By Elad Mor
On April 29th, at the BUILD Conference, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) confirmed what many analysts, developers, and users have been anticipating: a common Windows 10 code base will power all devices from smartphones and tablets, to desktops and notebooks, wearables and even the Xbox One gaming console.
What will such digital convergence mean for enterprise? Running a common code base across a variance of devices will make it easier for enterprise app developers to build platforms that work across different use-case scenarios – whether at the office, on mobile, tracking shipments using embedded devices, or even on wearable devices that track worker efficiency.
Improved Security, Ease of Administration
Bring your own device (BYOD) policies will likely do away with heterogeneous setups, which can be difficult for IT departments to manage. This type of setup involves using computers with more than one kind of processor, so getting rid of this simplifies the entire process for the IT department.
Using a single operating system across all devices will help keep things easier to manage on all fronts. It however, doesn’t mean the user experience can’t be tailored across devices.
Improved Workflow Efficiency and Tracking
The Internet of Things (IoT), which involves connected standalone devices – even appliances and furniture – enable an increased ability to collect data. For the enterprise, this opens up a whole new world of analytics and process improvements. Big Data, after all, is being credited as a collection of technologies that can help improve business strategies by finding correlations and causalities otherwise difficult to determine.
A possible use case scenario here, for instance, involves incorporating wearable and connected devices in time tracking and managing workflow, or perhaps in managing inventory and the supply chain. Big data analytics in these scenarios enable decision-makers to tweak the workflow or supply chain accordingly, in order to attain improved productivity and efficiency.
The Question: Will Windows Phone Eventually Catch Up?
It’s no secret that Windows has lagged the behind market leaders – Android and iOS – for years. With Windows 10, phones will be able to run reworked versions of both iOS and Android apps. Developers will be able to port their existing code to Windows universal apps, using either Java and C++ code for Android or Objective C for iOS.
By allowing developers to deploy apps on Windows this way, users get access to apps just like they would if they had an Android or iOS device. There’s no need for developers to code a completely separate Windows phone version. This approach also allows Microsoft to capture developers who are working on a platform specific basis – either Android or iOS – so they’re still in line to get apps from companies that focus on iOS first, then port over to Android.
Of course, what we all really want to know is how this will impact productivity, and what kind of ROI enterprises can expect by making the switch to Windows 10. Data shows employees spend an average of 28 hours per week writing emails, looking for information, and collaborating internally. The data also estimates that by improving collaboration and communication with social technologies can improve employee productivity by as much as 20 to 25%.
In the fast paced world we live in today, with people always on-the-go, it is critical that we workers are longer tethered to desks, or even a particular location. Mobility improves access to collaboration and productivity tools, as well as information so employees can work together when they can and how it works best for them. Enterprises can leverage this advantage to improve efficiency and improve profitability.
Bringing mobility to the enterprise increases productivity and profitability by allowing organizations to cut down on office space, reduce IT overhead, and make employees more productive by letting them use the tools they prefer. With increased productivity, comes the potential for increased profitability.