Smart mobile apps and solutions ruled 2013 and will continue to have significant impact on enterprises in 2014. Enterprise mobility has enabled employees to keep up their productivity even when they are on the go. But creation of a collaborative, interactive environment for clients and employees that transcends geographical boundaries will require more efforts than simply managing mobile products and developing applications. While most tech pundits have considered enterprise mobility to be under the top tech trends of 2014, this discipline itself will follow certain trends.
Here are five important trends for enterprise mobility that will play essential role in shaping mobile strategies in 2014.
1) BYOD along with CYOD
In 2013, several large companies implemented BYOD policy. ‘Bring Your Own Device’ enables employees to work on their own device. The company on the other hand provides employees with the requisite software. But with increasing fragmentation of mobile device ecosystem (especially with advent of non-iOS devices other than Android), it is becoming increasingly difficult for companies to maintain uniformity in device and apps usage.
So most enterprises are now thinking about following ‘Choose Your Own Device’ (CYOD) instead of BYOD, where companies will pre-select a mobile ecosystem. Employees can choose from a controlled group of devices with pre-installed apps. CYOD can be extremely useful in bringing down complications of device management.
2) Access and Identity Management
In 2014, user identification and authentication will be a top priority for companies. This is important because it can prove effective in protecting company’s data from going into wrong hands. For efficient access and identity management, companies will need to focus on the following three things:
– Define privacy policies regarding device usage
– Single user sign in (different passwords for different users)
– Controlled access to information via employee designation
Keeping strong passwords and user identification on contextual information like employee’s behavioral patterns can be used for identity assurance. Privacy concerns can be significantly reduced with proper access and identity management.
3) Enterprise-focused App Development
Mobile apps have played and will continue to play vital role in enhancement of enterprise mobility. But with a difference. In 2013, enterprise mobility was a new entity because of which enterprises were ready to compromise with pre-existing apps. But now that it has become listed among most happening trends and requirements have become more specific and clear, enterprises will focus on having applications that are exclusively based on their requirements.
Freshly coded custom enterprise-apps will result in increased work efficiency of employees. In addition, well designed business-to-consumer apps will also deliver a great user experience to clients, thus proving enterprises’ sincerity among clients.
Overall, enterprise-focused app development is going to get bigger in 2014. At the same time, we will see enterprises adopting and securing the most popular productivity apps for internal use.
4) Cloud Security
There is no escaping the ‘rains of risk’ that come from cloud computing. Protecting enterprise data is certainly a big deal, which is why many companies are still reluctant to opt for cloud-based services. But creation of collaborative environment does demand use of cloud technology because it facilitates mobility. Sharing files, retrieving data and storing documents – lots of tasks are carried out over cloud.
Internet browsing via mobile has already been detected as a threat by businesses, and using cloud on top of that is only going to make things more complicated. So securing cloud technology will be among the great moves in enterprise mobility for the year 2014. We will see some companies set up local clouds, while others will seek to integrate personal clouds with enterprise clouds without compromising on security.
5) Managed Mobility Services
This trend will be prominent for IT enterprises. Non-IT enterprises are trying to incorporate mobility and they are certainly finding it difficult to do everything on their own. It is needless to say that solutions to their problems lie with IT enterprises that are always on lookout for new trends as these trends are keys to their expansion and growth.
With enterprise mobility on the scene, there’s a genuine chance for IT companies to prove their worth. So in 2014, managed mobility services will be the next target of IT firms. Big names of the industry like SAP and Accenture have already started offering these services.
The Bottom Line
Enterprise mobility has gained ground during 2013, and now it is seeing faster expansion and growth. Companies can’t run the risk of going late in adoption of this technology, but implementing it blindly will only lead to huge loss as this technology does require major dollar investment. So it is better to proceed carefully. Enterprise owners should therefore consult a reputed IT firm, understand risks associated with it and then proceed ahead.
[About the author: Nilesh Talaviya works as a mobile strategist for Cygnet Infotech, a leading enterprise mobility company offering tailored app development solutions. He is fascinated with the direction mobile development is taking and loves to write about current trends. You can follow him on Google+ for further discussions.]