By: Shash Anand, vice-president of product strategy, SOTI

Over the past three years, Android device adoption has surged past Windows 10 Mobile as the world’s most used operating system. Indeed, it gets three times the volume of Windows 10 Mobile and with 70 per cent of Canadians using smartphones, that’s really no surprise.

It’s also a safe bet to predict that this differential will only continue to rise. As of December 10, 2019, Windows 10 Mobile no longer offers operating system support for devices, leaving enterprises having to choose between alternatives. Migrating devices to a new system can be a nightmare for enterprise IT, so it’s important to look for operating systems that offer the most stable device management while also giving cybersecurity teams unprecedented visibility into the device fleet.

Shortening the OS learning curve

Consistency. It’s what enterprise IT aims for in mobility management, with the ultimate goal of limiting the frequency new systems have to be applied and reducing the learning and adoption curve of a new system.

Bertrand Martelle is the In-Country Manager for Barcoding-Canada, a company of supply chain automation experts and trusted partner for SOTI. He believes any transition to a new operating system should be viewed through the lens of driving operational efficiencies. “With the Android OS system, for example, employees are given a richer mobile experience that can help reengage them; issues are resolved a lot quicker and workflows are faster. As the most used mobile OS in the world, IT departments can rest assured that their employees are at least familiar with the platform, making the transition easier.”

Overcoming roadblocks when migrating legacy systems to Android

With ecommerce, retailers are essentially open 24/7. As such, they rely heavily on the stability of applications core to their operations. Consider the terror of technologies going down during peak season for e-retailers. Adobe Digital Insights reported this year’s holiday season (Nov. 1 through Dec. 1) has already generated $72.1 billion online, a 16.3 per cent growth YoY, and with that comes a high volume of anticipated returns. People are already thinking returns before they buy—with one survey noting nearly 80 per cent check the return policy online before making purchases. E-retailers can’t afford a breakdown in their returns processing operations. In fact, an overwhelming majority of retailers, manufacturers and logistics and delivery service providers (87 per cent) admit accepting and managing returns is already a challenge for them.

To protect against security breaches and single points of failures that could bring the entire application down, we anticipate a new wave of enterprises across all industries migrating business-critical applications away from legacy systems toward Android. With any transformation of this nature, careful consideration must be given to the motivation behind the migration and the potential issues that will need to be managed.

Martelle points to several motivating factors behind the need to modernize these vital applications. “Some companies look to improve their productivity through workflow changes while others are just struggling to understand the capabilities of applications built by employees long gone from the company. Regardless of the reason for the migration, businesses should pay particular attention to the risks involved and how to plan for and navigate a successful migration.”

Key takeaways

Android is a very flexible OS solution that is easy to develop on and familiar to many, making a transition to it much easier.

While migration to Android OS is largely for the improvement of business workflows, this will also be geared to bettering the employee experience moving forward. A recent global survey commissioned in part by SOTI found that one in three enterprises are not equipping their field workforce with the right technology to carry out their jobs.

Change is the only constant and it can seem overwhelming. Technologies will continue to advance but understanding what’s most important to your business and working with partners that support customers with different approaches—those who balk at the “one size fits all” solution—is critical to successful migration plans.