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What Was Predicted in Enterprise Mobile for 2015 and What’s in Store for 2016?


Every year professionals make predictions on where they think the enterprise mobile industry will take us for the upcoming year. I’ve made my prediction for 2016, and reflected back on the most exciting moments of 2015, but was 2015 all it was cracked up to be? Of course not every prediction can be correct, but who hit the nail on the head, and who reached a little too far with their foresight?

First we have an old prediction of our own from way back in 2013. Since this report groups 2013-2016, the predictions are not wrong, but pretty vague. There has been a huge jump in mobile technology from 2013 until now, but since it was the near future, it was hard to make more specific predictions than just the general, “increased demand” and “MDM solutions will become a necessity.” While a lot of companies don’t see an enterprise mobile solution as a necessity, we know that it very well should be.

Adam Ely for Security Week correctly predicted saying goodbye to MDM and EMM.

“While mobile security remains at the top of every CISO’s priority list this year, enterprises have quickly begun to realize that mobile device management (MDM) and enterprise mobility management (EMM) are not enough to keep data safe. Moreover, they do not provide much return on investment. With mobile security now a board-level discussion, the latter is increasingly important.”

MDM and EMM are just pieces that make up the bigger picture of enterprise mobility. Where I disagree with Ely is when he says that they do not provide much on return investment. That may have been true, but with recent cloud hacks and shadow IT, the MDM vendors have caught on by adding more features to their enterprise mobility solutions. These new features make it less important to secure the actual device, and more important to secure the data on the device and in the cloud.

Ely also predicted that BYOD would be here to stay. I agree with this notion for 2016, but we still struggled with BYOD in 2015. There were heaps of issues from billing, to privacy to security that were not fully resolved in 2015. BYOD isn’t going anywhere, especially in smaller businesses where they can’t buy everyone a device, but they can’y afford to let their employees continue to use their unsecured personal devices. Hopefully solutions like virtual mobile infrastructure (VMI) will help solidify these boundaries and allow BYOD to stretch it’s legs.

Although it’s nothing crazy, Yorgen Edholm of Accellion predicted the shift of productivity and workforce behavior to rely heavily on mobile, and that enterprise apps make a big difference.

  • Enterprises will focus more than ever before on mobile apps, which will no longer be just desktop apps “ported” to a tiny screen. Designs will become truly “mobile-first.” Mobile will no longer connote “lite.” Mobile apps will do a better job of meeting and even exceeding the expectations of mobile users.
  • As part of re-thinking mobile apps, enterprises will begin re-designing workflow processes to take advantage of worker mobility and mobile apps. Studies have repeatedly shown that while workers have been mobilized, business workflows have not.
  • Because these new apps will make mobile users more productive, adoption of mobile technology will continue to accelerate. More users will be mobile, and mobile users will do most of their computing on mobile devices.

Enterprise apps made a huge leap forward in 2015 with the improvement of low-code platforms to App Configuration for Enterprise (ACE) gained more than 20 new members. The ease with which these enterprise apps are being able to be developed allows ample room for multiple apps, and apps that work cross platform without losing any features on the way.

People rely on their mobile devices both personally and professionally. It allows workers to move around, work from home and be generally more productive. They are able to answer an email from anywhere and meet in a conference room without having to lug equipment just to share a presentation. Enterprise and vendors saw that in 2015 and will continue to improve on this process and streamline it in 2016.

These predictions, while only just a few, emphasize that in enterprise mobile, we always need to keep building on what was good about the previous year and abandon the things that didn’t do so well (like wearables). When we look back on mobile from year to year, things don’t really seem to improve dramatically, but when you compare 2015 to 2012, they’re worlds apart. When looking at a three year chunk of time, the innovations stand out based on where they were when they were just starting out.

We’re expanded this MDM label to the point where calling in mobile device management doesn’t really apply anymore; things have changed so fast and we just keep calling it what we are used to calling it. I feel more comfortable calling it enterprise mobility as a general term because, as I said before, MDM is only a piece of the equation.

Looking back on where MDM started to where it is now, it had spawned an entire network of components that make up enterprise mobility. I’m excited to see where enterprise mobility gives us in 2016 and in the next five years.

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