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Keeping up is hard to do

It’s been an action-packed few months in the mobile world. Just a few days after returning from VMworld, I saw my Twitter feed blow up with the news of BlackBerry’s acquisition of Good Technology. The following week, Apple made headlines with the iPhone 6s, iPad Pro and more. And most importantly, at least if you’re a steadfast member of New England Patriots Nation like myself: the glorious vindication of one Tom Brady. (OK, that’s not really technology news, but there’s a lesson somewhere in there about what not to store on your cellphone.)

All these developments got me thinking about the rate of technological change in today’s world.

It’s been well-documented that product adoption today moves much faster than it did even 20 years ago. Cars and electricity took nearly a century to reach 90% of U.S. households, but newer technology like color TVs and dishwashers—and later, computers and the Internet—were in the hands of most consumers just a few decades after they became available. Look at mobility, for instance: It took landline phones about 45 years to penetrate half of U.S. households, while mobile phones took only seven years to hit that mark, according to MIT Technology Review.

With vendors such as VMware, Microsoft, BlackBerry and Apple continuing to push the boundaries of what they can innovate—and how quickly they can do it—it feels like we’re on the cusp of generating even faster technological change.

VMware’s unified hybrid cloud platform promises to connect public and private cloud and on-premises resources to help deliver more apps than ever. Microsoft appears to have struck a balance between traditional desktop computing and mobility with Windows 10. With Good under its belt, BlackBerry has an opportunity to strengthen its management and security capabilities for all the major mobile operating systems.

The enterprise mobility management market will likely see further consolidation, and the technology will have to handle more than just smartphones and tablets. The Internet of Things is coming. Finally, with an updated Apple Watch OS, photos that can move and its potentially revolutionary 3D Touch technology, Apple is changing the consumer device game yet again.

All these announcements mean more devices will be entering the workplace, and to help manage them, admins will have more tools at their disposal than ever. IT will have to be ready—and fast.

This post originally appeared in the October issue of the Modern Mobility e-zine.