5 Enterprise Mobility Trends – What You Need to Know

You’re in business, so you know that enterprise is changing rapidly thanks to mobile. The meeting point of mobility, cloud, social and Internet (Gartner’s ‘Nexus of Forces’), means that you’ll already be rethinking your business strategy with a particular focus on mobile, right? Today we’re exploring the hottest enterprise mobility trends.

“Enterprise mobility is the manifestation of a much broader shift to new systems of engagement.” Forrester, 2015

We’ve touched on Enterprise Mobility before, but we thought it was time to reflect on how things are changing, how rapidly they’re changing, and how these changes may impact your business – and what you can expect to be hearing more about over the next 12 months.

1. Mobility is Transforming Business

OK, so it’s a given, and not a particularly new observation, but whether you know it or not, mobility services are already having an impact on your business. How? By giving both your employees and customers the freedom to spend more time carrying out work activities wherever they are, and much less time on previously desk-located admin stuff. This alone means that every organisation is will see repercussions of some sort as they filter across every department to some extent. Think customer service, sales, logistics, production, ops – how will the processes around these activities be impacted by mobile? What will the challenges be? The Opportunities? If you’re not doing so already, now is the time to be talking to your employees and customers about what these challenges and opportunities might be and start drafting your mobility roadmap.

2. Native vs HTML5 Apps

It’s been a while that the Native v HTML5 (Web) apps battle has been playing out before our very eyes, but perhaps only now that we’re seeing a definite winner. Some analysts suggest HTML5 may become the dominant technology. Why? Well like most things in business, it’s a question of economics.

In business, to gear up successfully and cater for mobile working practices across an organisation, multiple apps are often needed. This is where the decision between native and HTML5 becomes tricky. HTML5 apps tend to be used by far fewer users than native apps (as opposed to, say, Candy Crush or Facebook, users of which run into hundreds of millions). Sure, native apps can perform better and they can look a million dollars – but that gap is potentially closing. Right now, and for the foreseeable future, deciding which technology route to go down will depend entirely on your business requirements and KPI’s. Irrespective of the technologies you use, you must always start with the end in mind when it comes to any aspect of a mobile app project. Define what you’re trying to do and choose the best tools to do the job.

3. Enterprise App Stores

An emerging trend we’re noticing here at WHQ is the Enterprise App Store. Yup, you do not need to adjust your screen. Come 2017, 25% of enterprises will have an Enterprise App Store for managing corporate-sanctioned apps across their organisation ( Gartner, Inc.), with a further +40% being interested in establishing one.

Lately, when developing a mobile strategy, Enterprise has caught on to the fact that BYOA (Bring your own App) has gained just as much importance and BYOD – due in part to the fact that apps procured via public app stores can cause all kinds of issues around security and procurement. Enterprise app stores promise and deliver at least a partial solution – but it needs a lot of hard, collaborative work across a business to successfully deliver an App Store solution enterprise-wide. But it’s worth it – when it works, an Enterprise App Store can enhance security, increase manageability, provide robust intelligence and lower costs. Oh – and let’s not forget the potential to increase innovation. Expect more from us on this trend over the coming months as we think it’s a biggie.

4. Security pains subside

Security continues to be a big concern for Enterprise when it comes to mobile. Devices used over open connections, lost devices, employees installing apps on company owned devices … the list goes on, and it’s a long one. The result? It’s difficult for organisations to see the opportunities outweighing the risks – but this is changing as solutions emerge and benefits can be reaped. Defining your needs around security and then thinking about getting an expert on board to assess and recommend the best solution for you is your first stop. A single, robust solution will be easier and less expensive to implement than integrating point solutions, but whichever you choose, the must-haves will be the same:

– Encryption
– Identity and access management
– Data leakage protection
– Policy management
– Remote wipe
– Secure remote access
– Compliance reporting

5. Mobile Cloud Platforms

So far this year we’ve seen a number of mobile cloud platforms emerge – and we’re expecting to see that number grow over the coming months. Telerik, Kinvey, Kony and our own (rapidly growing) Kumulos, along with large enterprise solutions such as IBM Worklight and Adobe Cloud, are in the spotlight as MBaaS (Mobile Backend as a Service) takes centre-stage. The benefits of MBaaS are many – from accelerated development and deployment time, better reliability and scalability, greater app performance, reduced TCO and increased profits. What’s more, with these cloud-based development platforms, developers can work on their apps without the need to install and maintain the infrastructure usually needed. Watch this space for more on MBaaS as this trend gathers momentum.

So …

Look around you – chances are that your colleagues are within arms reach of at least one mobile device. On the surface, not particularly radical, right? But like most things internet-related, Enterprise Mobility is another game-changer you can add to your ‘List of Things That Are Going to Make a Big Difference to My Business (And My Life)’. In this brave new world of smart, interconnected devices, the magic is happening behind the scenes. It’s the seamless linking between business and consumer, between business and employee, and business to – well, other businesses. For enterprise, that means seeing mobile as the quite incredible opportunity that it is – there’s no room for fear here. Drag your feet and you’ll be left behind. But embrace it and watch a whole new world open up in front of you. We’ll be keeping the discussion around Enterprise Mobility fairly lively over the next few months – so watch this space!

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