5 trends impacting enterprise mobility in 2017

Recent reports state the BYOD and enterprise mobility market size is estimated to grow from $35.10 billion in 2016 to $73.30 billion by 2021. Business leaders and employees alike want more mobile-first solutions. And increased mobility has proven to make both parties more efficient.

The Internet of Things (IoT), enterprise mobility management (EMM) and managed mobility services (MMS) will continue to become more familiar concepts, and the path to their adoption increasingly less convoluted.

Here are five trends that will impact enterprise mobility in 2017.

1. The IoT will see growth (again)

At this point, there’s little left to say that’s new about the impact the IoT can have on the enterprise. Although the potential size of the IoT market is often hyped, the opportunities now available in various lines of business are indisputable. IoT enables entities (i.e. consumers, businesses, and governments) to connect to and control IoT devices in areas like energy, manufacturing, transportation, agriculture, and more.

>See also: It is time for enterprises to embrace mobility?

In the coming months, one of the primary goals of IoT deployment will be data collection. Companies will increasingly rely on the data and information accumulated from IoT devices to help make crucial business decisions. In regards to mobility specifically, employee usage will help determine future mobility programming, from the devices deployed to the programs instituted.

The IoT will also play a role in the continuous evolution of enterprise mobility strategy. Despite a decrease in personal mobile device sales and upgrades, corporate mobile and IoT devices continue to be procured and deployed, rapidly and globally. Overall, the IoT will continue to have a growing presence and influence on enterprise mobility programs.

2. Mobility analytics will rise in prominence

In addition to the analytics that the IoT will provide, companies will start taking information gleaned from things like call detail records from carriers into more serious consideration. Call detail records specifically will be a rich vein for data mining to feed business analytics. Usage patterns associated with mobile networks will also be correlated with specific aspects of business success.

This data will help companies determine what devices to offer employees, the mobility programs it should institute (whether that be COPE, BYOD, or a hybrid), and the types of service or data plans it will cover. As a result, companies will see reductions in overages, increased efficiencies in plan and device set-up, and happier employees.

3. Mobile apps (specifically those for the enterprise) will improve in performance

While consumer apps are already incredibly popular and becoming increasingly more efficient, in 2017, the focus will be on mobile apps for business. Loading times will improve, irrespective of network connectivity. Additionally, when a device is connected, the app won’t just be serving the user’s present needs, it will also take steps to serve the user when offline. So even when the user is not interacting with the app, the app will be busy updating behind the scenes when connected to a network. Essentially all of this advancement will mean mobile apps will be useful even without a network connection.

Mobile apps will also have a deeper integration with device operating systems. This means an app will operate in new ways with the device’s microphone, camera and other basic elements. For example, apps will have a range of reactions to the power level on the device.

However, because applications can utilise different amounts of resources on devices, they need to be written with resource considerations and code optimisations. Without this, an application can impact battery use, CPU, and memory utilisation.

4. The growing importance of location, location, location

Again, location in consumer apps is old news, however location-based technology in business apps is less common. In the coming year, business apps that serve the mobile workforce will be enhanced with location awareness. Concur’s TripIt is a great example of an easy way to add location awareness to a business app to alert the user when it is time to depart for a flight.

In a similar vein, calendar apps will increasingly sync to other solutions workers use in day-to-day life, such as M2M systems (think car dashboards, so when an employee leaves for work, he/she will know if they need to reschedule an early meeting based on travel time) and smart building solutions (so employees know if a meeting is running over and need to book another conference room). Location-based apps will continue to evolve and grow in prominence within the enterprise.

5. The specialisation of EMM

The decline of Blackberry’s influence on the enterprise, coupled with the rise of iOS and Android for business, created a new market for device security five years ago. Successful companies such as AirWatch, MobileIron and SOTI rose to prominence, and created device-based software known as EMM. As a result, in 2017 we’ll see the EMM market mature and, as with most maturing markets, specialisation take place. Feature-rich EMM solutions will occupy the market along with simple, less costly solutions.

>See also: How to put mobility at the heart of customer experience

EMM will also expand beyond the smartphone. Look for EMM (or something like it) to go up-market and down-market (defining the market as the device that is being managed). EMM systems are moving away from just mobile device management, and putting a focus on endpoint management. Systems can now manage a wide range of devices from laptops, IOT devices, smartphones, and tablets. EMM solutions will go up-market to more expensive devices, such as laptop computers. EMM will also go down-market to simpler devices involved in IoT.

Finally, EMM will be less isolated, and more tightly coupled with broader solutions. Examples include AirWatch already apart of VMware’s Workspace ONE, Microsoft Intune integral to the Office 365 solution, and MaaS 360 apart of IBM’s MobilityFirst solution. Ultimately, an enterprise will have a variety of EMM or EMM-like solutions operating across a variety of computing platforms.

This year, companies will be less focused on the basics of enterprise mobility, and instead look to solutions that will provide a deeper analysis of the solutions, technology and plans in use. Implementing enterprise mobility will no longer be a consideration but a mandatory element in any business plan, with solutions and strategies more evolved than ever before.


Sourced from Mitch Black, president, MOBI

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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