Enterprise mobility trends for 2018

2017 was a huge year for enterprise mobility. More and more businesses are beginning to take advantage of mobile and emerging tech to streamline their processes, boost efficiency and better engage with their employees.

Adoption of the IoT across a range of industries still continues to grow. With many companies taking advantage of wearable tech to better equip their employees and improve productivity.

>See also: 5 technology trends impacting the CFO in 2018 

Also in 2017, the continued rise of flexible and remote working has contributed to a surge in BYOD. With more than 67% of workers now using their own devices at work. But because of this, one in five businesses are expected to experience a BYOD security breach. So enterprise mobility security is now more important than ever!

So what key enterprise mobility trends will dominate 2018?

Artificial intelligence

Interest in AI is growing rapidly. And ‘Machine Learning’ has been a huge focus for almost every major hardware keynote this year. With Apple, Google and Amazon all doubling down on AI tech.

Google has even gone so far as to call themselves an “AI-first” company. So it’s clear why 59% of companies are currently gathering information to build their AI strategies.

But unfortunately, many companies fail to recognise the usefulness of game-changing, disruptive technologies like AI and, as a result, get left behind. To avoid this, businesses should have their fingers on the pulse. And keep an eye on the ever-changing landscape for innovative uses of AI within their industries.

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Because no matter the sector, AI will have a huge impact on how businesses work in the future. For example, machine learning is set to completely change cyber-security across the board. As it goes further than a simple set of rules, looking for patterns and anomalies instead. Making security systems more secure and empowering IT teams to be more responsive.

AI-based security software will be increasingly invaluable as the rise of BYOD and the IoT continues. With more and more devices connecting to business networks and a rising risk of cyber attacks.

Conversational platforms

But the benefits of AI don’t stop at cyber security. Chatbots and other conversational platforms will play an increasingly important role within the enterprise. Where they can answer questions, and respond to employees’ basic requests. Including providing pay-check information, approving holiday requests and scheduling meetings.

Chatbots will know when it’s time to pass employees along to a relevant member of staff. But by using AI during that initial conversation, business will be able to filter out those smaller tasks. And free up their employees to focus on higher-value work.

Finally, users’ interactions with chatbots offer much more context than traditional user research methods. So with chatbots, businesses will have a better understanding of their employees, their interactions and how the company can help make their day-to-day more efficient. This boosts productivity while increasing workplace satisfaction.

Intelligent things

To inform its decisions, artificial intelligence will often rely on smart cameras and sensors that feed it real-world information. But these intelligent things don’t just supply data.

They’re also able to perform many tasks, both autonomously and directly from user requests. For example, smart speakers are able to recognise voice commands, respond to users and perform tasks like playing music. The built-in AI then uses machine learning to improve the device’s accuracy over time.

And with an estimated 8.4 billion intelligent things in use this year, more and more businesses are beginning to take advantage of these connected devices. Logistics companies are using intelligent things to improve process transparency, better tracking their deliveries.

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And by taking advantage of this technology, they’re able to track details like parcel temperature through transit. Even monitoring the package’s temperature and moisture levels as it sits in the client’s smart mailbox.

But intelligent things could also have a huge impact in the office. Where beacons using geo-fencing are able to recognise where in the building employees or visitors are. AI-based security systems can then use this information to control peoples’ access permissions throughout the office building. Ultimately replacing key-cards and security passes with a smarter, mobile security system.

Finally, like chatbots, the increased transparency of these connected devices gives businesses a much better insight into their employees’ day-to-day. And how they can make it that much more efficient. Using intelligent things, companies will be able to greatly improve their internal processes and boost productivity.

Immersive experiences

The soaring popularity of wearables and immersive experiences in the workplace will continue throughout 2018. A staple of wearable tech is Augmented Reality (AR). And with Apple’s ARKit included in the iOS 11 update, the technology is set to explode into the mainstream during 2018. This is only fuelled more by major companies like Google who are keen to make the technology more accessible for both developers and end-users with their ARCore platform.

The wide range of applications already available are helping prove AR’s use in the enterprise. For example, augmented reality is a game-changer for workplace training. Where processes can be taught to staff effectively with on-screen instructions and graphics at each step. This gives employees an in-depth and immersive learning experience that traditional training just can’t match.

But the information AR provides isn’t just for new or inexperienced employees. It’s being used in fields like logistics to improve process efficiency and employee productivity.

>See also: 7 trends driving enterprise IT transformation in 2018

With companies like DHL & Samsung using AR to better inform their staff during warehouse picking. As a result, Samsung has seen a 22% increase in productivity and a 10% reduction in errors.

And looking forward, it’s likely that AR will give rise to augmented office spaces. Transforming bare walls and empty tables into digital workspaces with interactive whiteboards, graphics, and models.

Similarly, AR can deliver easy-to-understand information to remote teams who are out-of-the-office or on-site. Where augmented reality can show construction workers invisible structural items like piping or wiring. Or help to visualise planned building extensions for entire groups of people.

Traditional hardware like computer monitors could become replaced with AR tools too. Where one augmented reality headset can provide immersive and interactive 360-degree setups for staff.

Finally, AR will have a huge impact on collaboration between remote workforces. Where using augmented reality, business will be able to engage with their employees and encourage collaboration no matter where they are.

>See also: Enterprise tech continues its rebirth in 2018

So what’s next?

But before businesses introduce these game-changing technologies into their processes, it’s important they analyse their business needs. Firstly, they must outline their ROI objectives.

As this is essential for measuring the project’s success. Then, businesses need to fully consider how the technology will be rolled out throughout their organisation. With a well thought out feedback system to fuel future improvements.

Mobile and emerging tech can improve business processes, reduce costs and drive employee engagement. To achieve success, a strategy should be fully established at an early stage. Once businesses have a plan, the rest will fall into place.


Sourced by Sonin Agency

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...