In case you missed it, Google purchased BYOD enabler Divide on Monday. Divide is a workspace management vendor, enabling enterprises to separate work and personal profiles on a personal device.
By purchasing Divide, Google is placing a greater emphasis on enterprise mobility for a couple of key reasons. First, current market perception of Google Android is that Android is not a secure platform for enterprises. This view is somewhat misguided as enough market data exists to suggest that Android has the same number of vulnerabilities as iOS. However, a major problem not faced by Apple is OS fragmentation. Android fragmentation does create mobility headaches as IT has to support a plethora of smartphones with various Android skins. Both of these problems are giving Apple a significant advantage in enterprise circles.
Apple is feeling the pressure though. Case and point are iOS 7.0 and 7.1 updates, where enterprise features are embedded within the OS. Enterprises were pressuring Apple for assistance and Apple finally made some key adjustments to its OS. By embedding enterprise features, especially with 7.1, Apple made the decision to purchase iOS devices simpler for enterprise mobility efforts.
Google purchasing Divide is not a move to manage mobility, but a move to match embedded iOS enterprise features and improve its image. As with iOS, EMM vendors would have access to Android embedded features for a more secure foundation for mobility services. Moreover, by embedding enterprise features, one would think it would alleviate perceived security issues. Lastly, it would be entirely feasible to alleviate fragmentation problems for enterprises. Enterprise features could be a hardened code unable to be forked by OEMs leading to a standardized set of enterprise features across all Android devices. Like Apple, Google appears to have heard the requests of enterprises and is doing something about it.