Enterprise Mobility an App-ocalypse Now ?
Considering the incredible rates of adoption of smartphones and tablets are you underwhelmed with the progress of Enterprise Mobility Apps in the workplace ? Is it too soon to think of this period in terms of an unfulfilled legacy of enterprise mobility as an app-ocalypse now ?
According to Gartner in the first quarter of 2015 worldwide sales of smartphones reached 336 million units an increase of 19.3 per cent. They go on to estimate that employees use an average of three different devices in their daily routine. This seems to be placing an increasing amount of pressure on IT to develop a larger variety of business process based mobile apps in shorter time frames.
From our own experience it seems that the enterprise mobility clock has stopped for some businesses. An unwillingness to experiment combined with a fundamental lack of understanding has left many line of business or blue collar apps still un-automated years after such things become the norm in retail and logistics.
So Why The CIO Confusion
In spite of all this device adoption and the long history of field based blue collar projects most CIO’s are still unsure of how to approach enterprise mobility. Questions abound about app development; native or HTML 5 apps, hosted bought in or developed in house and if so by whom and using what tools. It can all be very confusing especially where there are plenty of other calls on that budget or as someone said to us in a presentation last month – what budget.
Gartner’s Adrian Leow commented. “Organizations increasingly find it difficult to be proactive against competitive pressures, which is resulting in their mobile apps becoming tactical, rather than strategic,” “We’re seeing demand for mobile apps outstrip available development capacity, making quick creation of apps even more challenging. .”
Gartner Top Tips
- Prioritize app development.
- Adopt a bimodal IT approach.
- Use rapid mobile app development tools.
- Adopt a mixed-sourcing approach.
Before we build the stocks for MD’s CIO and Ops Directors we should admit that the “mobile” IT industry is not blameless for a lot of this lack of progress. Most enterprise mobility “solutions” are little more than a jumble of desktop “parts” for developers to cobble together an app with custom code leading to expensive time consuming and costly development projects that rarely succeed in terms creating an ROI, which of course was the point in the first place.
Whilst Gartner advocates a “horses for courses” approach for choosing app development environments we have found that for the majority of line of business scenarios constantly come back to using native apps to provide for a local mobile database where a persistent 4G connection is not assured. A write once deploy anywhere approach allows clients to not have to bet the farm on one OS or another whilst taking advantage of ever falling device prices. In these circumstances it seems that HTML5 whilst great in some scenarios, especially for those marooned on Blackberry only provides a partial strategic solution.
A Unique Opportunity
So is Enterprise mobility an App-ocalypse Now ? I don’t think so, more likely it seems a change of attitude is needed.
The real knowledge of business processes come from operations which will lead to more enterprise apps being created by business analysts using codeless tools rather than an IT department commissioning a ground up line by line bespoke solution.
The advent of new devices faster comms and Internet of Things technology means there is a great opportunity to revolutionise the enterprise mobility functions of any organisation. Approaches that were once the preserve of large multi national corporations are now accessible to projects of all sizes.
We build enterprise grade apps using the MobileFrame platform which serves as a strategic write once deploy anywhere approach for businesses looking to automate field based processes.
Apocalypse Now – The Movie
The Vietnam war film Apocalypse Now was released 36 years ago this week on August 15th 1979.
Francis Coppola directed, a typhoon destroyed the set and Martin Sheen had a heart attack all whilst making this epic movie about a journey to find a nut case at the end of a long river. Look out for those then young stars Harrison Ford post Star Wars Laurence Fishburne and Charlie Sheen (uncredited). The cinema release version runs to 153 minutes so stock up on the popcorn. The movie is well worth seeing once and you can be certain by the end you will either love it or hate it…enjoy!