Android may be the favored mobile platform among mainstream consumers, but traditionally, it's been seen as a less secure alternative to other platforms in an enterprise setting. According to new reports from ABI Research (via BusinessWire), that's all changing at a pretty rapid pace, and enterprise adoption of Android is set to grow significantly in the coming years. This uptake in adoption comes at a time when Android manufacturers are addressing security concerns with the mobile OS, something which is obviously a major selling point with mobile business customers.
Currently, Android shipments to enterprise customers total $54 billion – a healthy sum of money in its own right, but ABI predicts that those shipments could grow to $92 billion by 2018. In other words, revenues from mobile business customers could nearly double in just five short years. $92 billion is a figure that's hard to ignore, as is the massive enterprise market itself, and many Android manufacturers see a window of opportunity to jump in and become big names with businesses looking for mobile solutions.
ABI's research covers six different Android OEMs – Samsung, LG, HTC, ZTE, Huawei, and Motorola. Some of these manufacturers have already made a name for themselves when it comes to mobile security, with Samsung implementing its KNOX platform on its latest flagship, the Galaxy S4, and LG gaining recognition for its GATE security system. ABI's Dan Shey notes that Samsung is the "clear leader" when it comes to security features and user experience in enterprise-ready devices, but also said that other OEMs are making "great advances in their strategies to capture share of the enterprise device market."
Blackberry has always seemed to go hand-in-hand with mobile business users, but at the moment, RIM is busy restructuring the platform with its latest version of the mobile OS, BlackBerry 10. Just as well, iOS has become a player in the race for enterprise adoption, but with OEMs looking to offer a complete suite of business solutions, Android is primed to gain at least a fair amount of market share. When you consider the vast amount of employees out there using Android phones – not to mention the mobility vendors like Citrix which allow those employees to securely use their personal devices in an enterprise setting – it's easy to see why ABI thinks Android's influence in the mobile business space will grow in the next few years.