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Enterprise Mobility: What’s Next For 2017?

How has enterprise mobility evolved in 2016 and what changes can we expect to see in 2017?

17Feb

The phrase ‘enterprise mobility’ was mentioned a lot in 2016 and had a huge impact on businesses across the globe. A shift in our work habits and changing business needs has led many organizations to restructure and integrate mobile working into their strategies. But what’s next for enterprise mobility in 2017?

Back in June 2015, Gartner predicted that the demand for enterprise mobility will outstrip available development capacity five to one and become an essential IT requirement for the majority of businesses by the end of 2017. A big prediction, but seeing as the advantages of integrating mobile into enterprises are huge, it’s a completely achievable one.

In addition to helping boost revenue, improve productivity, cut costs and stay ahead of the competition, enterprise mobility makes it easier for employees to work remotely by giving them access to corporate information and functions on the go – key for organizations with a large distributed workforce. And the nature of apps means they can be bespoke built to support specific goals. Whether it’s to track your delivery drivers, communicate the latest business news or streamline a process, it’s no surprise that numerous organizations have already made mobile a priority.

Throughout 2016, businesses within the Professional Services, Energy & Utilities, Manufacturing & Construction, Technology, and Healthcare industries have been big adopters of the technology. Implementing a mix of both task-specific apps and employee engagement apps.

However, despite the clear transition towards enterprise mobility many organizations were cautious to make the move to mobile. Conversations we’ve had with people throughout 2016 showed us that many businesses had already explored enterprise apps but struggled to implement them successfully. Typically this was due to insufficient understanding of users, processes and how apps integrate with other systems. Lots of businesses initially approached app development the same as web development, despite the two being very different.

Compared to all platforms that came before, app technology has moved incredibly quickly. And enterprises have been struggling to keep up with the pace of innovation. Particularly when it comes to assessing new platforms and integrating the new technology securely and successfully into their organization.

Not only has the mobile revolution moved quickly, but it has been predominantly consumer and employee led. As opposed to IT departments filtering devices into the business, it’s been pushed by employees using their own devices. Whether there is a BYOD policy or not, employees are utilizing their smartphones for both simple work tasks such as emails or calendar management, accessing company data and using remote files on the move.

As 2016 progressed, more businesses embraced mobile-centric strategies marking the year as a tipping point where companies became serious about mobility. They now understand how mobility can help them, and how it can support their core goals for 2017 and beyond.

For any businesses hesitant about approaching enterprise mobility for 2017 the one thing I’d stress is to approach it as a product, not a project. In order for an enterprise app to be a true success, you need to interview the employees who will be using the app about their pain points, look at process flows, create an MVP, review the app and continue learning and developing it. As mentioned above, an app is a product, not a project, it needs to be managed before, during and after development and continually improved as your business grows and develops.

The quality and intuitiveness of enterprise apps grew significantly in 2016, and companies will need to remain at the forefront of enterprise mobility to meet employee expectations. This also applies to technology, as users become more accustomed to using voice platforms, AI, and machine learning, they will expect them in apps. The most successful apps are by businesses who understand how their employees are interacting with mobiles and allocate time and resource into its continued development

Alongside the adoption of new technology, IoT, and wearables, I think 2017 will see a continued shift in attitude towards implementing enterprise mobility. Enterprises will realise that mobility is key to their future success and it will become an integral part of any digital transformation initiative.

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