AppCentral CEO Singer Makes 2012 Enterprise Mobile Predictions

If you've been keeping pace with MSPmentor coverage lately, you've likely noticed that there's no shortage of 2012 predictions from IT service professionals who have been monitoring IT industry trends throughout 2011. Ken Singer, CEO of AppCentral, ist the latest to weigh in.

AppCentral began as a mobile application developer for the enterprise roughly four years ago before shifting its focus to mobile application management in 2009. That's when AppCentral opened its Enterprise App Store, which Singer says meets the enterprise's need for management solutions in a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) environment. The bottom line is Singer has his finger on the pulse of enterprise mobility trends, and now he has his own thoughts on how enterprise mobility will shift in 2012. Here's a snapshot of Singer's list.

1. The Year of Android. Singer predicts that Android devices will flood the enterprise in 2012. Why? He noted a heavy reluctance among mobile device players like Android and BlackBerry to let Apple dominate the market. So expect to see Android double-down on its support for the enterprise.

2. Say Hello to App Development Platforms. This one plays into the Android prediction above. Android and Apple iOS will both be popular in the enterprise if Singer's Android prediction holds true. Therefore, more enterprises will begin using application development platforms because they support both mobile solutions. It's a way for enterprises to let their employees choose which device to go with.

3. The Case for Tablets. We all WANT tablets. But Singer said we can expect to see more companies making the case for sales representatives, CXOs and marketing teams NEEDING tablets. "Laptops are very closed and personal and smartphones are too small," Singer said. "The tablet is like a bridge between the company and the customer." Some are even referring to the tablet as a "fireside device" because it breeds collaboration. No argument here.

I won't run through the entire list, but this last one definitely caught my attention -- Singer predicts that Microsoft will acquire BlackBerry. "It would fit in perfectly with their [Microsoft's] business model of management," said Singer, who was so sure this would happen that he bet on it earlier this year. "I have four more months to win that bet," he said.

Singer didn't share a whole lot about what's on tap for AppCentral in 2012, but he did say that the company will offer "managed choice" in its app store. The idea is to have someone lay out device policies for enterprise employees while still giving them the choice of which device to use.

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