Mobile App Development

The Mobile Enterprise: A Few Observations From ’11

January 10, 2012

  • Jonathan Ozeran

Now that we are a few days into the new year, I wanted to post a few of my observations from 2011 as well as a few predictions about the enterprise given some commonality in our discussions here at Lextech. I’d love to read your thoughts and questions in the comments!

In 2011:

The Continued Rise of MDM & MAM:
Mobile device and application management have begun in earnest to shape conversations happening at the enterprise IT water cooler. From distribution methods to data security to replenishing lost/stolen/misplaced devices, the prevalence of modern smartphones and tablets available as a tool is growing rapidly. The much-deserved credit goes to friends at organizations like AirWatch, MobileIron, JAMF Software and Apperian for making this a simpler feat than it would be in their absence.

Employee Demand for Access to Apps In The Workplace:
Last year, we noticed a strong interest in simply having access to existing App Store apps in a workplace environment. Rather than use personal credentials and work through the hassle of expensing App Store purchases, the workforce is looking to IT for a solution that will help them acquire, manage and maintain their application licenses. Fortunately, download and redemption capabilities are becoming more common in device and application management service offerings.

Developing Applications with the Intent to Go Globally:
For organizations with global operations, content localization within applications was often treated as a nice-to-have feature and de-prioritized for a future iteration. We’re eager to hear more about localization becoming commonplace within business & enterprise applications, which should ultimately drive an increase in the number of end users adopting these applications in the workforce.

Gaining an Understanding of Voice Control / Siri:
Since the release of Siri on iOS, business users and technical users alike have asked when they might be able to take advantage of this new capability within custom apps. While no one knows the answer to that question, the interest is present in the enterprise and the curiosity to experiment with Siri as-is is still exciting and new to a large segment of the workforce. We are eager to see a shift from mere personal productivity enhancer to more efficient data capture capabilities in business apps.

Apps that Augment Existing Systems:
Rather than start down the path of replacing existing desktop, browser-based and even mainframe clients, we observed quite a bit of focus on adding mobile applications into the mix. Often times they were offered as an additional data entry or data retrieval method, rather than a replacement to existing legacy and/or antiquated processes.

Mobile Product Design Based Upon Existing Apps (Read: “Me Too” App Design):
Unfortunately, we also noticed an ugly trend in which there was interest in merely developing a mobile app product for the sake of having something in-hand. An overwhelming trend towards developing and releasing something fast, often times against an arbitrary release date, necessitated the need for concessions on user experience, application functionality and value. Here’s to hoping this changes in ’12!

Clearly, there’s a substantial amount of opportunity in the enterprise and I’m eager to see how far we progress by this time next year. Check back tomorrow for another post with my mobile enterprise predictions for 2012.

Jonathan Ozeran
Mobile Technology Strategist, Lextech Global Services
@jozeran