When it comes to modern business, mobility has nothing to do with how well you can move from place to place. It has to do with how well you can work while moving, and in many ways, it’s eliminating the need for traditional office and making our workforce more productive. No longer tethered to desktops and cable internet connections, employees can now work from anywhere at any time, and many—especially Millennials—seem hungry for the change enterprise mobility brings.
Last year was big for enterprise mobility, but studies show nearly 75 percent of the workforce will be mobile by 2020, which means mobile-related services are only growing and improving. Now, there are more options than ever before to bring a mobile mindset into your workplace. And as a start-up or small business, you’re in the perfect position to start off on a future-oriented footing in jumping into the digital marketplace. The following are just a few ways mobility will continue to evolve in 2017.
Mobile First Becomes Mobile Only
Last year, we saw a rise in mobility, and a general adoption of the concept from businesses throughout the world—so much so that we started to move from a mindset of mobile-responsive or mobile-friendly to one of “mobile-first.” Throughout the country, you could almost feel the collective move from the desktop to the phone or tablet, as many of us realized mobile apps were not just more easily accessible—they were easier to use than their web-based counterparts. Fast forward to 2017, and many companies are moving toward skipping the desktop altogether, and focusing on a mobile only workplace. That shift toward enterprise mobility could impact both enterprise work environments and outward marketing presence, with even more apps than ever before.
Moving Beyond Tablets and Phones
Last year, the workforce discovered the ease of shifting workloads from desktops to mobile devices. Especially in the realm of field-based employees, it helps streamline workflow by allowing them to enter and collect data in real time. It also saves money through BYOD programs that put the onus of purchasing smart devices on the employee, rather than the employer. Still, as mobile continues to develop in 2017, we’ll see an even greater shift to a wider array of mobile devices—especially to enterprise-specific wearables designed to collect data and information related to one’s specific industry and share it in real time, be it healthcare, energy, or engineering.
Apps are Getting Easier to Use—and Make
A new group called AppConfig Community is working to create standards in app configuration and development that will make the creation of apps—especially enterprise-specific apps—even easier. Major tech players like IBM, MobileIron, and Blackberry are working together to create these standards, which will allow nearly anyone, anywhere able to make an app to help their company or customers.
The Line Between Mobile and Desktop is Getting Blurrier
This year, we’ll see even greater interoperability and a rise in companion apps for mobile and desktop software, bridging the usability gap between what one can do in the office, and what one can do from their phone. No longer will you have to save certain edits or changes for the desktop—all work will be truly mobile.
Security is Focusing on Mobile First
It used to be that security for the Cloud was built assuming folks were working and accessing files from the web. But mobility has changed all of that. Now more than ever, employees are accessing company data from their phone or tablet, and security developers have noticed the change. Now, they are working hard to create safer mobile log-ins with various authentication techniques that work with apps, not just the web. Our smart devices will only get safer as we head further into 2017.
As a start-up, you have the opportunity to start off on the right foot by making mobility a key focus of your business strategy. Today’s businesses are expected to be available, quick, and efficient 24/7, and that is only possible with an agile, mobile workforce with the tools they need to work well—and fast—in any situation. Today, all businesses are software businesses. There is truly no way around it. The most successful start-ups will create a culture of mobility that drives productivity and keeps their customers happy—and coming back for more.
Another resource we recommend on the topic of enterprise mobility
This post was originally published at Future of Work.
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