The Present and Future of Enterprise Mobile TechnologyKurt Pimentel
This is a very nice overview of where enterprise mobile technology currently stands and a look forward towards how the technology might be impacted and driven to change by Suhas Uliyar, Vice President, Mobile Strategy Product Management at Oracle.
For the past decade, most enterprises took a “ready, fire, aim” approach to deploying mobile technologies. These efforts tended to be tactical, coming in response to rapidly proliferating devices and applications. Increasingly, however, organizations are investing the time and resources necessary to define a mobile strategy that enables them to transform the enterprise.
Here is a look at where we’ve been and where we’re heading with enterprise mobile technology
Mobile growth is booming
According to the United Nations, six of the seven billion people worldwide now have mobile phones. Workers and customers alike are untethered, which is enabling new business models and transforming industries. Look at Uber, SnapChat, or even Facebook, where 400 million of their users log in only with their mobile devices. In other words, for many people, mobility is now the primary way they interact and get things done.
User convenience trumps everything
Did you know that one in four mobile apps, once downloaded, is never used again? That suggests a high percentage of apps fall short of expectations. If mobile app developers can’t innovate or deploy quickly, users will simply delete the apps or stop using them. Companies and people want—even demand—immediate benefit from the mobile experience.
A high-quality experience is essential
Beyond having a nice look and feel, we expect mobile apps to be intuitive, available, and provide the appropriate content. Are you designing apps that connect with back-end systems? Are they secure with single sign-on? Are they role-based (i.e., customer, partner, supplier) with the tasks users need to be productive? Miss one of these and you risk being ignored or deleted.
Integration with back-end systems is a necessity
In addition to the right content, apps need the right context. If I use a website to put items in my shopping cart, I expect my mobile app to have that same shopping cart information so I can place my order whenever and wherever I’m ready to do so. When it comes to integrating customer-facing apps (and internal ones too), IT departments often face a complex, costly, and time-consuming task.
Mobile development requires continuous delivery
Mobile apps are never really finished. 87 percent of enterprises update or release mobile apps every six months or less. As users, we have come to expect regular updates that provide timely new features and improvements. The ability to collect user data, analyze, fine tune, and release an update equals continuous delivery. Do some of the apps on your mobile device need to be updated? That’s what I’m talking about.
Use APIs to accelerate innovation
Mobile app development requires rapid development across a variety of target devices and channels. An API-first approach ensures agility and flexibility. By leveraging a catalog of mobile REST/JSON APIs, mobile app developers are released from the stress of data storage and retrieving systems of record, while authentication and security policies can be implemented more seamlessly: that accelerates mobile innovation.
Balance security and user experience—you need both
With my mobile phone, there is little separation between my professional and personal life. I use it to check e-mail, text, fill out expense reports, take photos, send tweets, and play Angry Birds. I bring my own device to work, and I don’t want my employer to lock down everything. As long as I can freely access my mobile device to conduct my personal activities, I don’t mind if there is added security around my corporate data and apps.
The cloud facilitates mobile development
In today’s digital era, business departments want to innovate at their own pace, while the IT team wants the tools and features that help speed development and integration. This is where the cloud intersects with mobile development to streamline back-end integration, user security, and management.
Mobility is morphing with other tech mega trends
The convergence of mobility, cloud, the Internet of Things, and big data is happening across industries. Look at healthcare, where a doctor can remotely access patient information from sensors that monitor vital signs and correlate that data with information about treatments for better diagnoses and outcomes. And, healthcare practitioners are able to interact with each other and their patients via wireless video conferencing, leveraging location-based services.
Go beyond “mobile first”; it’s time for a “mobile-plus” strategy
It’s time to develop a mobile strategy that brings together enterprise mobile technology, cloud, and the Internet of Things. Today the smartphone is our phone, computer, camera, entertainment center, map, personal trainer, shopping guide, and more. If I’m without my smartphone, I notice within minutes. Today, I didn’t realize I forgot my wallet until noon—but it wasn’t a problem. I paid for lunch with my smartphone!
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