Orlando, Fla.–Mobile technology was identified as the number two tech priority for chief information officers, ahead of cloud computing, according to a survey of 2,336 CIOs conducted by Gartner.
The number one priority was analytics and business intelligence, followed by mobile technology, cloud computing, collaboration technologies, and virtualization, Nick Jones, a mobility analyst with Gartner, told an audience at the Gartner Symposium ITxpo.
The Gartner analyst noted that the mobile market will be driven by companies, such as Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), that “could care less” about the enterprise market. “Sort of a scary thought,” he added.
Jones predicted that mobile technology would be the number one technology priority for CIOs in the near future.
According to Gartner estimates, shipments of Android tablets will exceed shipments of iOS tablets by the end of 2014.
“As tablets become more affordable and more capable, look for new opportunities to use them,” he advised the audience.
Jones predicted that BlackBerrys would make up a declining share of the smartphone market, dropping from around 5 percent this year, to around 2 percent in 2016.
Jeff Holleran, senior director of enterprise product management at RIM, took issue with Jones’ prediction. “Our smartphone business at RIM has remained steady. In certain regions we’ve seen growth and in other regions we’ve lost customers. Overall, our enterprise business has remained steady,” he told FierceMobileIT.
According to Jones, the Windows Phone will surge from below 10 percent of the smartphone market this year to over 20 percent in 2016.
The Gartner analyst predicted that tablet prices will fall through 2013 as volumes increase and vendors look for ways to compete with Apple. Apple and Android will be the dominant tablet platforms, making up over 80 percent of the market by 2015. The majority of media tablets will be around 10 inches.
Network operators have regained their interest in Wi-Fi recently as a way to offload traffic from cellular networks where demand will exceed supply until LTE can be deployed, Jones said.
Some of the fastest growing uses of wireless are related to machines and include ZigBee, Bluetooth LE and Dash 7, he said. Low-power wireless technologies such as ZigBee will be particularly useful for “Internet of things” applications, he added.
Jones recommended that IT departments identify new ways to provide, manage, and secure mobile devices and applications to deal with the challenges of BYOD, and define mobile strategies to cover business-to-consumer, business-to-business and business-to-employee domains.