The enterprise mobility market experienced some pivotal changes last year – from strategic partnerships between tech giants to the introduction of wearable technology like the Apple Watch. But what does 2015 have in store for enterprise mobility? Here are four trends that I think will take enterprise mobility by storm in 2015.
1. App Explosion Will Drive Development
In today’s digital world, mobile is ubiquitous in both our personal and professional lives. It’s no surprise then that IDC forecasted worldwide smartphone shipments to surpass 1.2 billion units this year – a 23 percent increase from just a year ago. Moreover, the number of app downloads is expected to rise to almost 270 billion by 2017.
With this explosion of mobile apps, organisations are adopting enterprise mobile strategies to enhance productivity, streamline internal processes and increase revenue. Unfortunately, IT and developers are challenged to keep pace with the demands of business units.
What does this mean? It means we’ll begin to see more and more organisations turning to non-traditional approaches to enterprise mobility. By adopting innovative technology such as “codeless” app solutions and easy-to-use design tools, business units are empowered to design mobile app themselves. Gartner expects that by 2018, more than 50 percent of enterprise mobile apps will be developed using codeless tools.
2. MBaaS Will Become ‘Enterprise Grade’
While MBaaS (Mobile-Backend-as-a-Service) capabilities are critical to development, recent acquisitions signal the short life of MBaaS as a standalone category. Today MBaaS focuses on application development and runtime encompassing PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) capabilities and basic mobile “infrastructure services” like push notifications, NoSQL storage and basic connectivity services. But MBaaS will become more than what it is today.
Next year, the notion of a backend as a service (BaaS) will become more “enterprise grade.” What does this mean? It will offer richer connectivity to the enterprise and offer more than just infrastructure notifications and support for wearables and other edge devices over and above just smartphone and tablets. It’ll allow wearable technology to leverage MBaaS capabilities and encompass more than just application development and runtime. App management, device and content management, app distribution and other security services will also be subsumed into the notion of a multi-channel BaaS.
3. Enterprises To Embrace IoT & Wearables
While studies have shown the adoption of IoT and wearable technology has been slow in the consumer space, a recent Frost and Sullivan reported enterprises will embrace wearables at a much faster rate – 75 percent year-over-year from 2014 to 2018. To take advantage of IoT for the enterprise, it will be key to understand the importance of connecting data to processes for meaningful IoT adoption. It will be critical to turn events into insight with integration and correlation with other data and processes that exist within the enterprise (trapped in systems of record).
4. Micro-Apps Will Be The Next Big Thing
Traditional apps as separate destinations with dedicated icons will become extinct and notifications are going to drive the next generation of mobile apps. The result will be notification driven micro-apps or applets. If you look at the way the iOS, Android and other platform vendors have morphed their notification mechanisms, you’ll notice they have become more actionable. You can now respond to notifications without even launching the app and instead responding inline to the notification.
For example, if I get an actionable notification from a person on LinkedIn wanting to become a connection of mine, I can reject or accept directly from the notification center rather than cranking up the LinkedIn app. If someone sends me an email, I can read it straight from the notification centre and possibly even do a quick response without launching the email app. You get the idea.
This is the same paradigm that will drive app development on watches and other wearable devices. Apps will become deconstructed into use case driven “micro-apps” which will be triggered by notifications. You enter a Starbucks and you get a notification that asks if you want to order your “usual” and sends the order to the barista. Viola! Enter an airline boarding area and you are notified that your upgrade came through – no need to go to your airline app. Presto!
2014 set the stage for an exciting 2015. With the introduction and popularity of IoT, advent of location-based technology, and new “codeless” mobile app development solutions, 2015 is shaping to be another groundbreaking and interesting year for enterprise mobility.