Have you ever thought that we are living in an exceptional era? The way we live, communicate, work, buy, relax are experiencing exciting developments. Thus, we are entering a mobile world with its new ways how employees collaborate with each other, how customers interact with contractors and suppliers and the device-centric model is no longer a priority in it.
2014 was a big year for enterprise mobility. 2015 is predicted to be more eventful as enterprise mobility growth will fuel more innovations and require from service providers to embrace this trend at the same rate.
So, how does enterprise mobility market influence software development companies? The first thing to be mentioned is BYOD policy that entrenched in companies long ago. Generally speaking, it is employees who made businesses mobile. They don’t wait for the IT departments to improve their work experience just like the way they do it with their daily lives, e.g., downloading apps from the App Store.
However, mobile boost entails some challenges behind the comfort of the bring-your-own-device policy. Meanwhile, more and more enterprise companies are expected to take this plunge in 2015. According to Forrester Research (December 2014), IT decision-makers recognize that investing in enterprise mobility will empower workers. 55% of respondents indicated that increased availability will open up employees to make decisions faster, and 51% anticipate worker productivity to increase as data and applications are available any place, anytime. As a part of this study, Forrester Consulting asked respondents to mark their top challenges of their enterprise mobility system. Security is in the top six responses. Protecting the enterprise from intrusion via an exploding number of devices, applications, and data points is clearly top of mind for many IT professionals.
Boosting and hard-to-control BYOD policy entails some challenges that are a food for thinking for IT-departments of enterprises. On the other hand, compliance of different devices, contexts and environments and loss of control over endpoint devices brings software developers an opportunity to help companies enhance their productivity. In this connection, software development companies try to deliver up-to-date solutions.
Obviously, BYOD policy requires a managed approach. Thus, software developers should work on new platforms that can leverage the difference between devices. We do not speak about any standalone things, but complex platforms and software that can serve different devices. Working on some of our analyses, we have already mentioned the notion of a connected ecosystem of devices as a key prediction for 2015. It seems to be the right thing for enterprise mobility as well.
This thought brings us to EMM – enterprise mobility management. More and more enterprises accept and embrace this strategy aimed at managing of endpoint apps and giving employees access to the tools and information regardless where they are and what device they see in front of them. On the other hand, businesses are eager to solve the problem of data protection and privacy. They have to protect their information with a comprehensive set of access control and data-protection capabilities.
Software developing companies try to develop an adequate solution to it. Thus, Microsoft offers Enterprise Mobility Suite with its comprehensive set of capabilities to support enterprise mobility:
- Identity and access management
- Mobile device and application management
- Information protection.
We believe that these three points can be a milestone and a guiding line for both software development and enterprise mobility policies of companies. In 2014, Microsoft Office for iPads and Google Apps for Work continued to support enterprise mobility management trend.
The next thing we are driving at is mobile apps development. Enterprise mobility implies quick tablet penetration. Mobile app development is a big chance for developers to skyrocket their income because companies deploy more and more mobile apps instead of desktop ones. Mobile apps work offline and one doesn’t need to be at their workplace for it. It makes mobile app invulnerable in comparison with desktop apps.
Simultaneously, developers try to ensure their app will work on every device instead of ignoring the fragmentation of devices and platforms. In July 2014, we saw how an unprecedented partnership emerged between IBM and Apple. The giants announced to ship iPads and iPhones with IBM apps. Later, the world saw the first enterprise apps from them. Here, we should stress “a reusable component-based approach”, an idea spoken by Simon Pitt, BBC head of mobile. The same idea as mentioned above spoken but in a rather clear way: enterprise software, including mobile apps, should be centrally managed but easily used and accessed across projects. It will lead to more market consolidation and collaboration on universal platform creation.
As for money question and its impact on mobile app developers, please, look. Gartner’s says that 90% of all enterprise apps will be HTML5 or hybrid, while the number of native ones will total to 10%. HTML technology is considered to be the most widely used one by mobile developers. Its benefits like reduced costs in comparison with costs of native apps, time to market and platform portability will enable its further wellbeing.
Moving on, cloud technologies are to satisfy the need of employees to have an access to business data regardless of their location. Business makes their choice in favor of cloud based services. Agility, operational costs saving, flexibility make the cloud technology so attractive for companies. Emails, CRM, ERP arealready cloud-based. Moreover, modern browsers are good enough to provide a native-like user experience. At the same time, developers can develop from anywhere while they can access the same things with designers simultaneously.
A fly in the ointment of enterprise mobility for software developers is that business analysts seem to create more and more enterprise apps. Low code development platforms enabled non-programmers to create apps. Gartner’s says that by 2018 more than 50% of all mobile apps will be developed without coding. At least, it gives programmers some food for thinking how they can adequately response to this enterprise mobility trend.
Despite that, we believe that in 2015 and later on enterprises and, accordingly, service providers will take proactive steps to strengthen and regulate enterprise mobility polices and tools and invest in their development to ensure their bright mobile future. After all, both companies and service providers have something to fight for.
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Industries and Technology Areas
Technology Areas: software development, mobile application development, enterprise mobility