Enterprise mobile demand will outstrip IT's capacity to deliver in 2017
|Richard Harris in Enterprise Monday, December 26, 2016|
Editors note: 2017 predictions from Yuval Scarlat, CEO and Co-Founder, Capriza
A shortage of mobile developers and designers spawns a wave of mobile “citizen developers.” Demand for enterprise mobile apps continues to surge, and analyst firms like Gartner have predicted that enterprise mobile demand will outstrip IT’s capacity to deliver by a factor of 5 through 2018. Mobile design and development talent is scarce and generally expensive to apply to employee-facing apps. Next year, low-code and no-code technology will pave the way for non-technical professionals to create mobile apps and even share them with peers in communities of mobile citizen developers.
Forward-looking companies evolve from mobile-first to mobile-only. Organizations with large numbers of personnel at the edges of the enterprise, like field service workers or field sales people, have approached the purchase or development of applications with a mobile-first mindset. The combination of the success achieved with many of these efforts and the significant difference in costs for supporting a laptop-and-mobile employee vs. a mobile-only employee will get more organizations planning with a mobile-only approach for field and remote employees. For instance, organizations will start to provide employees with only a tablet or a smartphone, instead of a laptop. We’ve witnessed this evolution before: web-accessible applications evolved to web-only applications, and cloud extensions/alternatives became cloud-only in many cases. We’ll see the same thing happen with mobility in 2017.
The post-app era comes into clearer focus. While we all love our mobile apps, it’s hard to believe that they offer the optimal interaction model for every user, use case, task, and environment. Although there might be “an app for that,” many consumers and organizations are experiencing app fatigue from the sheer volume of apps in the market. To address this, chatbots and the artificial intelligence behind them will offer new ways for mobile interaction with enterprise applications, along with voice, search, and others. Some consumer apps like Fandango are now offering a glimpse into the future, in this case, by allowing users to purchase movie tickets via text or Facebook without ever downloading an app.
Enterprises realize that SaaS alone does not solve the mobility problem. In 2016, some organizations were rudely awakened from a dream. The dream was that replacing an older legacy application with a modern SaaS/cloud application would magically deliver enterprise mobility and rapid mobile adoption. What they found was that the same enterprise application complexity that limits user adoption of desktop-based applications is also “portable” to mobile platforms. Beyond that, many large organizations will customize their CRM, ERP, and other business applications which can quickly break the out-of-the-box mobile apps from SaaS application providers.
IT leverages mobility to reassert its relevance to the business. The cloud wave made it possible for line-of-business functions to select and deploy applications with minimal IT support. In many organizations, that change left IT out of some important conversations and fed a perception that IT wasn’t aligned to the business. Now IT is hungrier than ever to deliver high-business-impact wins and avoid another shadow IT epidemic. IT is going to “surf” the enterprise mobility and digital transformation waves more broadly to restore its relevance and value.