The mobile device as the controller of other devices, Agile app development, the rise of the chief mobility officer and telco network sharing is where mobility is heading next year, according to analysts.
With the rise of bring-your-own-device and the complex security issues it brings, organisations will move away from trying to make every single device secure and instead use containers to secure the apps that hold the data on the device, says Graham Barr, research director at IDC.
“What’s really happening is a movement away from that [mobile device management] to being much more applications focused - the idea of containerisation where you wrap the software up in such a way that is becomes secure,” he says.
“You can’t always secure the device, and it’s recognising the importance of the fact that people do use multiple devices. So it’s enabling the individual to use whatever device is convenient to them at the time, and the applications are made secure within that device.”
Forrester analyst Tim Sheedy says more people will use their mobile devices to control other devices and systems, and not just use it to consume information or products and services.
“It comes back to the Internet of Things. The mobile is no longer the endpoint device. The mobile, I believe, will become more of what I term a ‘light hub’. It will be a device that you don’t just consume on but control with.
“When you have got all these connected devices and sensors around the home, in the office and wearables, etc, they are the end point and the mobile is the collection point. All the information comes to the mobile and you control the environment through your mobile. So it becomes a control device as much as it is a consumption device.”
He says this will influence the way organisations develop their mobile applications for customers as they will need to think about how an application might interrelate with other data sources connected to a mobile device.
Organisations will also be less frantic about getting their mobile development projects perfect on the first go, and will rather build apps incrementally to better tailor their services to customers along the way, according to Sheedy.
“I think some of the earlier mobility initiatives were knee-jerk reactions, not all of them, but many were just thinking ‘we have got to have an app so let’s put an app out there’. 2014 will be ‘we have got to serve our customers in the best way possible’. So you will see this really mature approach to mobile happening next year.
“It’s not Agile as a development methodology but Agile as a way of managing the expectations of customers and a way for organisations delivering their services [in a more timely manner].”
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2014 will also be the year where we may start to see the rise of a chief mobility officer or someone who is appointed to the role of driving an enterprise-wide mobility strategy, according to Barr. He says many organisations still have conflicting mobile strategies among different departments, and therefore the need for someone to oversee the bigger picture may come about next year.
“Mobility has been something that has been addressed by traditional IT people and marketing staff. It’s just layer upon layer of people trying to manage a situation or develop things rather than thinking through a clear enterprise-wide mobility strategy.
“So one of the things we are forecasting for the coming year is the rise of the director of mobility or someone who is positioned within the company to specifically drive the mobile strategy both internally in terms of ‘how do I make my staff more productive, and how do I overcome all of the security issues?’ but also ‘how do I use this as a marketing tool?’”
On the telco and networking infrastructure side, LTE deployments will accelerate globally in 2014, increasing in size and scale, according to Ovum analyst Nicole McCormick.
“There will be more RCS [rich communication suit] and VoLTE [voice over long term evolution] launches in 2014,” she says. “But at the same time, operators are showing interest in launching their own OTT [over the top] services and partnering with OTT players.”
There will also be more network sharing among telcos as they face increasing cost pressures, McCormick says.
“Opex savings will continue, and in some markets there will be M&A activity or increased network sharing.
“Operators will also move further along towards all IP networks, which will push interest and activity around network virtualization and network sharing.
"In developed markets, operators will also focus their attention on dealing with costly legacy networks, some of which will be retired for costs savings and spectrum re-farming purposes.”
Other trends to watch out for in 2014:
- Where is the Internet of Things heading in 2014?
- Where is wearable technology heading in 2014?
- Where is cloud computing heading in 2014?
- Where is data security heading in 2014?