Nick Jones, GartnerNick Jones, Gartner

The increasing competition in the mobile handset industry indicates 2013 will be an interesting one for mobility, said Nick Jones, VP and distinguished analyst at Gartner.

Jones was speaking at the company’s recent ‘Creating a successful, profi table and innovative mobile strategy’ event.

Apple and Samsung are “powerhouse vendors” in the smartphone space, but the entrance of Chinese company means “we’re going to see some serious in the future,” he said.

Some of the traditional vendors are struggling, such as and BlackBerry. “BB10 may not be enough to save them,” he said of BlackBerry’s attempt to regain market share.

Jones also said a multi-channel strategy is the future. “You shouldn’t really be doing a mobile strategy on its own anymore. It must integrate with everything else you do.” Mobile is now all-encompassing, and according to research, it is the number two priority for most CIOs across almost every industry.

“I’ve always felt that mobile is one of the best opportunities we’ll have in our careers in IT to do something genuinely new and different,” said Jones. But beware: “There’s a window, and that window is closing. We’ve got about a year or two left while it is still open.”

There is no clear winner with mobile device platforms, Jones noted. Android has the majority market share in emerging markets, has the majority in developed markets, and Windows is poised to grow. “Multiplatform development is the only option you’ve got.”

As for enterprise mobility, Jones said it is predicted that by 2016, smartphones will encompass 78% of total global handset shipments, and mobile PC (tablets, ultramobile PCs, and notebooks) shipments will number over 600 million.

There are no more devices exclusively for the enterprise, he said. “Consumerisation has won. The CIO has lost control of devices for the enterprise.”

An important part of a company’s mobile strategy is the ‘bring your own device’ phenomenon, or BYOD. Ken Parmelee, research director at , spoke on the outlook for BYOD over the next few years.

With BYOD, there is a conflict between user experience and enterprise control, he said. In addition to BYOD, companies will also have to contend with bring your own apps. Mobile workers will want to use apps they are used to, and do not want to be tied to policies that restrict usability.

BYOD is growing at a rapid pace, and will continue to grow, explained Parmelee. A CIO survey in USA and Europe in 2011 asked the question: “In five years, what percentage of your staff will not be eligible to use employee-owned mobile devices or laptops, because they are still dealing with information that is too sensitive to be allowed on equipment you don’t own?” The majority of respondents (over 50%) answered less than 20%.

“The number of employees eligible for BYOD programmes will continue to grow through 2016,” he said.

To ensure a successful BYOD strategy, companies need to architect for it. According to Parmelee, companies need to focus on the data.

Security is one of the most prominent stumbling blocks for BYOD, and, in addition to moving data into the cloud, Parmelee said enterprises should be alert for new risks, such as location snooping, and authenticate people and apps. “A device is no longer a proxy for a person,” he said.

However, there should still be a strong focus on the individual. Employees should have the maximum freedom of choice, and employers should assume the user is in control of all decisions involving devices and applications. “Don’t try to control things you don’t own,” he concluded.