Over the previous two days, GigaOM hosted its fourth annual Mobilize event. While smart phones have been with us for several years and most of us have experienced firsthand the impact of the iPhone, Android and yes even the Blackberry on our everyday lives, this year was especially interesting because of the impact of the tablet in the workplace.
The iPad is not really all that new and Microsoft has arguably been beavering away at workplace tablet technology for years. What’s different this year is that the tablet is becoming an acceptable mainstream device for a wide range of work-related tasks, both inside and outside the actual workplace. This is changing the way IT goes about enabling its employees.
For a long time, enabling the mobile workforce meant equipping each remote worker with a laptop, VPN software and a virus scanner. However, none of these necessarily make sense for or are practical on a tablet. For enterprises in the iPad age, enabling mobile staff means figuring out how to share information with workers and partners in a selective, managed way.
Various types of organization are helping enterprises figure out how to do this:
- Large ISVs like SAP, which recently launched the NetWeaver Gateway, making the company’s various systems available on mobile devices
- API Management vendors like Mashery, Apigee and Layer 7, which help enterprises better manage what gets exposed outside organizational boundaries
- Identity vendors like Ping and – again – Layer 7, which help organizations implement SAML and OAuth technologies for simplifying who gets access to what
Over the coming weeks, Layer 7 will have a great deal to say on this topic as we will be:
- Publishing several new iPad and iPhone-related case studies
- Speaking at events like RSA Europe, where – Francois Lascelles (@flascelles on Twitter) will be giving a talk called Enterprise Access Control Patterns for REST and Web APIs
- Putting on several educational events, including an upcoming webinar with Forrester Research Analyst Eve Maler, on the topic of API Security and Oauth
With a new Amazon tablet announced today, a new iPhone announcement expected next week and an update to the iPad anticipated for early in the New Year, it seems more than likely that that mobile enablement of the workforce will continue to be a hot topic for enterprises over the coming months and beyond.