Five mobile app trends that will change the way you do business

Enterprise mobility is poised to take businesses to the next level. Mobility will change how employees, partners and customers communicate, share content and collaborate. Applications will introduce new efficiencies and will create new and innovative ways to handle operations more efficiently.

Here are five future trends that will influence how enterprise mobile apps are developed and used:

Increase in M2M communications

By adding sensors and networking technologies to the products they sell, companies will find new ways to gather powerful insights. Timely actionable data will help enterprises speed up decision-making, streamline supply chains, understand customer demands, and bring new products to market quickly.

> See also: Why you need to move on mobile app testing

For example, today M2M systems are being used by farmers to automatically adjust the composition and amount of fertilizer needed based on data from satellites and ground sensors and by advertisers to enable billboards to display personalize messages to passers-by according to data collected from their mobile devices.

Evolution of the User Interface (UI)

The user interface of enterprise mobile apps will evolve from passive screens to proactive context-aware notifications, similar to the Google New personal assistant which makes personal recommendations based on user preferences and location.

Improved voice control, use of vibrations, and small, wearable devices are all making the screen a less significant part of how we interact with mobile apps. In 2015 context-aware apps will use sensors and web services to anticipate user needs and provide the relevant type of interaction (e.g. touch, voice control) as needed.

Focus on app performance

While the visual design of enterprise apps is important and tends to be a major focus of app designers, with the added complexity of cloud services and applications that cross multiple business systems, performance will become the critical element. In order to assure usage and prevent user frustration, apps must be responsive and works offline so that that users can continue to work even when network connectivity is disconnected or unavailable.

More consideration to ROI

While there is a general consensus that using native development technologies results in a more natural and intuitive user experience, HTML5 development and multi-platform app development tools are more resource efficient. With the number of enterprise mobile apps on the increase, the amount of value received developing in native environments will be considered against the far higher total cost of ownership of developing and maintaining the same app for three different operating systems.

Companies that want the best of both worlds will look toward multi-channel application platforms that provide the advantage of supporting both native and HTML5 applications.

Data quality becomes a top priority

Poor data quality, such as duplicate customer records, can pose a big challenge to enterprise mobile apps that typically include information from multiple systems (e.g. CRM, ERP, billing) on a single screen, wasting user time dealing with out-of-date or incorrect information. Add to this the limited patience of mobile users to search multiple records and the increased likelihood of introducing more errors by incorrectly typing on small touchscreens, and data quality quickly becomes a bigger issue.

> See also: 5 myths of enterprise app development in a mobile-first world

Enterprises will employ data quality solutions such as integration platforms to match and deduplicate data across multiple sources and records to allow users to work more effectively.

Sourced from Dave Akka, managing director, Magic Software UK and Nordic Regions

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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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