Mobile device adoption and cloud computing go hand in hand. The more business professionals use their smart phones, tablets and mini-tablets to access and create new data, the more organizations are embracing a cloud computing environment to dramatically increase their network capacity, storage and back-up capabilities. These movements highlight the critical role of solution providers and continue to drive their business models for the foreseeable future.

Nearly 40 percent of enterprise organizations said they expect to stop providing mobile devices to their employees by 2016 supporting bring your own device programs (BYOD) instead, according to a global survey of CIOs by Gartner. I’ve said it before in this space. The BYOD revolution cannot be stopped. Once you’ve empowered employees and supported their work style preferences, taking away those privileges is a step backwards. By the way, that is also why I believe Yahoo’s headline grabbing CEO Marissa Mayer is making a big mistake to eliminate remote workers. If you treat your employees like 9-to-5 employees, guess what, you get 9-5 employees.

The BYOD movement has blurred the lines between work and personal life and has created more engaged and productive workers. However, IT departments have been struggling with how to manage, secure and integrate these devices. Here is where SPs have really become invaluable in taking over this process.

"BYOD strategies are the most radical change to the economics and the culture of client computing in business in decades," said David Willis, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, in a prepared statement. "The benefits of BYOD include creating new mobile workforce opportunities, increasing employee satisfaction, and reducing or avoiding costs,” he stated.

Gartner went on to say that while BYOD is occurring in companies and governments of all sizes, it is most prevalent in midsize and large organizations—$500 million to $5 billion in revenue, with 2,500 to 5,000 employees. Further, BYOD allows smaller companies to go mobile without a huge device and service investment.

And while mobile device management and integration are certainly key points that SPs are addressing, securing these devices is the biggest issue among IT directors and CIOs that I have spoken with. Gartner confirms. “The risk of data leakage on mobile platforms is particularly acute. Some mobile devices are designed to share data in the cloud and have no general purpose file system for applications to share, increasing the potential for data to be easily duplicated between applications and moved between applications and the cloud,” the research firm said.

The mobile device revolution and the move towards everything cloud computing are joined at the hip.

For instance, Gartner also recently said that by 2016, 40 percent of mobile application development projects will leverage cloud mobile back-end services. Specifically this involves platform-as-a-service (PaaS). These cloud services provide the back-end capabilities commonly required by mobile applications, such as user management, data storage, push notifications and social network integration. Much like mobile device management services, the role of the SP is critical in successfully implementing and supporting a PaaS environment.

There are plenty of opportunities out there for today’s smart, and they are growing.

Knock em alive!