In 2019, look for AI-enabled mobile devices – and a UEM push

As AI finds its way into mobile devices and virtual personal assistants proliferate in offices and boardrooms, IT admins will have to manage more – and more sophisticated – end points.

Cloud Computing - Unified Endpoint Management U[EM]

This year, artificial intelligence will continue its push into mobile hardware and enterprise communication devices, challenging IT shops' enterprise mobility management (EMM) capabilities while at the same time offering potential security benefits.

Also in 2019, voice-activated assistants such as Amazon's Alexa and Cisco's Spark Assistant will find their way into more corporate offices and conference rooms –  becoming yet one more enterprise device encouraging the adoption of a unified endpoint management (UEM) strategy.

"I do think 2019 will ring in a very disruptive era for personal devices," said Werner Goertz, a Gartner research director. "Virtual personal assistant speakers – these Alexa devices, these Amazon Echo devices – they've been rolled out into enterprises, into hospitality scenarios...and they're becoming manageable by IT professionals."

A little more than a year ago, Amazon announced Alexa for Business "an intelligent assistant to simplify their interactions with the technology around them at work." The voice-activated assistant can be used by enterprises to automate functions such as booking conference rooms or starting and hosting remote meetings.

In an earlier report, Gartner said spending on VPA devices would top $3.5 billion by 2021, starting with a push this year into the hospitality and remote healthcare industries. "Enterprise adoption will drive further market growth through a fragmented portfolio of specialist devices," the report said.

Joining Amazon and Cisco in the VPA realm are Apple, Microsoft and Samsung, with each adding voice capabilities to either stand-alone speakers or smartphones. This year alone, 20% of smartphone interactions will take place via VPAs, Gartner said in a report.

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