There is a strong prediction from research firm Gartner that 38 percent of employers will move to require employees to supply their own devices for work by 2016, a program called Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) that has seen a rapid adoption and will soon become the mobile enterprise norm.
The forecast demonstrates lucrative opportunities for companies in the mobile sector to venture into BYOD-centric technologies. Which is why, Google acquired enterprise BYOD startup provider Divide, headquartered in New York.
Google is probably seeing the startup business as a promising platform for its effort to boost Android’s presence in corporate BYOD programs, especially that there are now more than one billion devices running on that operating system. Divide provides a user-friendly and secure workspace for users to carry out their business tasks and personal activities alike on the same device that enjoys the shelter of encryption.
The level of security required of smartphones running on Android is as much significant to Google as keeping the OS growing with innovative updates, thus continuously appealing to users.
Google has been a long-time investor of Divide, which works with Google Apps. Users work to schedule and revise meeting invitations through the Work Calendar app. Divide also features Work Contacts, where a directory of corporate connections is stored and can be transferred to the user’s personal phonebook.
A secure file storage is built into the app that allows users to save and share attachments with intended contacts, as well as the Tasks feature which lets users create, edit and remove tasks at their own disposal.
The features mentioned are just exactly the same characteristics required by BYOD. When founders David Zhu, Alexander Trewby and Andrew Toy launched Divide in 2010, the idea of a smartphone’s leading role in device management was top of their mind.
Companies develop innovative products through BYOD by growing their mobile application user base and deploying apps to the workforce, a great opportunity that paves the way for enhanced services. Half of BYOD programs at present partially reimburses the cost of device maintenance.
Divide offers its services for free to individual users, but to enjoy applications beyond email, the app asks an annual fee of $60 per user for such services as enterprise app delivery, admin dashboard, branding and virtual private network.
BYOD is most popular among medium size and large enterprises, so it is expected that Google will be investing heavily in apps for these markets following the Divide acquisition.