10 trends in enterprise strategy and development. By Suhas Uliyar, Vice President, Mobile Strategy Product Management, Oracle
Video: Enable the new business imperative: social, mobile, and cloud.
In business and at home, mobility has transformed how we live, work, and play. Who hasn’t headed to a meeting only to realize we aren’t sure of the exact time and location? We rely on our smartphone to quickly get the answer. Or when we capture our child’s first soccer goal or milestone, we reach for our mobile device, which allows us to share the moment almost instantly.
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. Let’s take a look at where we’ve been and where we’re heading in enterprise mobility.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s time to develop a mobile strategy that brings together enterprise mobility, 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!
Read the eBook: Enterprise Mobile for Dummies to learn how to align your business case with your mobile strategy.
Access the exclusive webinar and report "Evolving the Connected Enterprise." CIO Strategic Marketing Services surveyed 411 executives to understand their challenges of mobile application development and deployment in the enterprise.