. It’s an interesting use case that highlights one of the many ways the Internet of Things can and will change how enterprises go about business — especially as organizations begin to recognize the strategic value of consumer-facing devices.

Android Work-in’ It

Android’s open OS has long been a headache for enterprises who need consistent device management strategies and analytics benchmarks to measure usage. Android Work looks like a big step to change all that. The KNOX container – a set of enterprise security and privacy provisions – is a key aspect of the updated OS announced at Google I/O. It could solve a major part of the problem, and, if integrated with a powerful analytics dashboard, provide enterprises with enough ways to monitor and control employee device usage. The new set-up avoids the awkward and unappealing wall between work and personal apps and could make the device attractive to a much wider set of organizations. Will the new Android Work change the way your company approaches BYOD or mobility in general? Tell us in the comments.

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